Titans 7-31 practice report


A light practice this afternoon. The weather was unseasonable and the mildest yet for training camp, with temperatures in the high 80s and accompanied by a sporadic, gentle breeze. The uniform of the day (to use an old military phrase) was helmets, jerseys and shorts. The linemen wore light pads as well.
A few guys hit the field before practice, including a new kicker, wearing jersey #6. I soon found out it was John Vaughn, a Nashville native and Auburn kicker who was in the Titans camp last year. He didn’t show the pop in his leg or the range I remember from a year ago. His longest ones were in the 40-45 yard range, with not much to spare. I didn’t see Rob Bironas all afternoon. Ingle Martin, who got some work the last two days, didn’t kick and remained strictly at quarterback this afternoon. I wonder what that means about Bironas’ injury.
Two notable absences: Mike Williams, who was released earlier in the day, as Drexel recapped. Albert Haynesworth was dressed out and on the field, but if he participated at all, I missed it.
Donnie Nickey was one of the early birds, sporting a Mohawk. It reminded me of the time Justin Hartwig reported to camp with one and Norm Chow characterized it as “stupid.” I think I may have a photo of it; I’ll have to check the photos later.
Jevon Kearse looked light on his feet with his normal agility in warmups and later participated in all phases of the afternoon session. His foot injury from the other day is no longer an issue.
The team broke up into groups after the warmups and I stayed on the first field to watch the receivers, who were the closest to the spectators. I was tempted to go watch the o-line and d-line groups on the second field, but resisted the urge.
WR coach Fred Graves showed off his arm as he lobbed passes to his guys jogging down the near sideline at half-speed or maybe quarter-speed at times. Most passes went to the receivers’ outside, as intended, forcing the receivers to swivel their heads to catch the ball over their outside shoulders. No balls hit the ground, but it wasn’t exactly game conditions. Graves later repeated the process with a second receiver running alongside the first to simulate a cornerback in coverage. Nobody stood out in these simple exercises but nobody looked bad either.
The Titans then went to 7-on-7 work in the red zone. Justin Gage dropped a pass in the end zone after contact, which probably would have been pass interference in a game. Vince Young also hit Justin McCareins and Justin Gage in the end zone, then fired a strike to Brandon Jones in the end zone. From my vantage point, it wasn’t clear if Jones had both feet in bounds. Unfortunately, for each good pass VY threw, he also had a less than average pass throughout the afternoon. In other words, he was inconsistent again.
Kerry Collins, on the other hand, looked comfortable and more consistent with his passes when his turn came. Another example of why the Titans are comfortable with him and why he won’t be replaced by Byron Leftwich.
In 11-on-11s, Mookie Johnson “ran with the ones,” replacing Haynesworth. Kyle Vanden Bosch’s habits have set an example for d-linemen Jacob Ford and Kevin Vickerson, who both pursued a play downfield for about 20 yards. I focused in on KVB the next play and he was planted by Michael Roos as KVB was changing directions.
Reynaldo Hill made a nice breakup of a pass intended for Bo Scaife. Close call, it might have been ruled interference in a game.
After Collins threw a bad pass under pressure, in the vicinity of fellow Penn State alumnus Calvin Lowry, Lowry asked Collins to just “throw it to me next time.”
Kickoff returns were next on the agenda. Big Dan Loper and Leroy Harris were in the middle of the wedge. Donnie Nickey, Colin Allred, Stephen Tulloch, Josh Stamer and Biren Ealy were up front. Ahmard Hall was the upback with Chris Johnson, Chris Carr, Justin McCareins and Lavelle Hawkins taking turns as the returners.
It was good to see Chris Hope being used on the kickoff coverage team, even though there was no contact. It suggests his neck is good enough for him to play full out this year.
When the Titans went back to more 11-on-11 work, Chris Johnson made the play of the day when he caught a swing pass out of the backfield and turned on the afterburners to outrun the defense down the sideline for a touchdown.


8 Responses to “Titans 7-31 practice report”

  1. Drexel Perry Says:

    Exciting stuff, Andrew, especially the part about CJ turning on the jets to score a TD.
    Can’t wait until the preseason starts.

  2. Garland Says:

    I’m pretty sure I got a pic of the mohawk on Tuesday. Downloading the pics now to check them out…

  3. Garland Says:

    Here is the only shot of the mohawk I got. Not great, but good enough to show how stupid it looks…

  4. Garland Says:
  5. Garland Says:

    And for Andrew: Jake Scott’s Spindly Legs

  6. Garland Says:

    This is shocking. Not.

  7. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Nice pics, Garland. Thanks. It looks like you have a nice camera. Scott’s legs look bigger in that picture than what I noticed the other day.

  8. Garland Says:

    Those ankles do look pretty skinny.

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