NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Labor Day has been anything but a break for the Titans organization. There hasn’t been a dull moment for the team’s front office over the past 72 hours as the Titans are now down to 53 players with their practice squad intact.
Whisenhunt said opportunities presented themselves to improve the team and there’s often a lot of turnover in the first year with a new coaching staff.
The biggest move of the day was the addition of veteran kicker Ryan Succop, 27, who had been released by the Chiefs over the weekend. Succop is the most accurate kicker in Chiefs franchise history, making 81 percent of his field goal attempts (119/147) during his five seasons in Kansas City.
He’s a proven commodity in this league which made him very attractive to the Titans. In turn, the Titans waived undrafted rookie Travis Coons, who had temporarily beat out Maikon Bonani.
“He’s a veteran kicker. He’s had what, five or so game winning kicks?” said Whisenhunt before throwing out a few other impressive statistics. “We felt very good about Travis [Coons] and what he did in training camp, but we felt like we had a chance to get a veteran kicker that had done it, who was thought to be still in the prime of his career and had good stats. We felt like it was a really good move for our team.”
Whisenhunt didn’t know whether other teams were chasing Succop, but was glad to have locked him up here in Tennessee.
“You’d have to talk to personnel guys about that,” said Whisenhunt. “There were a number of guys who were out there and he was the one we had rated the highest, so we pursued him and we got him.”
“I don’t think it’s sunk in that it’s a regular season week,” said Whisenhunt. “Today is an extra day so it’s a bit different, but as the week progresses it will sink in. We had a little bit of time with our players today and there’s a different feel with how we’re preparing and how we’re working.”
The biggest transition from a preseason week to the regular season is the ability to finally put together a full game plan, something that never happens during exhibition games.
“It’s more geared toward your opponent,” said Whisenhunt. “Training camp is more geared toward competing. We’ll have a number of set of plays that we’re preparing for and we’ll have looks that we’re preparing for. We’re more geared into specific personnel playing specific spots as opposed to not really knowing anything about the guy lining up over you like in preseason.”
The team will also announce captains later this week. All captains will be chosen by the players who placed their votes today.
When asked about how he feels about his team, Whisenhunt joked that every team feels good at this time of the year -- very team is undefeated and full of hope for what the season will bring.
He ended on a more serious tone, reiterating that he isn’t asking for patience from anyone. It’s not the first time Whisenhunt has made a similar comment, but he has left no doubt that he expects results now.
“We have a chance to be a good football team,” Whisenhunt reaffirmed. “I still say what I said before – our expectations are that we’re going to be a good football team. We’re not asking for patience. We want to win and we expect to win.”
The Titans finalized their 10-player practice squad on Monday. Here’s a list of the 10: