By Christian Kaposy and Anna Glenn Grove
Monday, August 5th
Following the scrimmage at Nissan Stadium, Derrick Henry and Nate Davis were still missing from practice. Along with them, D’Andre Walker was absent as well for his first time this training camp, the reason for this is unknown. Frank Herron did not practice either.
End of Game Situations
The Titans continued the quick huddle look as they worked on end of game situations during crunch time. Head coach Mike Vrabel mentioned that in the past, the team has won games off situations like those in the final two minutes of a game. Therefore, he and the other coaches felt a situational practice was important to be prepared for anything.
“We have to continue to revisit them,” Vrabel said. “One practice won’t be enough.”
Marcus Mariota Maintenance Day
As the team practiced end of game situations, Mariota stood behind the offense, answering any questions his teammates might have. While he participated in individual drills, he did not take one snap during the team period. Those first team reps were given to Ryan Tannehill, who seemed comfortable with a group of players he has not practiced with much since his arrival. With Mariota headed into his fifth season with the Titans, Vrabel felt Mariota understood the game plan and gave his starting quarterback the day off.
“It’s purely rest, and also I felt real comfortable with where he was with that installation. A lot of that is carryover from last year,” said Vrabel.
AJ Brown more of a Presence
At practice on Monday, Brown was seen in his jersey walking around the fields. For the most part, he was shadowing Mariota and continuing to learn the plays and how Arthur Smith will be running the offense. As well as Mariota, Brown also spent time speaking with Corey Davis on the sidelines. He showed up again in the same capacity on Tuesday.
“I guess it’s always progress each day, we’re all getting better,” Vrabel said. “I hope as far as his return to play.”
Tuesday, August 6th
Rookie D’Andre Walker missed his second consecutive day on Tuesday. Walker had a good showing during his first appearance at Nissan Stadium on Saturday night, but the reason for his absence is unknown. Undrafted free agent Derick Roberson missed his first day of practice since the start of camp.
One of the biggest strengths for the Titans headed into the 2019 season is their secondary. Kevin Byard, Kenny Vaccaro, Malcolm Butler, Adoree’ Jackson, and Logan Ryan are all names that headline this group. Players such as LeShaun Sims, Tye Smith, and Joshua Kalu have made plenty of plays through camp and give the secondary depth and talent off the bench. Kalu intercepted a pass in the 1-on-1 period, while Sims and Smith batted away passes during team periods. This is a talented group of defensive backs from top to bottom.
Rodger Saffold Exits Early
After a defender made contact to his left leg during the final team period, Saffold limped off to the sideline. With only a few minutes remaining in practice, the first year Titan did not check back into the lineup. It did not appear to be a significant injury, but it is never good when a veteran gets dinged up this early in camp.
Coaches Conclude Practice with Agility Drill
We have seen the players perform this drill throughout training camp, but today was the first time we have seen the coaching staff go head-to-head. After the final team period, Mike Vrabel set up cones near the end zone instead of calling the team together. Special Teams Coordinator Craig Aukerman competed with Assistant Special Teams coach Matt Edwards to begin the drill, followed by matchups between offensive and defensive position coaches. This was a fun way to wrap up their final practice before traveling to Philadelphia.