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Titans Training Camp: Day Three Positional Breakdown

NFL: Tennessee Titans-Training Camp Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Day Three of Titans training camp was the first with pads on for the players. Given the uptick in contact and intensity it made sense that several older veterans and nicked up Titans sat the day out. Derrick Henry, AJ Brown, Jonnu Smith, Jurrell Casey, and Ryan Succop are all still recovering from various ailments. And as our very own Mike Herndon mentioned earlier today, veterans Delanie Walker, Cameron Wake, Rodger Saffold, and Wesley Woodyard all took the day off. Even so, there were plenty of players out to prove themselves on a beautiful Sunday morning at Saint Thomas Sports Park.


After throwing an interception yesterday Marcus Mariota bounced back, logging a virtually mistake free day for the offense. Mariota connected with Adam Humphries and Anthony Ratliff-Williams through tight windows early on in open field one-on-one match-ups. He then followed that up with the best throw and catch of the day on a deep ball to Corey Davis down the right sideline right in front of the many Titans fans. The entire facility erupted in cheers and applause. Mariota also ran for a first down late in the final 11v11 period.

Ryan Tannehill missed a couple difficult throws early on in practice but certainly made up for that late in 7s and 11s. He found Taywan Taylor breaking over the middle and dropped the ball right over the outstretched arms of the defender. He also hit Cody Hollister on a deep in route just outside the left hash (a quite difficult throw).

Logan Woodside and the entire third team saw fewer reps today. Woodside did make a couple connections on in-breaking routes to running backs and receivers in the flat. He also scrambled for a first down in the last 11s period. He’s still likely destined for the practice squad.

Running Back

The pecking order at running back became much clearer today. Dion Lewis still dominated first team reps with Derrick Henry out again, but sat out the final 11s session.

David Fluellen assumed a fullback role with the first team in the early sessions of practice. When the Titans ran 22 personnel (two RBs, two TEs) it was always Lewis at running back, Fluellen at fullback. He saw a few conventional running back snaps, but not many.

Jeremy McNichols emerged as the direct backup to Dion Lewis in the conventional running back role for the Titans. He caught a couple passes over the middle and always fought through contact, staying on his feet well in the run game. The former Boise State back caught more than 100 receptions in three collegiate seasons. His balanced skill set as a runner and receiver could land him on the active roster.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Titans running back snaps from today’s action.

Running Back Usage 7/28

RB Snaps 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total Snaps
RB Snaps 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total Snaps
Dion Lewis 17 0 0 17
David Fluellen 12 2 0 14
Jeremy McNichols 10 8 0 18
Dalyn Dawkins 2 6 6 14
Alex Barnes 0 0 6 6
Derrick Henry (OUT) 0 0 0 0

Wide Receiver

The wide receiver group didn’t have as many “wow” moments today as they did yesterday, but there were a few notable highlights with AJ Brown still sidelined.

Corey Davis again posted the catch of the day on a deep out and up route delivered by Mariota. Adoree’ Jackson was playing off coverage and bit on the out route. That gave Corey just enough space and time to position himself for a leap over the head of Jackson for a truly spectacular grab.

Adam Humphries and Taywan Taylor both gathered multiple contested catches over the middle for the Titans yet again. Humphries was again deployed almost exclusively from the slot. Taylor was exclusively an outside receiver today.

Tajae Sharpe struggled early in practice. He couldn’t separate from Malcolm Butler in his first one-on-one rep. He also saw Josh Kalu deflect a deep ball away from down the left sideline shortly thereafter. However, he recovered nicely and had a nice sideline grab late in 11s.

Cameron Batson still looks like he’s in line for a potential roster spot given his first team snaps and return game ability.

Anthony Ratliff-Williams again showed the Titans that he is the best down-the-depth-chart receiver they have. He beat Malcolm Butler in one-on-ones early and got himself open on several occasions. Tannehill just overthrew him on a corner route that would have been a great rep for him.

Here’s a breakdown of snaps and alignment for the receivers today.

