Titans Saturday Scrimmage Recap

Teammates congratulate Marc Mariani on a score from Rusty Smith - Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Titans held a scrimmage before a reported crowd of approximately 5,000 season ticket holders and premium banking customers. What should you take away from this scrimmage? Let's take a look.

The story of the day was probably wide receiver Marc Mariani who had an outstanding day in front of the local crowd. Mariani is clearly a crowd favorite and he did not disappoint, putting on a show both in the return game and at wide receiver.

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Jake Locker had a nice game although he was high on some passes. Still, Locker has some zip on the ball this year that you didn't see last year and is looking very mobile and willing to pick up yards with his legs.

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Chris Johnson did play and he didn't show any limitations to me. He had some nice runs and also caught a couple of short passes over the middle and it appears the Titans intend to get him involved more in the passing game. Shonn Greene had a couple of nice runs as well.

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The wide receivers largely had really nice games except for rookie Justin Hunter. Hunter struggled a lot today which isn't very surprising given his rookie status and the fact that he missed most of OTAs. You would much rather him struggle now in a game situation than later. It was a good time for the rookie to get his feet wet and see what game speed will be like.

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Second year tight end Taylor Thompson continues to shine. He is certainly making a mark for himself and it's beginning to look like he will be an important part of the offense this year. The usually reliable Craig Stevens struggled a bit today dropping a pass and failing to come up with one that was high but certainly playable. Nate Washington and Kendall Wright made some really nice plays as did Kenny Britt.

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Damian Williams continues to have a solid training camp and looks good at both receiver and in the return game. I am beginning to think that the 4 or 5 WR spot could be his. He is doing exactly what he needs to do to claim it. I thought tight end Brandon Barden had a nice game as well today.

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Jackie Battle had some nice runs with the second team offense. Also, I can't say enough about how well both Quinn Johnson and Collin Mooney have played when they have been given a shot both in the run game and in the short passing game. Mooney in particular had some nice runs today. This looks to be a battle that will come down to the wire. Darius Reynaud likely has the 3rd RB job as he has looked good both in the return game and at running back. How many backs will the Titans carry this year? It's a good question.

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The Titans continue to run some read option and the defense has only had marginal success defending it. In all fairness to the defense, they are moving guys around and trying different looks. Still, I would have to say overall I'm a bit disappointed in the showing and I think they still need a lot of work. The offense has won most of the battles against the defense.

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The Titans showed some 3 man defensive linemen packages today with Karl Klug at RE, Jurrell Casey in the middle and Derrick Morgan at LE. Kam Wimbley continues to rotate playing both sides of the line. Wimbley looks to be in excellent shape and I am excited to see what he will do this year being more comfortable with his hand on the ground. Ropati Pituitua is settling in nicely as well but I'm not sold he is great against the run.

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Scott Solomon continues to line up at both defensive end and linebacker. I would think he could see some playing time Thursday night while they try to sort through who is making the transition learning new spots. He has definitely beefed up.

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Finally, in regard to players who are being used more in a more versatile fashion and that is Akeem Ayers who they are lining up on the edge to try to rush the passer. Ayers is playing both defensive end and linebacker. I am excited to see what he brings this year as well in a more expanded role. Ayers has bulked up as well.

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Look for a write up where I talk some more about the defensive backs but I must say Tommie Campbell is once again having a strong camp. He made some great plays in coverage today including one on rookie Justin Hunter. The competition for that right corner back position is strong indeed. Something else to watch Thursday night.

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Coty Sensabaugh was playing left cornerback on the second team and that is another guy to watch as preseason rolls into town. Sensabaugh had a strong rookie season manning the nickel spot. I haven't mentioned him as much as I should but I really like what I see from rookie Khalid Wooten. He is bigger than I thought he would be and has looked nice returning too.

That's it for now but I may have some more notes later as I sort through pictures and tweets. You can find my photographs from today here. Be sure to check out the tweets from the MCM crew today as we live tweeted today's scrimmage!

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