NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt slightly shortened Thursday’s minicamp practice that completed the team’s offseason program and told players to prepare for a “tough” training camp.
“I wanted to be able to focus and not be distracted by it being our last day,” Whisenhunt said. “I rewarded them a little bit by cutting some things out, and they responded by practicing well.”
Players are scheduled to have approximately five weeks of time away from Saint Thomas Sports Park but said they don’t consider it time off because they will study film and their playbooks on iPads and put themselves through individual training programs. They are scheduled to report back on July 25 and be on the field the following day.
“These next five weeks are going to be key to a lot of guys making the team or not making the team,” linebacker
Whisenhunt was asked to assess the progress made during the offseason program.
“I think as a coach, probably in your first year as a team, you’re never where you want to be, but I think as far as establishing the way we work and from an installation perspective, I think we’ve got a lot done,” he said. “The point we emphasized to the group today was that when we come back, it’s going to be tough. We’ve got to really pick it up and get going. That’s going to be the next test for this group: how they handle this next five weeks. The rookies, they don’t know what’s coming from the standpoint of how long this season can be but the veterans do and I hope they understand what it takes in this time to be ready when we start.”
“We definitely have a lot more work to do, and that’s what training camp is for,” McCourty said. “It’s important for guys to take a little bit of time for yourself and get right back to work because camp is going to be hard and we’re going to need every guy in the best shape of their life and we’ve got to be prepared to do some special things this year.”
“We’re closer, we know what we’re doing, we’re making plays and having fun, and as a team it’s the same thing so we’re out there competing and know the potential we have, so that’s going to motivate us to work harder,” McCluster said.
CLEARER PICTURE: McCourty said the picture of the offense and defense became “a lot more clear” than the curiosity that existed when the Titans announced the changes to the coaching staff. He said leaders tried to learn the system fast so they could help younger players.
“The coaches he brought in are all great coaches. They know how to win,” Whisenhunt said. “They’ve been on winning teams, so putting in a new playbook is always going to be difficult, but at the end of the day, I feel like everybody is getting it and they’re going to keep putting us in scenarios that put us in game-winning situations, so I feel like it’s been going good now.”
The remaining three Titans quarterbacks have joined the team since:
Whisenhunt said Whitehurst will enter training camp as the number two QB.
“That’s why we signed Charlie to come in here,” Whisenhunt said. “Charlie has had a good offseason. I think he’s done a really good job. I think Jake and he have both done well.”
Dickerson was drafted out of the University of Pittsburgh by the Houston Texans in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was offered a tryout over the course of minicamp.
Asked for an assessment of Dickerson, Whisenhunt said, “I think he’s more like Delanie Walker for us.”
“I’m kind of scared because I get enthusiastic sometimes and I don’t want to go overboard with the kids but I’m pretty sure I’ll have an awesome time with them,” Washington said.