McRath injury means opportunities for Brown

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Titans Insider, Aug 23, 2012.

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    With linebacker Gerald McRath out for the season with a knee injury, the Titans will lose some depth and experience at the weakside linebacker position.

    The silver lining is that McRath’s departure will mean more reps for rookie linebacker Zach Brown, the Titans’ second-round draft pick. Will Witherspoon remains the team’s starter as the weakside linebacker, but expect Brown to get some first-team reps in practices and preseason games.

    “We know what ‘Spoon is going to bring for us,” Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said. “Will is going to bring leadership, toughness. He’s going to be out there at the weakside linebacker and we’re not going to wear him out.

    “(But McRath’s injury) does give us a chance to see the young fella’ go out there and play with (Akeem) Ayers and (Colin) McCarthy, and just see how he fits. Is he out of place? Is he panicking? … It’s bad we had to lose (McRath) in order for that to happen, but to me, I think it helps us evaluate him.”

    It appears Witherspoon will keep his starting role when the regular-season starts, but the Titans don’t want Brown – or themselves – to be caught in a bind if the rookie is pressed into a lot of action.

    “If Will gets hurt or nicked up for a game or two, can (Brown) go in and play at a high level?” Gray said. “You don’t want to see young guys have to go in and play. You really want to see your team play at a high level with veteran guys.

    “But we’ve been blessed to have young guys and the young guys have been playing well. We’re not looking to replace him, but if ‘Spoon gets hurt, we don’t want to panic and … have our first time putting (Brown) out there Week Three or Four and we’re kicking ourselves because we didn’t do it on the preseason.”

    Source: Titans Insider
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