Redskins

Munchak: Titans need to make push in next 6 games

Munchak: Titans need to make push in next 6 games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee coach Mike Munchak's pitch to the Titans is that they can be the team making a late run into the playoffs in their final six games.

Munchak challenged his team Monday to have at least made a run by the time the regular season ends.

``It seems to happen every year in the league,'' Munchak said. ``This is our opportunity, our chance to be that team. That's how they have to believe it, that's how they have to work. ... It's up to you, if you want to have that kind of season and that kind of finish, or do you want to have the other kind, which I don't think any of us want.''

The Titans (4-6) returned to work Monday morning after a six-day break with meetings and film study. They broke down their own mistakes and strengths through the first 10 games. Munchak then put them through a practice touching on everything from scoring inside the 20, 2-minute offense and the run game.

He said they saw what they're capable of Nov. 11 when they routed Miami 37-3 in a complete game. The defense forced four turnovers. The special teams showed up. And Chris Johnson ran for 126 yards while Jake Locker threw for two touchdowns in his return from a shoulder injury.

As far as the AFC playoff race goes, the Titans are one of five teams bunched at 4-6 behind Cincinnati (5-5). Indianapolis and Pittsburgh are both 6-4. So, there's a lot be decided, and Munchak is going to feed off that.

``We have to win a lot of football games, but if we do, then we're right in the middle of this thing. But we have to win,'' Munchak said. ``What happens around us, you need the right teams to lose, obviously, along the trail.''

Tennessee has put together only one winning streak this season when it beat Pittsburgh and won at Buffalo. They lost in overtime to Indianapolis when they had a chance at a third straight.

Cornerback Alterraun Verner said the Titans feel confident they can respond.

``We're in a six-game playoff before the playoffs where we can't really afford to lose any of these games,'' he said. ``If we can take care of our business and do what we're capable of doing, we can easily win all six of these games.

``We just can't look ahead.''

The final six games won't be easy even though they visit Jacksonville (1-9) on Sunday for the first of two games with the Jaguars down the stretch. The other four feature Houston (9-1), the Jets (4-6) and trips to Indianapolis and Green Bay (7-3).

The Titans first need to prove they can win a game inside the AFC South. The Jaguars contest starts a three-game stretch inside the division for Tennessee, and the Titans already have losses to Houston and the Colts this season. Jacksonville has won two of the last three in this series, and the Jaguars just missed a big win in Houston before falling 43-37 in overtime on Sunday.

``People get so caught up in records,'' Munchak said. ``There you have 1-8 versus 8-1, and the 1-8 team should have won probably, had many chances to win that game. We understand what that's all about, and it's going to be a great game for us and a tough game for us to win in Jacksonville.''

Monday's film session brought everyone together after the bye. The coaches spent the time without players self-scouting themselves, and they had plenty of bad football to study with Tennessee giving up an average 31.1 points per game with too many turnovers.

Looking back, linebacker Colin McCarthy believes the team is in the right frame of mind.

``It's kind of late now to focus on the bad things,'' he said. ``Focus on the good things we've done, build on that and put together a game plan so we can attack Jacksonville and be efficient.''

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker on Twitter at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

roster_prediction_hero_image.png
Various sources

Need to Know: Post-minicamp Redskins 53-man roster projection—Offense

Here is what you need to know on this Monday, June 18, 38 days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

Redskins 53-man roster projection—offense 

It may still be early to project the roster, but things are coming into focus after the round of practices in helmets and shorts. Here is my look at who I think will make it on offense; defense up tomorrow. 

Quarterbacks (2)
Alex Smith, Colt McCoy

I think that Kevin Hogan is very much on the bubble as the third quarterback. They got along with two QBs last year, and with Alex Smith having demonstrated great durability during his career, Hogan may well get bumped off. 

Running backs (4)
Derrius Guice, Chris Thompson, Samaje Perine, Rob Kelley

I’d say that this is 95 percent locked in. Maybe Kapri Bibbs or Byron Marshall can make a push for Kelley’s roster spot but his history with Jay Gruden will make it very hard for him to get knocked out. 

