The Titans had their second and final practice with the Panthers this morning. Today actually marked the end of training camp for the veterans as Mularkey said that players with at least four years of experience were released from camp today. This really just means that they get to sleep at their homes instead of the team hotel for the remainder of the preseason, but it is still an annual tradition that marks the start of the season approaching. I wasn’t able to make it out there today, but here are some of the highlights from the coverage.
One quick aside from yesterday before we get in to today’s practice notes... I don’t really believe in the idea of a team “winning” a practice session. These joint practices are opportunities to measure your players against another set of players for a few days, but they are still ultimately practices where coaches are working on certain plays or player combinations that they believe need improvement. They aren’t trying to beat the other team, they are just trying to get better. Obviously, you would love to see the team executing at a high level, but there was far too much hand wringing over the reports that the Panthers defense “won” against the Titans offense yesterday. I don’t disagree with those reports, but I’m not getting concerned until the offense struggles in a regular season game.
- The offense did sound like it played better today than it did yesterday overall. DeMarco Murray broke off several big runs again and Mariota largely looked sharp.
- There were a ton of receivers held out of practice today as Davis, Decker, McKay, and Sharpe were all inactive. Decker is the new addition to that group as he twisted his ankle during a one-on-one drill yesterday. Decker will not be playing in the preseason game on Saturday per Mularkey, but it sounds like his injury is pretty minor and he should be back out there soon.
- Harry Douglas had a banner day at camp. He created big separation against some Panthers corners in one-on-ones and then followed that up with a good team period as well. After practice Mularkey said that Harry Douglas’ presence on the team is “invaluable” and that the young receivers should be trying to imitate everything he does on and off the field. That sure sounds like a guy who is going to make the roster. We still haven’t seen Sharpe at practice yet and obviously that could change things when he comes back, but right now Douglas appears to be firmly planted at WR5 spot with McBride and Weems chasing the (likely) last roster spot behind him. The complication if you keep Douglas and Sharpe is that neither of those guys play special teams which means Taywan Taylor is your only special teams contributor at that position.
- Rishard Matthews had another big day, including this great deep catch (followed by a pretty cool touchdown celebration).
- Jack Conklin had another great day with some calling his performance “dominant”.
- The Titans defense had a great day against the Panthers offense today and Mularkey went as far as to say that the defense has been “very good since day 1 of camp”. Multiple reports had the corners (particularly Sims, Jackson, and McCain) getting a large number of pass breakups during the one-on-one period against the Panthers receivers — a period that the offense should dominate.
- Today was Adoree Jackson Day at STSP. He came up with a great leaping interception during a team period and also broke up several other passes. His performance prompted this tweet from WSMV’s Joe Dubin.
Save this tweet....Adoree' Jackson will be the NFL's Defensive rookie of the year. #titans— Big Joe (@BIGJOEONTHEGO) August 17, 2017
Mularkey was also complimentary of Jackson when asked about him afterwards.
- Wesley Woodyard got a pick 6 off of Panthers backup QB Joe Webb during a team drill.
- Jayon Brown forced a fumble as he continues to make plays every day in camp.
- Mularkey said after practice that Sylvester Williams will start at nose tackle on Saturday, but that Antwaun Woods would rotate in.