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Camp Notebook: Titans Rest Chris Johnson's Ankle

Posted Aug 1, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s highly unlikely Chris Johnson and Shonn Greene will ever be mistaken based on their size or style of running, but the Titans were pleased Thursday with the way Greene filled in for Johnson, who was resting an ankle he rolled Wednesday.

With Chris Johnson resting an ankle Thursday, back-up running backs and fullbacks carried the load, with Shonn Greene working with the first-team offense. Click here for a slideshow.

Greene, who joined the Titans as a free agent, shared carries with Thomas Jones and LaDanian Tomlinson before becoming the primary back with the New York Jets and is comfortable in either role. He made it clear when he joined Tennessee that Johnson is the starter and he will be the change of pace.

“(Greene) feels comfortable being the lead guy. He’s done that before and he’s very willing to do that again,” Munchak said. “There’s going to be certain runs, maybe some trick plays that we won’t do with him as much as we would CJ because of their difference in speed. (Greene’s) a complete back, and that’s why we want him here and that’s why we think he’s going to make a big difference in our offense this year.”

Johnson said the ankle is “not too serious” and he would have played if the Titans had a game, but since the team is one week out from its preseason opener against Washington at LP Field, coaches and trainers told him “to sit this one out.” Asked how he’d treat it, Johnson said, “Ice, yeah, I don’t know about a lot of rest, but ice.”

The 5-foot-11, 233-pound Greene said he’s ready whenever Tennessee needs him but looks forward to being the smash element to accompany the 5-11, 203-pound Johnson’s speed.

“I think defenses will be tired from chasing CJ and I think we’ll get that downhill running game with me,” Greene said.

Greene and defenders have made contact several times during camp, including a hit Thursday (a day in full pads after Wednesday’s outing in shells and shorts) by linebacker Akeem Ayers on which both defenders went to the ground. Ayers and Greene welcome the chance to “thud up.”

“I think the defense kind of knows when I’m coming that they’ve got to brace and make sure they wrap up and tackle me so it’s good for them and it’s good for me,” Greene said. “That’s how I play the game and that’s how I’ve always played it, so it’s nothing new to me.”

The Titans also gave running back Jalen Parmele a day of rest. Parmele is competing with Darius Reynaud and Jackie Battle for third-string running back.

“Our backfield is full,” Greene said. “We’ve got guys that can do a lot of things, so with Jalen, D-Rey, those guys have some special talents and they all can contribute, whether it’s on offense or special teams. It’s good to see all of us out there competing.”

YOUNG DBs BONDING: Rookie draft picks Blidi Wreh-Wilson (third round), Khalid Wooten (sixth round) and Daimion Stafford (seventh round) have adjacent locker rooms and are rarely spending any time apart during training camp.

“We spend a lot of time with each other, from the hotel to here, we eat, go to meetings, everything,” Wreh-Wilson said. “It’s good to have the three of us together so we can make sure we’re on top of everything.”

Their days start with a shuttle ride from the team hotel to Saint Thomas Sports Park, spend some time in therapy tubs, attend meetings and participate in workouts, walk-through practices in the mornings and full-speed practices in the afternoon or evening, and then possibly attend more meetings.

The young defensive backs aren’t tired of each other, however. When one of them is doing an interview, another will try to distract that player.

“It’s a big bond, a brotherly bond that’s real good,” Wooten said.

All said they benefit from the opportunity to learn from each other and from veterans.

“We’ve got a great group of older guys that are there for us all the time,” Stafford said. “We can text them and ask them anything, so it’s pretty cool.”

CJ’s EARLY GRADE OF WARMACK: Johnson and the rest of the Titans got their first look at first-round pick Chance Warmack in full pads Tuesday and Thursday, and in shells and shorts Wednesday. Johnson said he’s liked what he’s seen so far.

“He’s been good and all since he’s been in camp and practicing with the (first team) and things like that,” Johnson said. “It’s a situation where he’s a very strong guy, a very big man, and once he gets going on somebody, it’s pretty tough for them to get off (the block), so he’s been doing a good job.”

GM Ruston Webster was one of several members of the organization to welcome guests from the Wounded Warrior Project.
Click here for a slideshow.

SPECIAL GUESTS: The Titans hosted a group from the Wounded Warrior Project at Thursday’s practice to show appreciation to the veterans and active duty military members who have served and sacrificed. The team gave each attendee a gift bag, and several players, including Johnson, Warmack, Jake Locker, Jason McCourty and fullback Collin Mooney, a 1st Lieutenant in the Army Reserve, welcomed the Warriors and signed autographs.

BRIEFLY: Munchak surprised players with a team-building trip to the bowling alley after Thursday’s practice. … Referees arrived Thursday and will stay through a mock game that the team has scheduled at LP Field, allowing players, coaches and officials to work through rule changes and get re-accustomed to game action. … Linebacker Colin McCarthy underwent an MRI because of soreness in his leg and did not practice. … Rookie linebacker Zaviar Gooden left the field via a cart but walked into the training room without assistance near the end of practice.

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