Titans kick off preseason in Seattle
The Titans will have a sort of homecoming for numerous members of the organization – the quarterbacks in particular – when they kick off their preseason schedule at Seattle.
A date has yet to be officially scheduled, but the game will be played between Aug. 9 and 13. With veteran Matt Hasselbeck and Washington state native Jake Locker set to battle it out for the team's starting quarterback job, what setting could be more appropriate than Seattle?
That's where Hasselbeck, who played 10 seasons in Seattle and is set to enter his second season in Tennessee, led the Seahawks to a 21-10 loss to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XL in 2006. Locker, coming off his rookie year, also played his college ball at the University of Washington.
In addition, Titans general manager Ruston Webster worked for the Seahawks from 2006 to 2009 as vice president of player personnel and briefly served as interim general manager.
The Titans' second preseason game also is on the road, as they visit Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, the organization where Webster spent the first 18 years of his NFL career. That game also has yet to be scheduled.
The Bucs have been one of the biggest spenders in free agency and will have first-year coach Greg Schiano, the former Rutgers University coach where he recruited Titans receiver Kenny Britt. (Britt is coming off season-ending knee surgery.) With the departure via free agency of veteran cornerback Cortland Finnegan, the Titans can test young cornerbacks Tommie Campbell and Chris Hawkins against the likes of 6-foot-5 wide receiver Vincent Jackson, one of those signings. Offensive guard Carl Nicks is another addition expected to bolster the Bucs, who won 10 games in 2010 but were a disappointment last season with a 4-12 record, costing coach Raheem Morris his job.
The final two preseason games both will be played at LP Field, including the third one against Arizona on Aug. 23 in a game that will be nationally televised. Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, one of the NFL's best, also will test those young Titans cornerbacks.
The Titans will conclude their preseason against New Orleans, a team that hung on in the final seconds to defeat the Titans at LP Field last season, 22-17. That preseason game will be played between Aug. 29 and Aug. 31.
At present, the Saints are appealing the one-year suspension of head coach Sean Payton, which was set to begin on April 1 for his role in a scandal in which New Orleans defensive players received bounties for injuring opposing players. The Saints ought to settle on a plan for an interim head coach in the coming weeks and one name that has been floated is that of Bill Parcells. In Drew Brees, the Saints have one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the league, as Brees set the NFL's single-season record for passing yards in 2011.