Gray wants Titans safeties to use physical style

With his Tennessee Titans defense facing the challenge of containing Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense, defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said he wants to see his defensive backs, and especially his safeties, take a physical approach.</p>

The Titans have had issues stopping gains by tight ends and receivers down the middle of the field at times the past couple of years, and Gray says one way to rectify that is by being physical and not worrying about being hit with fines. With 6-7 tight end Jimmy Graham and 6-4 receiver Marques Colston coming to town, the Saints have some imposing targets.

“The thing is, the safety has got to come down and hit him and help him out. The biggest thing I think in this league is you've got to put fear in guy's hearts from throwing the ball in the middle of the field,” Gray said via “And if that means getting a letter from the commissioner on Monday, that means getting a letter from the commissioner.

“But a lot of times, you've got to let these guys know you're not going to throw the ball in the middle of the football field. This is not a basketball game. It's a football game, so the ball doesn't go down the middle of our field. That's what safeties are supposed to do in this league.”

Strong safety Chris Hope agreed, saying, "Sometimes the only way you can make it an even playing field is not to be dirty, but just to play physical,” Hope said. “When you play those high-scoring offenses, sometimes they're a little bit more finesse than other offenses that want to ground and pound you and beat you to sleep physically.”

Just how physical the Titans are allowed to be with the Saints on Sunday could be one key if they are to pull the upset.

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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for

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