Wide receivers (6)
Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson, Jamison Crowder, Maurice Harris, Robert Davis, Trey Quinn

The first time I did this back in April I didn’t have Quinn on the roster. That was before he was a man among boys at rookie camp and a player who looks like he belongs when the veterans showed up. I don’t know if he’ll have the impact that many fans think he will, but he’s certainly going to get his chance. Brian Quick could steal a roster spot from Harris or Davis.

Tight ends (3)
Jordan Reed, Vernon Davis, Jeremy Sprinkle

The Redskins did not draft a tight end or sign one in free agency so there seems to be faith that Reed will be healthy. We’ve heard that before and it seems somewhat risky to leave Davis, who has Father Time nipping at his heels, and the inexperienced Davis as the only two backups. They may try to make room for an undrafted rookie like Hudson Garrett.  

Offensive line (9)
Trent Williams, Shawn Lauvao, Chase Roullier, Brandon Scherff, Morgan Moses, Ty Nsekhe, Geron Christian, Tyler Catalina, Tony Bergstrom

I think that Gruden is probably happy with the starters here but the depth is shaky, especially in the interior. The key could be whether Christian is ready for prime time as the swing tackle. That could allow Nsekhe to fill in at guard. Bergstrom is fine as the backup center, although I wouldn’t want to have to count on him for more than a few games. 

Offensive players: 24
Rookies (3):
Guice, Christian, Quinn
New to the organization in 2018 (5): Rookies plus Smith, Richardson 
Not on 2017 Week 1 roster (11): Rookies plus new plus Harris (practice squad), R. Davis (practice squad) and Bergstrom (not on the team). 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

Tandler on Twitter

An Indiana state police officer tweeted that he pulled a driver over for going too slowly in the left lane. I believe this person is a national hero. 

Timeline  

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 38
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 52
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 75

The Redskins last played a game 167 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 83 days. 

In case you missed it

Quick Links

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

brown_pryor_usat_ig.jpg
USA TODAY Sports/@TerrellePryor

Zach Brown says Redskins defense will 'have it out' for Terrelle Pryor during joint practices

Terrelle Pryor made a number of highlight reel catches last year during training camp, and it appears the Redskins defense didn't like it. 

Washington's marquee free agent signing last season, Pryor came into Richmond with sky-high expectations. Throughout the training sessions last August, Pryor put on one-handed displays at the Jugs machine and often made big catches in team drills. It's also important to remember there was never any live tackling during these drills, leaving defenders at a distinct disadvantage. 

Zach Brown remembers the scene quite well, and thinks it will look very different this summer when Pryor comes to Richmond as a member of the New York Jets. 

"That’s going to be something right there. The boys are gonna have it out for him. We can put hands on him now," Brown said on Inside the Locker Room on the Team 980 (full audio here).

Brown explained that Redskins coach Jay Gruden would not allow the defense to hit Pryor last year, even when the wideout did some showboating. 

"Jay ain't here to protect you anymore," Brown said.

The Redskins linebacker explained that he tried to explain to Pryor that the one-handed catches from training camp would not translate in the NFC East, where players get hit hard. It doesn't seem like Pryor listened, as he finished the season with only 240 receiving yards on 20 catches in nine games. 

"The boys were already hot for what he was doing last year," Brown said. He added, "Try to one-hand something while you’re with the Jets, you’re gonna catch a forearm."

One incident that supports Brown's comments came when Bashaud Breeland got thrown off the practice field last training camp. Breeland got mad that he wasn't allowed to get physical with Pryor at the line of scrimmage, and the scene blew up. Breeland eventually got sent off the field after arguing with coaches. 

The Jets visit the Redskins for three days of practices beginning August 12th. The two teams then square off in the second preseason game on August 16th. 

Brown will get his chance at Pryor, assuming the wideout plays. Pryor finished the 2018 season on the injured reserve, but is expected to be fine once training camp begins in New York. 

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

#REDSKINSTALK PODCAST

Don't forget to subscribe to the #RedskinsTalk podcast, hosted by JP Finlay.

Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcastshere for Google Play or press play below.