NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans take the field for their sixth day of organized team activities on Friday.
The team has four more OTAs scheduled for next week, and the team’s three-day minicamp begins on June 12 at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Here’s a look at six things that have stood out so far:
Quality at cornerback**
The Titans have come a long way here. Logan Ryan, Malcolm Butler and Adoree' Jackson make up a really solid threesome, but the Titans also have solid depth with LeShaun Sims and Tye Smith, guys who’ve played in some key moments in their young careers. The group has looked good, and they’ve presented a challenge for the team’s receiving corps. And don’t sleep on underdog Joseph Este, who has been scrappy early.
There’s a new sheriff in town, and his name is Mike Vrabel. It’s been fun watching the new Titans head coach in practices. He’s in the middle of the action, whether it’s working drills or correcting players on the field, no matter what position they play. Vrabel wants it done right, and he’s not missing opportunities to teach. Secondary coach Kerry Coombs sure gets your attention with his enthusiasm, too.
A lot of players flash during OTAs, but I’ve noticed second-year linebacker Jayon Brown as much as anyone on the defensive side of the ball. He’s looked fast, and he’s been around the ball a lot, both in coverage and vs the run. Veterans Wesley Woodyard, Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey have been consistently good as well, and the same goes for safeties Kevin Byard and Johnathan Cyprien.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota has looked good, and he’s still working through some big changes on offense. In time I expect him to settle in and look even more comfortable as he adjusts to a new system. But it’s already clear he has his wheels back. Minus the bulky knee brace he wore last season, Mariota has looked explosive when he’s taken off. He opened it up one day this week, and he was really moving.
I mentioned Este earlier, but he’s not the only under-the-radar player I’ve noticed on a pretty consistent basis. At receiver, undrafted free agent Jordan Veasy looks the part (6-3, 221), and he’s made plays. Devin Ross has had his moments as well. I mentioned Darius Jennings in my observations from Wednesday’s OTA because he’s making a case for himself as well. Running back Akrum Wadley and outside linebacker Sharif Finch are flashing, too.
Corey Davis looks fast and confident, and that’s a good sign for the Titans. Davis really didn’t have a chance to get really revved up heading into last offseason. While receivers Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe have flashed, I’ve noticed Campanaro a lot. The former Ravens receiver has adjusted well to his new team, and is worth keeping an eye on. Veteran Rishard Matthews hasn’t been practicing. One last thing: Dion Lewis isn’t a receiver, but he sure catches the ball well coming out of the backfield.
The Titans take the field for Wednesday's organized team activities (OTA) at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Nate Bain)