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Notebook: Loggains Pleased with Progress

Posted Jun 6, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said Thursday that he’s pleased with the amount of work that’s been done in seven weeks of the nine-week offseason program even though a large amount has been done by younger players.

Loggains spoke before the sixth of 10 organized team activity practices and said he’s happy with what he’s seen out of quarterback Jake Locker, the offensive line, running backs, receivers and tight ends as the offense has been allowed to line up against the defense in helmets but without pads the past two weeks.

“We’ve been really excited about the work that we’ve gotten done. I feel like the team has really embraced and responded to the changes that our organization made as far as the offense and as far as the players we’ve brought in.”

It’s an important part of the calendar because it allows the coordinator who was promoted from quarterbacks coach for the final five games of 2012 to see initial plans in action and how returning and new players — either rookies or free agents who joined the team this offseason — execute on the field.

Loggains plans to use the four OTAs scheduled for next week and the team’s mandatory mini-camp (June 18-20) as additional assessment tools to prepare for the opening of training camp next month and this season.

“After the OTAs are finished we’ll go back and study this to see what we did well and who did what well,” Loggains said. “Once we go into training camp and even the mini-camp, we’ll make it more specific for what we’re going to be and who we’re going to be.”

Loggains echoed Titans coach Mike Munchak’s comments Tuesday that Chris Johnson will likely see more opportunities in the passing game than last season when he caught a career-low 36 passes. In addition to being a way to get the ball to the speedy playmaker in space, it will also give the offense more options, Loggains said.

“It needs to happen. When you’re going to run the football and throw play-action shots, if the play action is not there, you dump it down so it’s second-and-4, second-and-6 instead of second-and-10,” Loggains said. “It gives us the ability to keep calling those plays.”

The Titans have withheld players with minor injuries, tweaks and soreness from OTAs in order to rest them for the opening of training camp. Although he’d love to have the entire offense out there right now, Loggains also found a positive.

“The nice thing about it is we’ve been able to get a lot of guys a lot of different work that last year they probably wouldn’t have gotten this work as backups,” said Loggains, adding that players who have been sidelined, including second-round pick Justin Hunter with a hamstring, have been getting mental reps.

“I’m not frustrated with it because we were able to see him in rookie mini-camp and spent a lot of time evaluating him when he was coming out,” Loggains said. “I’d love to see him out here but it’s something that’s out of his control. He’s doing a great job right now of getting mental reps, being into practice, making sure he’s learning the new offense, that he’s on top of that so when he does get out here — hopefully next week — that he’s at full-speed.”

Titans rookie Brian Schwenke talks with offensive line coach Bruce Matthews before the team's sixth organized team activity.
Click here for a slideshow from that practice.

QUICK IMPRESSION: Loggains said first-round pick Chance Warmak and fourth-round pick Brian Schwenke have been “very impressive” on the offensive line but still have learning opportunities ahead. Warmack has been at right guard, and Schwenke has been at guard and center.

“Chance has been a pro. He’s a strong man. It’s been good when he’s gone to work against (Jurrell) Casey because some of the bad habits he had in pass pro, we’re seeing and able to fix,” Loggains said. “Schwenke was a guy we were very high on when we drafted him. He’s a 330-pound man that runs really well. We threw a slammer screen to Kendall (Wright) the other day, and Schwenke’s out leading the pack. He’s really fast so we’re excited about him.”

Loggains added that he wants Warmack “to keep moving his feet” in pass protection.

“At the college level, he was so strong that once he latched on, he was able to manhandle people so he’s going to have to continue to use his feet and improve that area of his game,” Loggains said.

McCOURTY vs. McCOURTY: The sibling rivalry between Titans cornerback Jason McCourty and his twin (Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty) will reach a milestone Sunday when the brothers team to host a 5k Run/Walk in their native state of New Jersey to raise money and awareness for their “Tackle Sickle Cell” campaign. The brothers are competing to see who (Team J-Mac or Team D-Mac) can raise the most money. The brother who raises the least amount of money must go to the other brother’s NFL home and dress up as Titans mascot T-Rac or Pat the Patriot.

“I’m trying to get Dev’ down here in the T-Rac mascot in the 90-degree weather and hang out somewhere in downtown Nashville,” Jason said.

As of Thursday morning, Jason said each brother had raised more than $12,000, setting the stage for a close competition this weekend. The brothers are offering donors a chance to win football tickets and a unique jersey that’s been created from part of Jason’s and part of Devin’s jerseys with each brother’s autograph. Click here to learn more about the campaign.

Jason said he’s enjoyed the unique structure of the campaign but even more the fact that the twins are helping sickle cell disease patients and their families. The twins have seen their family members battle the disease.

“Sickle cell disease has been in my family. My father had the trait and aunt and uncle both have the disease,” Jason said. “I’m very close to my aunt and have watched her struggle with it over the years, so for her to be able to call me the other day and say how proud she is, how we’re giving back to this cause, is a special feeling.”

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