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Titans RB Dion Lewis Slams ‘Cheap’ Patriots After Tennessee Beatdown of New England

Titans running back Dion Lewis opened up about how he feels about the New England Patriots just minutes after his team, the Tennessee Titans, defeated them, Nick Shook of NFL.com reports.

“It’s a real sweet win,” Lewis said of Tennessee’s 34-10 triumph over New England, per NFL Network’s Michael Giardi. “Especially when you used to be there and they didn’t want to bring you back. Definitely real sweet.”

A quick history lesson on Lewis: The running back who followed in LeSean McCoy’s footsteps at the University of Pittsburgh first flourished with the Philadelphia Eagles before ending up in Cleveland, where he broke his leg in the preseason while with the Browns in 2013. That left him without a job for most of 2014, but not for long, as the Patriots signed him to a low-risk futures contract on New Year’s Eve.

Lewis flourished from there with New England, so much that when it was time for a new deal, he had more than one suitor. According to Lewis, the team he gave his heart and soul to in exchange for on-field success didn’t want to open the checkbook to keep him around.

Lewis was expendable. That burns.

He got his revenge Sunday, when his Titans beat the Patriots with a total team effort, sending them back to New England with their tail between their legs after an unexpected result. Lewis rushed 20 times for just 57 yards and caught two passes for 11 yards, but it was the fashion (see: dominant) in which the Titans beat the Patriots that made it so sweet for the running back.

“Hell yeah it’s personal,” Lewis said. “That’s what happens when you go cheap. You get your ass kicked.”

Titans at Bills NFL Week Five Inactives

Here’s today’s inactives for the Bills matchup at home against the Titans

Titans

QB Austin Davis
RB Dalyn Dawkins
DE Matt Dickerson
OT Dennis Kelly
OT Aaron Stinnie
S Kenny Vaccaro
LB Wesley Woodyard

Bills

OG Ike Boettger
S Rafael Bush
S Micah Hyde
CB Dontae Johnson
OT Conor McDermott
RB Marcus Murphy
OG Wyatt Teller

New Titans CB Malcolm Butler Not Happy with His First Few Games in Tennessee

The Titans signed cornerback Malcolm Butler to a five-year deal this offseason, but the cornerback has struggled in his first four games with his new team.

The issues are rooted in some of the basics of his position, Malcolm Butler insists. Things within his control, Erik Bacharach of the Tennessean reports.

“Eye control, fundamentals,” the Titans cornerback said, shaking his head. “Just a lot of stuff I’m beating myself on.

“It’s very frustrating. I know it’s frustrating to the fans. (It’s) going to get better, man. It’ll get better.”

“It’s eye control and awareness,” Butler said before elaborating. “Just having your eyes on your man instead of the quarterback. Just something I got to work on and stop being so aggressive and let plays come to me instead of going to plays.”

It was the fourth touchdown pass Butler has allowed in as many games this season, his first with the Titans (3-1), who next play the Buffalo Bills (1-3) on Sunday (noon, CBS).

“Just got to play smarter,” said Butler, who had 10 tackles and a sack against the Eagles. “Not get beat, man. It’s things I’m doing on my own. It’s things I can fix. Just got to keep playing and just keep swinging my way out of the slump. I’ve got to keep swinging.”

Video: Titans Grind Out Overtime Win Over Super Bowl Champion Eagles 26-23

Titans Coach Mike Vrabel Says Marcus Mariota’s Status Hasn’t Changed

Titans coach Mike Vrabel told reporters quarterback Marcus Mariota’s situation has not changed, and the team will not rush him back into the starting lineup.

Vrabel said the status of Mariota, who has had trouble gripping a football since injuring his elbow in the season opener, “is probably the same as it was Friday or Saturday,” which is when the team decided Blaine Gabbert would start Week 2 against the Houston Texans. Gabbert finished 13 of 20 for just 117 yards and a touchdown but led a game-winning field goal drive in the final minutes.

“There’s some things (Mariota) can do, and there’s some throws that he can’t really comfortably make,” Vrabel said. “It could be something that actually … gets better overnight, and it gets better tomorrow. So that’s kind of where we’re at. We’re waiting to see, and every day is a new day.”

New Titans CB Malcolm Butler is Over the Questions About Not Playing in the Super Bowl in February

Malcolm Butler is getting used to hot chicken, but the process has been gradual.

“Might eat a little hotter next time,” the Titans cornerback said, “but I’m going to take my time.”

Butler has embraced his move to Nashville, and, in a larger sense, a change of scenery. It helps with turning the page, though Butler will tell you he did that months ago, Erick Bacharach of the Tennessean reports.

“I’ve been turned the page,” he said. “Probably a week or two after the situation.”

Butler, a former New England Patriot and offseason acquisition by the Titans, still can’t escape the questions, though.

Why were you benched for last season’s Super Bowl? Why did Patriots coach Bill Belichick not play you for the biggest game of the year after having you start 15 games in the regular season and two in the playoffs?

“I most definitely get tired of (the questions),” Butler said. “Every reporter shooting their shot when they know they’re going to get the same answer. But, you know, everybody wants to know, and what I tell everybody is just ‘coach’s decision.’ And I’ve moved on. I’m a Tennessee Titan and I’m glad to be one.”

“Malcolm’s got a lot to prove,” Titans secondary coach Kerry Coombs said. “Malcolm’s a competitive guy. He competes at everything he does. He wants to win at everything he does, he wants to win at every rep and he wants to let you know when he beats you. And I love that about Malcolm.”

Like all those Super Bowl questions, Butler uses a repeated answer to inquiries about his intensity in practice.

“I’m real motivated.”

Titans Not Sure if OT Jack Conklin Will Be Ready to Go in Week One

It is “too early” to say whether Titans right offensive tackle Jack Conklin will be ready for Week 1 of the regular season according to Jim Wyatt of titansonline.com.

Conklin missed OTAs due to January ACL surgery and will likely start training camp on the active/PUP list. The 8th-overall pick in the 2016 draft out of Michigan State, Conklin was one of the top pass-blocking right tackles in the league before going down in the playoffs. The Titans have a proven backup in Dennis Kelly if Conklin isn’t back for Week 1.

New Titans OC Matt LaFleur’s Goal in OTA’s? To Make QB Marcus Mariota Comfortable

The Titans have a new offensive coordinator in Matt LaFleur entering 2018, and his main goal in early mini camps is to make sure quarterback Marcus Mariota knows what he’s doing in terms of learning the teams’ new offense.

Mariota is busy learning his latest NFL offense, and knows that it will be maybe the biggest offseason story line for the Titans as he gets set for his 4th season in the NFL.

“I’m just trying to grasp everything,” Mariota said Tuesday. “You don’t want to be opinionated on something that you have never run. I just try to go out there and execute, and do what they’re asking me to do. When we come back and we have to determine some of these things, and determine what we like and what we don’t like, I’ll definitely express my opinion.”

That’s exactly what LaFleur expects, even if he’s learning that getting the polite Mariota to speak up isn’t always easy.

“He’s an extremely bright guy,” LaFleur said. “He’s picked it up pretty quickly. Again, I think it’s more or less just having that confidence in being able to go out there and not think so much when he’s playing. So the more reps he’s been getting, the better he’s been doing.”

Having Marcus happy, and having the Titans firing all the way around on offense could lead to some big success for Tennessee in the 2018 season.