NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coaches began work on the 2013 season before the calendar rolled over to January, coach Mike Munchak announced multiple changes to his staff in February, the personnel department signed 12 free agents since mid-March, but the third Monday of April finally offered the opportunity for players to spring — and sprint — forward to the new season.
Titans players convened on Baptist Sports Park for the first day of offseason conditioning drills that included strength assessments and running drills. They also attended introductory meetings with new coaches and teammates.
One of the newest faces, guard
“You’ve got a whole new atmosphere and meet all new people and make new friends,” Levitre said. “It’s been a smooth transition. There are a lot of good, friendly guys on the team. (It’s been) a little bit of learning, but mostly introductory stuff today, so it is just kind of getting back in the swing of things.”
Levitre’s transition was made smoother because new Titans
Levitre said Munchak expressed his belief that the changes and additions will enable the Titans to win enough games to be in playoff contention this season as opposed to waiting multiple years to reach the postseason.
“I think last year one of the main things when I looked at the roster, there was a lot of young talent,” Wimbley said. “We were able to add some guys with more experience, Super Bowl experience as well. The staff is a little different than it was, well, a lot different than it was, so I think adding those parts to this team as well as bringing back a lot of the players who were here last year, I think we’ve made improvements and I hope it shows. I’m pretty sure it will show.”
Wimbley played as a defensive end in a 4-3 alignment for Tennessee after playing his first six years in the NFL as an outside linebacker in a 3-4. Wimbley said it was a “learning experience” that he’s ready to build on, and he hopes that Tennessee can avoid injuries that limited its depth a year ago.
“I think guys are going to work harder based off what happened last year,” Wimbley said. “I think guys know what it takes now, and are going back and reviewing some of the things we did and addressing them in the offseason. I think everybody is starting with a clean slate right now, and I think it’s going to be on us, as far as how our season will turn out.”
“That’s what happens when you go 6-10. This business is about production and it’s about winning,” McCourty said. “Since I’ve been here, we haven’t been to the playoffs, so you definitely have to shake up the roster and we’ve got some new coaches in the building, so we’ve got to see how everybody jells together. That’s why this time is so important: guys out there running, lifting, getting to know each other, new faces, old faces and everyone just kind of getting a vibe off each other.”
WILLIAMS MEETS DEFENSE: Gregg Williams, who was hired this offseason as a senior assistant/defense, and defensive coordinator Jerry Gray addressed the team on Monday as well. It was the first time that McCourty had met Williams.
“His resume speaks for itself, so as a defense, we’re excited to learn from him and the combination of him and Coach Gray together,” McCourty said. “Their mindset and as much as they know about defense should definitely give us an edge.”
Wimbley said Williams expressed the high expectations he has for Titans defenders and that players want to meet those with a high level of play.
“He’s been around and been successful at the various places he’s been, and we feel like having him here will get us going in the right direction,” Wimbley said. “I can tell right now he’s expecting a lot, which is great because we shouldn’t expect anything less,” Wimbley said. “I think we expect a lot out of ourselves as well. He brought great energy in this first meeting, so I could tell there’s going to be a lot of that. I think that will be good for us.”
“NORMAL” BRITT: McCourty, who teamed with receiver
Britt had multiple knee surgeries between Week 3 of the 2011 season when he suffered a torn ACL and MCL and the 2012 season. McCourty said Britt looked great Monday.
“He was normal, laughing and joking,” McCourty said. “He did everything everybody else did in the lift and everything we all did in the running, so he was the normal Kenny Britt.”