The final practice of Titans training camp today happened alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Amidst off and on rain, the teams remained on the outdoor fields and never moved inside.
The Titans offense got off to a slow start today in red zone one on ones. The teams went straight from one on ones to 7 on 7. Mariota had one pass to Corey Davis that went through his hands and directly into the palms of an awaiting Tampa defender. That would be the only interception thrown by a Titans quarterback on the day. After the second and third teams got their reps in, Mariota led the first squad back out onto the field for another crack at the drill. This time the starting quarterback looked more impressive throwing a couple of strikes for touchdowns to Dion Lewis and Corey Davis.
The effects of the rain became present during 11 on 11 drills when we say drops from Darius Jennings, Taywan Taylor, and Dalyn Dawkins. The drops were not limited to Titans receivers though. Tampa wide outs suffered the same wet struggles.
Where the Titans really excelled was when the Buccaneers brought the preasure. Many times when the Bucs brought the heat, Mariota would read it early and find Tajae Sharpe or Jonnu Smith cutting underneath the defense for a quick pass and gain of 5 or more yards.
Later in the day, we saw Blaine Gabbert give his best Mariota impression by pump faking an oncoming defender and then sprinting outside for about a 15- yard gain. Tight end Tim Semisch got a little applause from the crowd after a mean stiff arm he delivered to a member of the Tampa Bay secondary.
The offense wrapped up with 2-minute drill where they needed a field goal. The Titans started the possession looking like they would go nowhere but then got bailed out by a defensive holding call in the secondary. Over the next couple of plays, Mariota found Nick Williams and Tajae Sharpe along the sidelines to put the team into field goal range.
The defense looked better compared to yesterday. DaQuan Jones scooped up a fumble with a lot of green front of him to run. Kenneth Durden, who the Titans signed earlier this week, shined today after batting away a couple of passes from Tampa quarterback Jameis Winston.
All eyes were on Malcolm Butler after he struggled in coverage yesterday. When the teams all came together for 11 on 11, the Buccaneers targeted Butler’s receiver on 2 straight plays and completed both passes. After that, Butler turned things around. In 2-minute drill, Butler was target twice in a row again. This time he was covering star wide receiver, Mike Evans. Both times, Butler stayed glued to Evans down the field and neither pass was complete.
The star of the day was Adoree Jackson. Jackson had an early interception against Mike Evans in 1 on 1 drills. When asked about it, Jackson said “oh that was all Logan (Ryan).” Apparently, Ryan had told Jackson before the play which route he expected to be run. Sure enough, he was right and Adoree Jackson found himself in the perfect possition to make the play after the advice from his teammate.
Jackson’s brightest moment came at the very end of practice when he jumped in front of another ball intended for Mike Evans. Jackson picked the ball off right on the sideline to end the Buccaneers 2-minute drive. As the crowd cheered, Adoree decided to please them some more and did a perfect backflip right in front of his teammates. The backflip excited the entire sideline and also put the icing on the cake for Titans training camp.
Just because training camp is over doesn’t mean our coverage is. Titans radio will begin coverage of Titans and Buccaneers from Nissan Stadium with Titans Countdown at 6pCT, then Voice of the Titans Mike Keith and Coach Dave McGinnis bring you all the action of preseason game #2 as the Titans host the Buccaneers in Nashville on our Flagship home 104.5 the Zone and all along stations on Titans Radio.