Day one of the Titans mini camp is in the books and there's a handful of observations worth noting. Yes Kenny Britt made an amazing catch along the sidelines and Locker hit Kendall Wright in stride deep down the field as he ran away from Blidi Wreh-Wilson. Al Afalava also picked off Ryan Fitzpatrick in the endzone as well. But without getting too excited about individual efforts while players are still wearing shorts, let's take a look at some of the camp generalities.
- Yesterday's mini-camp was conducted at a faster pace than the previous OTAs and focused on team drills as opposed to individual ones. There was a lot of 11 on 11 format and competition was as high as it could be without having pads on. The team spent the last ten OTA practices installing plays and now it's time to see what stuck.
- Officials were at the practice calling everything except holding penalties on the line. It's never too early to keep bad habits from forming and keeping the players in line. You play like you practice as the saying goes.
- Levitre, Roos, and Stewart are still out. It's not time to panic yet, but it's not what you want at this point either. By all accounts the main focus of the off season was overhauling the offensive line and trying to turn a negative into a positive. Cohesion between offensive lineman can trump raw individual talent and outside of reps between receiver and quarterback, it's the position group that can benefit the most from playing together. Having only 2 of your 5 projected starters working together is not the ideal situation. If this lingers into training camp, there should be concern.
- The Titans hosted around 200 Fort Campbell soldiers at their mini-camp, which is absolutely wonderful. It's hard to tell who enjoys it more and it's great for everyone involved. Their relationship with the armed forces is one thing the Titans continue to get right year after year.
It seems the biggest news was that Mike Munchak decided to go unscripted during the practice. The team ran set situations such as 2-minute, 4-minute and red zone, but other than the offense letting the defense know what player personnel grouping they were using, the rest was done on the fly. This not only helped the coaches see how the players would react in game like moments, but it helped Loggains, Gray and Williams get ready for spur of the moment play calling as well.
This is a telling quote from Jerry Gray via Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.
"Not only does it help me, it helps Dowell, it helps the head coach get a chance to see what we like to call in certain situations, and the players do, too. You can script and say hey, ‘I can always have the pen last and win.' You've got to make the call from what you are looking at, what you're thinking, what's that going to do to you, because that's how the game is."
There's nothing bad to say about the way the Titans have handled the off season or their limited practices. They are resting guys that need resting and trying hard to get a lot of new faces on the same page. Let's just hope this momentum carries over the next six weeks until training camp starts.