Titans training camp report, Tuesday morning, July 31
Snake that training camps made leaf-raking look like an exciting occupation and that the veterans had to turn to the diversions of whiskey and women to break the monotony.
I wouldn't go that far in characterizing Titans' training camp, but this morning's practice didn't do much to dispel that notion either. Although it was good to be at practice and see more familiar faces, there isn't any exciting news to report, but there are some tidbits I hope you'll find interesting.
It's still going to take me awhile to get used to the uniform changes. For years, the offense has worn navy blue jerseys while the defense has worn white. This year, the offense is wearing white while the defense is wearing Columbia Blue, or as UNC alum David Thornton calls it, North Carolina blue.
I missed the first hour of practice today and who knows, maybe some exciting things happened then. When I arrived, there were seven on seven drills on one end of the first practice field, while the lines were down on the other end. Before I moved on, UDFA rookie Biren Ealy made a nice catch in traffic. Vince Young is high on this guy.
Of course, I went on down to watch the lines. Everyone was in full pads and there were plenty of popping sounds from pad to pad and helmet to helmet contact. I didn't notice Albert Haynesworth or Benji Olson. Antwan Odom took some reps on the left side and KVB later took some on the right side, which looked promising to me. They later switched back to their regular positions.
Tony Brown went as the #1 left DT and showed some good penetration against Isaac Snell, who replaced Olson. Two rookies, DE Jacob Ford and T Michael Otto went at it a few times with Ford getting the better of it, and surprisingly, not because of an outside speed rush. It didn't go as well for DT Antonio Johnson, who was manhandled a few times in one-on-ones.
Some 11 on 11 work followed and it didn't get off to a good start in the early going. There was a botched handoff from QB Tim Rattay to RB Dontrell Moore and the ball hit the ground going the other way. From my angle, I wasn't able to view the exchange clearly, but when a veteran QB hands off to an UDFA rookie, you know which one gets the benefit of the doubt and which one is suspect.
Chris Henry got a lot of work and had both good and bad moments. He ran hard and tough at times but also put the ball on the ground once after taking a hit.
Courtney Roby made the play of the morning, latching onto a deep pass in tight coverage. Roby and Vince Fuller both came down with the ball and neither was able to wrestle it away from the other after they hit the ground and fought for possession.
Practice concluded with field goal drills. Rob Bironas got the first reps and rookie John Vaughn followed. There have been reports about a Bironas injury and surgery, but he looked fine and was still booming the ball. Vaughn also showed a pretty good leg and the difference between him and Bironas was noticeable. Bironas was kicking farther, but with a lower trajectory. In a game situation it might have been possible to block some of those with a strong push up the middle. Vaughn didn't have quite as much distance, but he kicked with more of an arc on the ball, high enough to avoid any block attempts from the middle. Cortland Finnegan was used as an edge rusher and came close to affecting a few kicks.
Ken Stabler wrote in his autobiography