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Three Quick Hits from Tuesday's Practice

Posted Jan 2, 2018

TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers three quick hits from Tuesday's practice at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans just wrapped up practice on Tuesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

On Saturday, the team will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs, at Arrowhead Stadium.

Three quick hits: 

Byard’s bucket list

Titans safety Kevin Byard intercepted an NFL-best eight passes during the regular season. Throw in his two fumble recoveries and he tallied 10 takeaways.

Byard is coming off a two-interception game in the season finale against the Jaguars.

But heading into the postseason, Byard still has an item missing from his statistical bucket list.

“I am just hoping to get into the end zone this time if I can get an interception,” Byard said. “That is still on my bucket list — that is one thing I have not crossed off yet. That is my whole thing, just trying to help this team any way possible.”

Byard and the Titans will be challenged against the Chiefs, and quarterback Alex Smith. On the season, Smith is the NFL’s highest rated passer (104.7), and he’s thrown just five interceptions.

The Chiefs have one of the league’s most dangerous tight ends in Travis Kelce, who has 83 catches for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns.

“He is not going to make a lot of mistakes, so we are going to have to force him to make some mistakes,” Byard said of Smith. “And we have to make plays when they come to us.”

Byard said he’s excited about what’s ahead for the Titans.

“It’s playoff time,” Byard said. “I dream about to matchups, going up against guys like Kelce, and going up against Andy Reid, a Hall of Fame level coach. He’s a great coach. And going into Arrowhead Stadium, one of the louder stadiums. I don’t think there’s better you can ask for in the first week of the playoffs.”

Derrick Henry assessment

Running back Derrick Henry started in place of DeMarco Murray on Sunday against the Jaguars, and depending on Murray’s status for Saturday, he’s in line for a big workload against the Chiefs.

Henry carried the ball 28 times for 51 yards against the Jaguars, for a 1.8-yard average.

Henry also scored on a 66-yard touchdown catch on a screen play. But Henry also went the wrong way on a botched handoff from quarterback Marcus Mariota, which resulted in a scoop and score by Jacksonville.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey was asked to assess Henry’s play vs the Jaguars.

“You’d like to have some of those carries back where we lost some yards going sideline to sideline,” Mularkey said of Henry. “For his size, I think he could hit some of those holes a little firmer and move the pile – but that’s a young back. The experience will help him do that, but I know he’d like to have some of those negative plays that we had (back).

“But the next thing you know he bounces outside, stiff-arms a guy and goes all the way down the field (for a TD). There’s things he’s learning as he goes. … All the carries he had, I thought it was a great experience for him.”


Murray (knee) did not practice on Tuesday, but Mularkey said “I’m not going to rule him out. I’d probably never do that with him.”

Cornerback Brice McCain (hamstring) was limited in practice.

Cornerback Kalan Reed and tight end Jonnu Smith are in the concussion protocol, but did everything in practice on Tuesday, Mularkey said.