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Camp Notebook: Warm Welcome Greets Chance Warmack

Posted Jul 30, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans teammates welcomed first-round draft pick Chance Warmack back to Saint Thomas Sports Park with a few jokes and genuine congratulatory words, and the weather did so with raindrops on Tuesday.

Warmack signed his rookie contract Monday afternoon after making sure his helmet and pads properly fit and participated in his first padded practice in the NFL Tuesday night. Although the Titans don’t comment on specific terms of a contract, Warmack’s rookie deal is for multiple years and multiple millions of dollars.

Chance Warmack, Tennessee's first-round pick of 2013, completed his first practice in full pads with the Titans on Tuesday.
Click here for a slideshow from the practice.

That aspect led Titans veterans to kid Warmack on Twitter about picking up the tabs for meals and providing gifts. The razzing continued in person.

“ ‘Big money is back. The new guy is here,’ all that stuff,” Warmack said teammates have told him. “It’s all good. I don’t know what they’re going to do to me, but I’ve got some money in the bank so I can make it happen now.”

Warmack, however, said he values the opportunity to be in an NFL locker room and play for the pro team he most wanted to join more than any big-ticket expenditure.

“This is more than enough right here, just being here practicing,” Warmack said. “I signed a contract and everything but I’m most happy just to be here and play football again.”

His welcome to the team also included singing “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” in front of the team.

“Maybe he’ll sing for (the media),” Titans coach Mike Munchak said after practice. “He shouldn’t though, really, but he did a good job in front of the team today. I think they’re all happy to have him in, and they know he’s going to be a difference-maker. So, they’re excited to have him here.”

On the field, the offensive line welcomed a projected starter at right guard, and the defensive line welcomed a worthy adversary. The plan is for Warmack to add power on the right side of the line, clearing a path for Chris Johnson and Titans running backs while fine tuning his pass protection for Jake Locker, and give Tennessee’s defenders a challenge that they want to reciprocate each day in practice.

“We’re going to give him everything we’ve got, so we’re going to come at him full-speed,” defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said before the night practice. “He ain’t going to get no break.”

While Warmack’s agent and the Titans worked out the final details of his deal, the 10th overall pick stayed in football shape with workouts in Tuscaloosa, where he helped Alabama win three of the past four national titles. He passed his conditioning test when he returned Monday and was ready to improve his game.

“I’ve got to go through training camp. Everybody here has an opportunity to be a starter. Everybody here has the skills to be a starter,” Warmack said. “I’ve just got to prove my (value) and prove my ability here and work hard just like everybody else. You either get better or worse every day, and if I have more good practices than bad, then I’m doing a good job, and I’ll be in that starting spot.”

Munchak said Warmack received about half of the first-team reps, including the first play of the team period that was a rush by Chris Johnson toward the right side of the line.

“We thought if he got 20-25 snaps tonight it would be good for him,” Munchak said. “Besides the individual work, he got all the reps (Tuesday) morning at more of the half-speed kind of practice. He felt comfortable. I knew he was going to have to work on (things) obviously, but it’s a good, good start for him. Now it’s just a matter of him getting used to the speed of the game because things will happen a lot faster than they were in June.”

GOOD USE OF DAY OFF: Guard Andy Levitre said he and linemen Rob Turner, Kasey Studdard and Daniel Baldridge used Monday’s day off to hit up Martin’s Bar-B-Que Joint. Levitre joined the Titans after spending four seasons in Buffalo and is using his free time to explore restaurants around town.

“I’ve already been to many different barbecue places and look forward to going many more times,” Levitre said.

Wearing a T-shirt from Martin’s on Tuesday between the team’s walk-through and its night practice, Levitre said it’s the best he’s found so far and said he enjoyed a ‘redneck taco’ with brisket and a half-chicken plate, but going with teammates allowed him to try some of theirs.

“We pretty much had a sampler of everything they had to offer,” Levitre said.

TITANS REST SCHWENKE: Munchak said the Titans are likely to rest rookie Brian Schwenke the rest of this week, but were encouraged by MRI results.

“It worked out better on his MRI and stuff,” Munchak said. “I think it’s just first degree, so I would assume he’ll miss this week. That’s one of those things like when Stewart had the hamstring that time. We’ve just got to be careful with big guys so I would imagine we’ll be careful. I would imagine he would be out this week and we’d start looking at next week.”

NEW RECEIVER: The Titans added WR Justin Hilton and waived WR Travis Harvey on Tuesday. Hilton (6-foot-2, 190 pounds) originally joined the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. He was waived following training camp and re-signed later in the season to the Bengals practice squad. Hilton played his final two years of college football at Indiana State, where he led the team in receiving as a senior and totaled 73 career receptions for the Sycamores.

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