Titans Set to Return from Bye Week

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mike Munchak expects Titans players to return from the bye week rested and excited because of Tennessee's position in the AFC South and its three straight home games.

"I think they are going to be excited," Munchak said. "I think they are excited about where they are at. I think they are very disappointed about how things went (against Pittsburgh), like we were after Jacksonville, but I think the excitement of what's ahead of us. I think that adds a lot of excitement to the return and knowing what's in the future when we come back."

Tennessee lost its season-opener at Jacksonville 16-14 and responded with three consecutive wins against Baltimore, Denver and Cleveland. The Titans suffered a disappointing 38-17 loss in Pittsburgh before going on their bye week. However, they moved into sole possession of first place in the AFC South following Houston's 29-14 loss at Baltimore on Sunday.

Titans veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said the loss to Pittsburgh was frustrating but presents a teachable moment for a relatively young team.

"It gives the coaching staff a greater opportunity to not let things slide," Hasselbeck said. "Sometimes as a player it's easy to feel, 'Hey, it's alright, we're winning.' The Jacksonville loss gave the coaching staff an opportunity to be tougher on us than usual. I think we can expect a hard week of practice next week. As players, we invite that. We're looking forward to finding ways to get better."

Hasselbeck has completed 117 of 181 passes (64.6 percent) for 1,414 yards, nine touchdowns and four interceptions in his first five games as the Titans' quarterback. The Titans' passing game has exceeded expectations, but Tennessee's offense is still adjusting to the season-ending injury of Kenny Britt (torn ACL, MCL against Denver).

"We've got an opportunity for a lot of guys to step up and fill a huge void with Kenny Britt being out," Hasselbeck said. "The guy that's consistently going to get open and work hard is the guy that's going to get the ball."

Nate Washington is leading Titans receivers with 28 catches for 389 yards. His previous career high for catches was 47 in 2009 and for yards was 687 in 2010.

Last season the Titans opened 5-3 before their bye, but went 1-7 in their final eight games to finish 6-10. Washington said he believes the team will take care of business the rest of the season, starting Monday when players return to practice.

"I don't think you can relate last year to this year," Washington said. "Totally different attitude, totally different personnel, totally different everything. This is a team that's focused on making sure we have a real opportunity of going into the playoffs strong, so we'll come back this next week with the opportunity in front of us."

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