NASHVILLE, Tenn. —
The Titans’ top pick of the 2014 NFL Draft and his rookie classmates joined veterans Tuesday for the first of 10 scheduled organized team activity practices over the next three weeks. Lewan said there wasn’t one specific emotion he encountered before taking the field at Saint Thomas Sports Park for his first action against veterans. He viewed the experience as a learning opportunity.
Lewan said veteran tackles
“It’s a lot different,” Lewan said. “There’s a way they practice, a way they do things. It’s a lot more crisp, a lot more clean, and obviously the talent and speed is a lot more.”
“He’s very energetic, he’s intense, a hard worker and wants to learn, so he’s eager and asking questions all the time,” Roos said. “It makes it easier to teach when someone wants to learn that much.”
CONTINUED LEARNING: The hiring of new coach Ken Whisenhunt and coordinators Jason Michael (offense) and Ray Horton (defense) has created an element of continued learning for veterans. Whisenhunt said it’s likely that the defense may be ahead of the offense when the offseason program culminates in a mandatory minicamp June 17-19.
“There’s more veterans interspersed through the defense, so from the standpoint of communicating on the field and handling that, they’ll probably (be ahead),” Whisenhunt said. “The defense always seems to get a head start, and I wouldn’t expect that to be different, but we had good competition, so hopefully the offense will be able to pick it up and make it a good battle.”
With the maximum of 90 players on the roster and a lot that he wants to accomplish, Whisenhunt opted to split the squad across two fields to increase the number of opportunities for each player.
“You’re trying to get reps for all of them so you can get a sense of where they are, but the tempo was good today,” Whisenhunt said. “I think we had a pretty good set, as far as mixing the reps so we got a chance to look at everybody and put them in different situations.”
Players noticed more reps and less rest on a day when the heat and humidity began its summertime climb.
“It’s non-stop learning. This is a big playbook and there’s a short amount of time, so we really have to know what we’re doing. Going back to those rookies asking us, it forces us to think about it and stay on top of our game,” McCluster said. “It’s always better getting out on the field and seeing a moving object and seeing who you have to block. You can sit in the classroom all day, and that’s where it starts, but there’s nothing like going out there and physically seeing it and doing it.”
FIRST AND SECOND: Whisenhunt said the Titans have plenty to install and work on during the rest of the OTAs and minicamp.
“We don’t have red zone in, we don’t have two-minute, we don’t have short-yardage and goal-line, so we’ve still got a lot to put in and a lot to go through,” Whisenhunt said. “(Tuesday) was just a small piece of it. We didn’t even do third downs. It’s a short period of time and we’ve got a lot to get in, but the guys are working hard and that’s really good.”
EQUIPMENT GRANT: Titans guard
Levitre received the grant after he was selected to the USA Football All-Fundamentals Team that honored 26 NFL players (11 offense, 11 defense, four special teams) in January.
“We’re real excited to have some new equipment and new supplies for the kids,” Camp Good Days & Special Times Executive Director Wendy Mervis said in a press release. “The kids are just going to be ecstatic when they see all the new stuff, and we can’t thank Andy and USA Football enough.”