Monday's Training Camp Observations

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were back on the field on Monday for the fifth day of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Here’s a look at what stood out:

  • The Titans practice was a live scrimmage most of the way, and it was lively. There was no tackling during the scrimmage portion, but the team practiced game-like scenarios. We saw a lot of punter Brett Kern, as the defense held its own most the day.
  • Cornerback Rico Gafford got defenders jacked up with a big hit at the end of 1-on-1 open field tackling drills. Defenders swarmed him as the horn blew, and practice continued. Former Titans safety Michael Griffin, who is working with the coaching staff as intern, jumped in to celebrate Gafford’s hit as well. Gafford showed up with a nice play later in practice as well.
  • Quarterback Marcus Mariota connected on some throws during the session, but the offense sputtered. Mariota lost the handle when he took off running on one play early while being chased by linebacker Derrick Morgan. Safety Kevin Byard picked the loose football up, and raced the other way. Mariota was under pressure on numerous throws, and the secondary forced at least one coverage sack as well.
  • Running back Derrick Henry busted up the middle with a nice run into the secondary early, and he had some nice runs on the day. But a lot of the running plays were blown up by the defense. Linebacker Will Compton knocked Henry down with a big lick after a short grab, and left tackle Taylor Lewan got in Compton’s ear.
  • Receiver Taywan Taylor had the catch of the day on a two-minute drill, hauling in a pass from Mariota on the sideline downfield. It would’ve been a gain of at least 30 yards. Taylor lost the handle on the football after making a catch in the middle of the field, however.
  • Linebacker Aaron Wallace stood out with some nice plays throughout, both in run defense and rushing the passer. Wallace was on the field a lot on Monday, and was very noticeable.
  • Linebacker Jayon Brown continued to make plays in practice. He did a nice job knocking the ball away from tight end Delanie Walker downfield after Mariota threw a strike that hit Walker in the hands. Brown, however, got the ball out.
  • Linebacker Gimel President has made some plays in recent practices. He busted into the backfield and blew up a running play after David Fluellen caught a pitch back to him.
  • With three tight ends out, Anthony Firkser from Harvard got reps with the first team on Monday and made some nice catches. 
  • Defensive lineman Julius Warmsley, praised by coach Mike Vrabel on Sunday, got some quality work with the first team as well.
  • Michael Campanaro worked with the first team unit on punt returns, and Adoree’ Jackson was second in line catching punts.
  • Walker was a workhorse, making a number of catches across the middle. He also made a nice diving catch during practice.
  • Safety Kendrick Lewis had a good day. He busted into the backfield to make a stop on Fluellen, and he broke free from a blocker to get running back Dion Lewis out of bounds on a screen play that looked like it had a chance to go the distance.
  • With the offense backed up close to the goal line, linebacker Daren Bates got to quarterback Blaine Gabbert for what would have been a safety.
  • Safety Dane Cruikshank was in good position when Gabbert looked for receiver Tajae Sharpe deep, and the ball fell to the ground.
  • Receiver Darius Jennings made a nice catch downfield on a ball thrown by Gabbert late in the session 
  • By my count, kicker Ryan Succop converted on 6-of-8 field goals on the day in the live scrimmage portion of practice.
  • Six wounded veterans from the U.S. and UK arrived at Titans camp and met with coaches and players after practice. The veterans, from the Walking with the Wounded “Walk of America”, are making their way through Nashville during the 1,000-mile walk across the United States. 
  • James Shaw Jr., the hero from the Waffle House shooting in Antioch earlier this year, visited Vrabel after practice. He’s scheduled to talk to the team in a meeting on Monday night.
  • Receiver Rishard Matthews missed his fifth straight day of practice, and Vrabel confirmed after practice he was placed on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list earlier in training camp.
  • Linebacker Brian Orakpo, linebacker Rashaan Evans, tight end Jonnu Smith, tight end Luke Stocker, defensive lineman Claude Pelon, center Nico Falah.
  • Receiver Corey Davis returned to practice after missing practice on Sunday.
  • The Titans have an off day scheduled for Tuesday.

Next practice: Wednesday, 9:50 am-noon.

The Titans take the field for Day 5 of training camp on Monday, July 30, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn)

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