Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides four items of note from the team’s fourth day of 2018 Training Camp Sunday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Two days into fully-padded practice and the intensity has stayed even-keel for the Tennessee Titans. Here are the highlights from Day 4 of Training Camp.
- A Part of “The Plan”
- Tight end Delanie Walker was not out on the practice fields of St. Thomas Sports Park Saturday and, on Sunday, wide receiver Corey Davis was nowhere to be seen. When asked for a status update of both players, coach Mike Vrabel’s response was almost the same: It’s a part of their “plan.”
- “I think based on the player, based on, you know, what’s going on,” said Vrabel Saturday of Walker. “There’s 90 guys and a bunch of coaches, so everybody’s kind of got a different plan, and Delanie’s plan today was to try to get some rest, and tomorrow we will probably have a different plan for some other guys.”
Vrabel’s response on Davis Sunday was similar.
- “It’s based on the fact that one, we’re going to need Corey Davis to play a lot of football for us,” Vrabel said. “Two, there’s a difference between somebody like me going out there and running for two hours and a guy like Corey. It’s like (gesture/sound effect) and then it stops, then it’s like (gesture/sound effect). It’s a lot of powerful movement – explosive movements. I just wanted to make sure he’s ready to go tomorrow when we put the ball down and we’re more of a simulated type scrimmage”
- Stout Against the Run
- Saturday, Vrabel was asked about what he saw on Tennessee’s defensive tape from 2017 that he would like to sustain heading into his first season.
- “(They) played the run really well,” Vrabel said. “Played the run really well. Teams would just start to bend in the run and try to sprint them out and things like that. If we can keep that run defense and improve on that, I think we’ll be really good. They did a great job playing the run last year.”
- In Sunday’s practice, the emphasis on run defense was the team’s biggest strength. Linebackers Will Compton and Gimel President, rookie Harold Landry and Jurrell Casey all made stops for no gain or losses of yardage against running backs Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis and Akrum Wadley in 11-on-11 drills. Be it outside zone or between the tackles, all three defensive rotations held gap integrity on a consistent basis and suffocated the offense’s running game.
- On the (Roster) Bubble
- Wide receiver Darius Jennings is in a tenuous position when it comes to the 2018 Titans 53-man roster but has been making plays all over the practice fields this offseason in his efforts to stick around. With the long-term absence of Rishard Matthews through the offseason and training camp, Jennings’s opportunities have been plentiful.
- “I’m going on Year 4,” Jennings told me after practice Sunday. “I take pride in being a professional. I’ve kind of bounced around a lot and I was (with the Titans) last year so, you know, just trying to keep on building my career. You know, stacking days.”
- “I think DJ (Darius Jennings) has been a player since I’ve been here,” Vrabel said Saturday. “He’s been very professional, taken advantage of his opportunities. Ran a great rout, a very decisive route (Friday) in the red zone, but then in the same token had on kind of bounce off his shoulder pad, and we talked to him and said it’s just the consistency level because his effort’s always there. He’s a fierce competitor, but he’s been a good professional since I’ve been here, and those are a few examples of him doing that. Anytime a guy gets an opportunity to go in there with the first team offense or first team defense, it’s important that they show not only the coaching staff, but those other players out there that they belong.”
- Jennings looked sharp again on Sunday, catching one diving pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota for a 45+ yard gain. He was consistent working against the linebackers on underneath coverage and received first-team reps in Davis’s abscence.
- Injury Watch
- Linebacker Brian Orakpo was again held out of practice on Sunday after leaving Friday with an injury.
- “Sometimes you get a little contact in camp where you wish you had pads on, right,” Vrabel said Saturday. “So there’s a guy going hard and bumps shoulders with tight end Luke (Stocker), so we’ll take a look at him and evaluate him and kind of get him back out there when he’s ready. It would have been a nice time to have pads on yesterday. They just kind of bumped shoulders.”
- Vrabel did not have any new news on Orakpo Sunday but said the team hopes to have him back and ready in about a week.