Ben Heeney vs. Marcus Mariota
Again, we get to another disappointment on this defense, as Ben Heeney was expected to be a major leader on this defense.
Athletically, Heeney should be able to cover many TEs and LBs and physically, there is no reason to think that he shouldn’t be able to fulfill his duties in run defense. That hasn’t been the case though as Heeney has been a major liability in coverage and has been unable to tackle anyone.
He is slow to fill holes, misses plays in the backfield and gets lost in coverage. If Heeney is going to contribute to this defense, he will have to regain confidence and help the team as a leader on defense against the young QB in Tennessee.
Marcus Mariota is starting to come into his own as an NFL QB, and while it is still too early to tell what his career will entail, it is readily apparent that Mariota is a talented and gifted athlete with a good head on his shoulders.
Mariota has thrown two TDs and one INT in both of his games this season, and his team is 1-1. This season will be pivotal in his development and the future success of the Titans.
Heeney needs to make an impact as a defensive leader, controlling aspects of the defense that will put him and the team in better position to defend the Titans offense.
While Heeney doesn’t have the green dot anymore and will likely loose snaps to rookie Cory James, he still needs to contribute to the defense if it is going to be successful. He needs to play a chess match with Mariota at the line of scrimmage and help the defense be in position, even if he isn’t ready to contribute physically.