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Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt's 2014 Rookie Minicamp Report

Posted May 16, 2014

HEAD COACH KEN WHISENHUNT

(on the first day of rookie minicamp)

It’s always fun whenever you get these guys on the field. A lot of them right now are overwhelmed. Some of them got in last night and they’re trying to learn a lot of things in a short period of time. We were able to function today and that was good. We had a few mistakes, but overall the group worked hard and it was a good day, good start.

(on the rookies’ mindsets coming into their first day of minicamp)

There was probably a combination of pressing and competitiveness. You see both of those things. As much as you want to talk about ‘you’re not going to make the team today,’ once they get out here and their juices start flowing and they start competing, then they really start pressing. That’s part of the fun too.

(on seeing RB Bishop Sankey on the field)

It’s one practice. It’s really just the beginning, but you can see the movement skills that you like. He’s a smart guy. He’s one of the ones who came in last night. He performed well out there today without much time to process everything. Good hands- saw that a couple of times today. So far, so good.

(on rookie minicamp being a critical stretch for Bishop Sankey)

We’ll try to get him at least as much of a base as we can, so we can keep him up to date as we are putting things in and moving along. He’ll come back for the minicamp in the end. That’ll be a completely different thing because we’ll have pretty much everything in by then, so he’ll be playing catch-up most of the time. That’s the value of having that iPad though, where we can send him that information and send him the video, and hopefully that can help. He seems like an intelligent young man, so I think he’ll be able to handle a good portion of it.

(on the potential for Bishop Sankey’s absence to set him back)

It will set him back for now, no question, but we have all of camp. So it won’t affect him before we play a preseason game. It certainly won’t affect him as we go through the preseason.

(on any players standing out in the first practice)

The first play of practice today Zach (Mettenberger) threw one deep and we caught it, so that’s what you like to see out of your quarterback. (Taylor) Lewan looked good. He moved around well. I thought he did some good things out there, but it’s one practice. At times everybody looked good, and at times they all looked pretty bad, too. It’s one of those things, good and bad.

(on his expectations for Zach Mettenberger for this rookie minicamp)

He’s been in the building with the veterans, so this is not like he just came in last night. He handled himself well today. What you want to see out of him is how he manages the huddle, how he calls the plays, how he interacts with the team. I thought he was in command in the huddle. You can tell that he’s done this and it wasn’t too big for him. He handled the plays well. A lot of the details, as far as his footwork, some of the little technique things, we have to work on, but he had a good start.

(on Zach Mettenberger’s health, particularly his knee)

I wouldn’t say he’s 100 percent healthy. I’d still say he has some limitations and we’re trying to manage the different types of plays that he’ll have, not to put him in a bad situation. You get a little worried when you have guys flying around like they were today that someone may fall on him or nix him. His knee is stable, I just think he needs some more strength and he’ll continue to work.

(on restoring Zach Mettenberger’s confidence on the field)

He’s always been a guy that stands in the pocket. That’s one of the things that was impressive about him in college. He doesn’t seem like that’s (his injury) affected him. He probably knows he’s not going to get hit out here without pads on, but that will definitely be a progression for him. I think the biggest thing is getting strength back in his leg. They did a great job of rehabbing him at LSU. He’s way ahead of where you would think he would be. We just have to get the finishing strength back in it. He’s been working hard. He put in a good week of work last week, so we feel good about that.

(on his mindset for having so many players trying out for the team)

It’s a great opportunity to look at guys. Our scouts do a lot of work in preparation and not everybody is going to get signed, so this is an opportunity to bring these guys in and look at them. I’ve seen guys come out of this type of situation and make a team or have a good chance at competing for one. Obviously, we get to have enough bodies in here that we can run our plays. We can run through situations where you’re just not going to be able to do it if you don’t have the full team. It gives us a chance to really throw a lot of information at them and then have a chance to assess it in a team setting.

(on watching this draft class come together)

It feels good. It’s funny because you catch yourself looking at each one of them individually. Da’Quan Jones made a great play on a screen play in practice today. He came out, he recognized the play, he showed good movement on it and you’re like ‘okay, I like that.’ You kind of do that with all of your guys. It is the natural progression when you have new faces, especially ones that you invested picks on.

(on what the undrafted wide receivers who are trying out bring to the position)

That position for us- we need some good young players. We have three guys on our roster that we feel comfortable with. We have some other guys that have been here that are working hard to get there. Outside of that, we’re looking for opportunities at that position. I hope that these young players that are in here understand that and have a sense of urgency about it, because this could be a great opportunity for them. This is great for us, because we get to evaluate them in the settings of running routes against defenders, how they handle their adjustments, how they process the information. It’s very valuable for us.

(on what he’s seen from the undrafted wide receivers in practice today)

There are a lot of them out there, so I’ll get in there and look at the tape and have a better feel for it. It looked like we had some guys who were making some plays.

(on the value of rookie minicamp)

That’s the way the league is right now. They give you the opportunity to do this, so we’re taking advantage of it. This really is such a short period of time that we actually have the rookies and there’s such a big learning curve for them making this transition into the league that you have to be able to have that time. This is a valuable weekend for us to be able to work on football, see them execute the things on the field, be able to coach it and correct it, which can really aid in their development.

(on the schedule for the rookies over the next couple of days)

This day will repeat for them tomorrow. Same thing. Then we’ll have one Sunday. It’s almost the exact same thing as it was for the voluntary minicamp a couple of weeks ago. Same schedule. It’s a lot. It’s a lot of plays. They’ll get an opportunity to run, to have on tape that they can look at, to build off of.

(on the rookies who arrived prior to the beginning of rookie minicamp)

I think we were missing four, so there were 14 or 15 of them here. I would have to go back and check to see which ones were at school. Bishop (Sankey) was the only drafted guy who hasn’t been here. Of the undrafted free agents that we signed, there were two or three that had school commitments.

(on trying Marqueston Huff at cornerback)

He’s going to move around and we’ll see.

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