Titans hope for spark, long-term answer with Zach Mettenberger


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt maintained Monday that nothing had changed for his team from the quarterback perspective.

He echoed that in a conference call with Houston reporters and indicated to Nashville media that Jake Locker was doing better and would speak Thursday rather than Wednesday because the coach “figured we’d have a little more clarity.”

ESPN’s Adam Caplan has confirmed earlier reports that the Titans are turning to rookie Zach Mettenberger rathern than Locker or Charlie Whitehurst as the starter Sunday against the Houston Texans at LP Field.

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Raiders fear LaMarr Woodley’s bicep injury is serious


ALAMEDA, Calif. — The winless Oakland Raiders are getting more battered each week, and the latest casualty may be defensive end LaMarr Woodley.

Woodley suffered a biceps injury Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Raiders interim coach Tony Sparano said Wednesday the injury “could be” serious. The Raiders continue to evaluate Woodley, and there is concern he could be out several weeks.

Because biceps injuries can be difficult to gauge, the Raiders could be forced into putting Woodley on the injured reserve.

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Following up on Darrelle Revis being sent home from practice



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — In following up on the story of cornerback Darrelle Revis being sent home for being late to Tuesday’s practice, as initially reported by the Boston Globe, the conclusion I came to is this after speaking with multiple sources: Revis made a mistake, can probably expect to be fined by the team as is normally the case in situations like these, and was ultimately accountable for his actions by personally meeting with coach Bill Belichick later in the day to apologize.

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Percy Harvin can help, but only Geno Smith can save Geno Smith


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — We’re five days removed from the Percy Harvin trade, and there’s still an element of mystery surrounding the New York Jets’ motivation for the deal. One theory being floated is they believe a playmaker of Harvin’s ilk will accelerate the development of Geno Smith, assisting the organization as it formulates an evaluation of the quarterback over the final nine games.

I don’t think that was the primary reason for the trade. If it was, my question is this: Why didn’t they take that approach in the offseason?

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Drew Brees remains confident, excited for showdown with Aaron Rodgers


METAIRIE, La. — When you lose a game the way the New Orleans Saints did last week, coughing up a 13-point lead in the final four minutes at Detroit, quarterback Drew Brees said “it was painful for all of us.”

“It bugs you for like 24 hours. I mean, it really bugs you,” said Brees, who bluntly admitted after the game that he let his team down with a late interception.

Ultimately, though, Brees insisted that the way the Saints played for the first 56 minutes of that 24-23 loss at Detroit still breeds confidence that things are heading in the right direction.

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Expect another Drew Brees-Aaron Rodgers shootout


GREEN BAY, Wis. — There will come a time in Sunday’s game in New Orleans when one of the two quarterbacks won’t be able to keep up.

And it may be only because there’s no more time left.

When Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees get together — and it’s not often — the scoreboard operator usually gets a workout.

Nearly two thousand passing yards and 211 points combined in the only three head-to-head meetings between those two giants of the quarterbacking world is evidence enough that the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints appear headed for another shootout in the Superdome this Sunday night.

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Rex Ryan, playing role of reporter, grills Sammy Watkins


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — For the second time in two months, Rex Ryan played reporter.

The New York Jets’ coach popped his head into an interview room Wednesday during a conference call between the media and Buffalo Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins. Ryan joined the group and fired away.

“Sammy, I’ve got a question,” Ryan said. “How did you help Seth Ryan out? How’d he do out there? And if you could really help him, you wouldn’t play this game [on Sunday].

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Jaguars unsure how carries will be split


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Denard Robinson carried the ball 22 times for 127 yards and a touchdown in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ 24-6 victory over Cleveland last Sunday.

He might have more touches in Sunday’s game against Miami. Or fewer.

Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch isn’t yet sure how the carries will be split with Toby Gerhart expected to make his return for a foot injury. Robinson could get the bulk of the work again, or it could be the Gerhart show.

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Sidney Rice: Trading Percy Harvin was right move


RENTON, Wash. — Former Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Sidney Rice, who made an appearance in the team’s locker room Wednesday, said he believes trading Percy Harvin was the right thing to do.

“I was surprised, but at the same time, it may have been the best thing for the team,” Rice said. “It’s tough losing a guy like Percy. He’s one of a kind. The league has never seen a player like Percy Harvin.

“But there are certain things you’ve got to do to get the ball in his hands and it’s tough.

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Brock Vereen excited about family reunion


LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears first-year free safety Brock Vereen has had the date circled on his calendar for months.

Sunday’s game in New England potentially pits Vereen against old brother Shane — the Patriots’ starting running back and key contributor on offense with 259 rushing yards (one touchdown), and 23 receptions for 185 yards and two scores.

The brothers have yet to battle each other during a game — until now.

“After draft day obviously we looked up each other’s schedules,” Brock Vereen said.

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