NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
Warmack said he’s been making a trip to the cold tub after each practice to help his body recover physically and used organized team activity practices and this week’s pair of simulated games to learn from mistakes that occur when shifting from college to pro football.
The Titans are hoping their first-round pick (10th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft will make a splash on the field this fall, but Warmack has been very measured in his approach.
When asked if he felt more prepared for Tennessee’s first preseason game (Aug. 8 against Washington at LP Field) after playing in the two simulated games, Warmack said “I think in little pieces so the next thing right now is training camp (on July 25). I’m not even thinking about preseason right now.”
Warmack has been self-critical and often asks questions from Titans coach Mike Munchak and offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, who each made the Pro Football Hall of Fame as offensive linemen. He said it’s been a “great” learning lab, the kind he envisioned in the time between Alabama winning its third college football title in four seasons and the Titans’ selection of him. He spoke openly during that time about how much he wanted to come to Tennessee.
“Coach Matthews is hands-on with me all the time,” Warmack said. “We learn the same way, just putting pieces together like a puzzle. And then Coach Munchak is very detailed in steps and angles and everything like that so all I do is take little bits and pieces of what they’re saying and put it all together.”
Warmack said there were times in college when athleticism was enough to do the job but he’s noticed an increase in the athleticism of defenders at this level and is working on technique.
Even though pads and tackling are prohibited during the offseason programs, Munchak said Warmack has “gotten a lot better the last three or four practices” and increased his comfort level with what he’s doing.
“The great thing for him is he’s gotten a ton of reps and seen a lot of things,” Munchak said. “He’s seen about everything he’s going to see in the regular season already so he’s prepared that way. I think he’s seen the speed of the game because these guys are such good athletes you can practice pretty fast, and that’s a good tempo out there.”
The Titans wrapped up mini-camp on Wednesday when Munchak decided to end it a day ahead of schedule. Rookies returned Thursday for one more day before beginning a five-week break in the schedule that will end when players report back for camp on July 24.
Warmack and all 254 drafted rookies are scheduled to attend the NFL Rookie Symposium, which opens Sunday and includes a visit to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, and a Play 60 event at the Cleveland Browns’ headquarters.
AFC rookies are scheduled to attend Sunday through Wednesday, and NFC rookies will arrive Wednesday and stay until June 29. The symposium focuses on four primary tenets: NFL history, total wellness, experience and professionalism.
Warmack said he looked forward to finding the busts of Munchak and Matthews, as well as another former Alabama guard, John Hannah, and said his mother has a list of enshrines she wants him to locate. He won’t be able to find one of one of his favorite players — yet — because Larry Allen will not be enshrined until this August.
“I don’t think they made the sculpture of Larry Allen’s face in there yet,” Warmack said. “It’s going to be a good experience to go to and I’m excited.”