This Sunday, the Cleveland Browns take on the Tennessee Titans in Week 2 of the regular season. To help preview this week's game, I reached out to Jimmy Morris from Music City Miracles and exchanged five questions with him. Enjoy!
Chris: "Even if I feel the Buccaneers could be the worst team in football, it was impressive for Marcus Mariota to have the type of debut that he did in Week 1. Did that performance come out of left field, and do you expect him to (somewhat understandably) face more of a "reality check" this week against the Browns?"
Jimmy: "The performance didn't come out of left field. While no one could have predicted his debut would have been THAT good, there had been nothing but positive reviews from anyone who watched Marcus Mariota this preseason. The Titans really feel like they have found their franchise quarterback.
With all of that being said, he is still a rookie quarterback. There are going to be some bumps in the road and the Browns have a better defense than the Bucs do. This will be a good test to see how he reacts against a 3-4 defense that actually has some regular season tape on him to study."
Chris: "Terrance West was recently shipped to the Titans via Cleveland. I know it's only been a little over a week since the Titans acquired West, but how have things been for him so far, and is there a chance he becomes the team's starting running back soon?"
Jimmy: "There is a chance he becomes the starter simply because the Titans don't have a lot of talent in the backfield. Bishop Sankey looked pretty good in week 1, but he has been underwhelming for the most part in his time with the Titans. The coaching staff has said they have like West's approach so far. Hopefully he learned his lesson in Cleveland and can overcome the immaturity issues he had there. If he does, there is a good chance he will have a pretty significant role in this offense."
Chris: "The Browns faced the Titans on the road in Week 5 last year. After a miserable start to the game, Cleveland pulled off the biggest road comeback in NFL history. Did that collapse stick out as a significant sore spot for Titans fans, or it is already a bit of an afterthought heading into this week's game, basically one year later?"
Jimmy: "Thanks for the reminder :). That loss really hurt at the time, but after the Titans went on to lose 10 of the next 11 games, it was just a blip on the radar."
Chris: "Dick LeBeau has taken over the Titans' defense. Without getting into too many details, what is the biggest difference Browns fans should expect to see from the Titans' defense this year compared to last year's encounter?"
Jimmy: "The biggest difference is the addition of Brian Orakpo. That gives them a true force off the edge- which they have been lacking for a very long time. You are very familiar with what LeBeau does after playing against his defenses in Pittsburgh for all of those years. He has brought most of those same philosophies with him to Tennessee. The results were really good in week 1. Hopefully we will see something similar in this game."
Chris: "Browns fans are really excited about NT Danny Shelton, who had an awesome preseason but got a bit of a "welcome to the NFL" moment when he was neutralized by Jets center Nick Mangold last week. How would you rate Titans center Brian Schwenke on a loose scale of "below average," "average," or "above average?""
Jimmy: "He's no Nick Mangold, that's for sure. I would put Schwenke in the "average" category. The one thing that bodes well for him in this match-up is his strength. He is pretty good at moving big dudes off the line of scrimmage, but I would expect him to have at least a little bit of trouble in the match-up against Shelton. "
Thanks again to Jimmy for taking the time to answer my questions.