Buck Reising, Tennessee Titans reporter and host of Tackling Music City, provides four items of note from the team’s tenth day of 2018 Training Camp Sunday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Monday marks the beginning of the first official Game Week for the 2018 Tennessee Titans. Preparations are well underway for the team’s preseason match-up with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field (8/9/2018, 7 pm CT). Here’s what stood out in Day 10 of Training Camp:
- False Start
- Tennessee’s “Friday Night Lights” practice at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tenn. last Friday produced the most energy and enthusiasm from the team that we’ve seen through two weeks of training camp. Saturday’s “situational football” practice at Nissan Stadium, followed by an off day on Sunday, seemed to bring the team back to St. Thomas Sports Park Monday with a little less attentiveness. Following a false start early in Monday’s proceedings, coach Mike Vrabel brought things to a halt and gathered the players together to reiterate the need for increased awareness.
- “I mean, I think you’re concerned,” Vrabel said when asked if he was troubled by his team’s initial lack of focus. “We can’t really repeat too many periods. If you repeat a period, then we’re probably going to need to take one off at the end. You’re robbing Peter to pay Paul because you can only get so many reps in a day, and we’ve got to make sure that we’re taking care of these guys. Obviously, we’ve got to get the work in. If we’ve got to get the period repeated, then we’ve got to get it repeated. Unfortunately, now we’re going to have to come back and find a way to make up what we missed.”
- “I mean, I think that (the team) probably recognize that things weren’t as crisp, and I’d rather not do that,” Vrabel went on to say. “I’d rather them try to fix these things. In a game, they don’t let us repeat the first quarter when we’re down 14-nothing, and I think that we’re going to try to talk to them about that and stay focused and understand how we have to get ourselves out of these situations. It’s not with a bunch of cheerleading and a bunch of clapping. It’s just hey, let’s buckle down and do our job and somebody has to step up and make a play.”
- Fitting In
- Before the Titans took the field at Nissan Stadium Saturday, the team agreed to terms with veteran safety Kenny Vaccaro. The 2013 first-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints was brought in to compete for the starting role alongside All-Pro Kevin Byard after Johnathan Cyprien was lost for the season with a torn ACL.
Vaccaro did not participate in practice on Saturday but was thrust into action Monday with little trepidation from his new coaching staff. The former 15th overall pick repped in with both the first and second team defense and showed up around the ball with regularity.
- “I really got a full practice on my first day,” said Vaccaro. “I thought I was going to get kind of worked in a little bit but I was glad I could go out there and set the tempo a couple times, make so plays. (The coaches) were like ‘Alright, good luck.’ But, you know what, I’m a pro. I’ve been five years in. I’ve been studying my a– off the last couple days so I had a grip on the playbook pretty early.”
- The University of Texas product nearly picked off quarterback Marcus Mariota in 11-on-11 drill. Vaccaro dove for the inaccurate pass but dropped let it get through his has before he could secure the interception.
- “It looks like he was showing up with a burst and showing up with good speed and good trigger from a safety position from where I was standing today,” said Vrabel. “I think his attitude is there with his effort and ability, so we’ll see what he looks like on film. If we keep working with him and coaching him, we’ll get him ready to play Thursday.”
- Under the Radar
- While cornerback Malcolm Butler gets most of the publicity for his interceptions in practice, running mate Logan Ryan consistently makes plays without much fan fare.
- Ryan gave tight end Delanie Walker all he could handle on Day 10, hauling in a tipped pass for an interception of Mariota during the 7-on-7 portion of the day and blanketing Walker later on in coverage for a break-up, which he celebrated accordingly.
- Ryan is not the loudest member of the Titans secondary but he communicates with his teammates exceptionally well and does his part to coach them up before, during and after practice to make sure the unit (starters and reserves) are on the same page. The former New England Patriot is almost never seen out of position through ten days of training camp and provides a versatile on-field chess piece for defensive coordinator Dean Pees to utilize, particularly in the team’s Nickel defense.
- Injury/Players MIA Update
- Special teamer/inside linebacker Nate Palmer was carted off the field after suffering a left leg injury during drills Monday. The training staff had to help him into the locker room as we was unable to put any pressure on the leg. No update was given on the severity of the injury.
- Wide receiver Corey Davis did not practice Monday after leaving the field early Saturday. Safety Demontre Hurst, linebackers Brian Orakpo, Rashaan Evans and Sharif Finch and offensive lineman Kevin Pamphile also did not participate.