WR Usage by Team

WR Snaps 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total Snaps
WR Snaps 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total Snaps
Corey Davis 15 0 0 15
Tajae Sharpe 16 0 0 16
Adam Humphries 13 1 0 14
Taywan Taylor 12 8 0 20
Cameron Batson 10 8 0 18
Darius Jennings 7 8 0 15
Kalif Raymond 0 9 1 10
Anthony Ratliff-Williams 0 3 7 10
Cody Hollister 0 2 8 10
Jalen Tolliver 0 0 7 7
Joseph Parker 0 0 5 5
AJ Brown (OUT) 0 0 0 0

WR Usage by Alignment

WR Snaps Left WR Slot Left Slot Right Right WR
WR Snaps Left WR Slot Left Slot Right Right WR
Corey Davis 6 0 2 7
Tajae Sharpe 7 2 0 7
Adam Humphries 1 3 9 1
Taywan Taylor 9 1 0 10
Cameron Batson 5 1 1 11
Darius Jennings 5 0 2 8
Kalif Raymond 4 3 2 1
Anthony Ratliff-Williams 4 0 1 5
Cody Hollister 6 1 0 3
Jalen Tolliver 2 0 0 5
Joseph Parker 0 3 2 0
AJ Brown (OUT) 0 0 0 0

Tight End

The Titans were without Jonnu Smith (still recovering from injury) and Delanie Walker (day off) today. That left the first team opportunities to Mycole Pruitt and Anthony Firkser almost exclusively. Both of them played 100% of their reps with Mariota on the field. Pruitt looks like the better blocker to this point, but Firkser made several nice receptions in both 7v7 and 11v11.

The other tight ends just look like camp depth guys at this point. However, Wick and Hewitt both stood out as blockers on a couple occasions. Hesse also made a tough catch early in 11s.

Here’s a breakdown of the snaps for tight ends from today.

Tight End Usage

TE Snaps 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total Snaps
TE Snaps 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Total Snaps
Mycole Pruitt 19 0 0 19
Anthony Firkser 17 0 0 17
Cole Wick 1 9 4 14
Parker Hesse 1 7 6 14
Ryan Hewitt 0 6 5 11
Delanie Walker (DAY OFF) 0 0 0 0
Jonnu Smith (OUT) 0 0 0 0

Offensive Line

The offensive line is clearly still a tight competition at several positions (at least for backup roles).

Jack Conklin was back practicing in full at right tackle. Ben Jones was predictably at center. However, the other three starting offensive line positions saw some interesting changes.

Jamil Douglas was actually the first offensive player on the field (after Mariota) today. I thought that was peculiar, but he clearly knew he was in for a big day. Douglas, number 75, spent most of the day at starting right guard in scrimmage sessions. And surprisingly, Aaron Stinnie spent the majority of the time opposite Douglas in the other guard slot. With Roger Saffold out (without injury), the Titans were clearly testing their guard depth. Both seemed to hold up well in pass protection, but there were noticeably fewer gaps to run through today.

Dennis Kelly also left practice early (due to hydration issues), but should be fine.

Rookie Nate Davis was out there today, but for some reason he hasn’t been working into first team action at all, really.

The Titans offensive line has been having a few issues this preseason (to say the least), but the depth seems trustworthy.

Defensive Line

If yesterday was Matt Dickerson’s time to shine, today was the the Brent Urban show. When the Titans went to nickel Urban was the man with his hand in the dirt next to DaQuan Jones. At 6’7”, 300 pounds, Urban is an absolute force up the middle. Dickerson made a few stuff in the run game again as well.

Some fans have expressed concerns about the defensive line talent and depth. After Jurrell Casey returns things should be alright. But for now, DaQuan Jones, Austin Johnson, Matt Dickerson, and Brent Urban looks like a solid run stuffing crew. They may not disrupt as pass rushers, but they all have set the tone in the trenches.


Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown enjoyed extensive work today with Wesley Woodyard on his scheduled day off. Neither made any noticeable plays in pass defense, but both were all over the ball in the run game.

Evans spent significant time working individually with linebackers coach Tyrone McKenzie today off to the side when special teams sessions were going on. It looked like Evans had wanted to work on perfecting his pass rush and block shedding moves. That’s exactly what you want to see in a second year player.

For the second day in a row Sharif Finch and Harold Landry dominated the linebacker snaps outside off the edge. It looked like they were trying to outdo one another given how intensely they pushed all morning. Kamalei Correa, Derick Roberson, and D’Andre Walker were rotating with the second and third teams beyond that.

Defensive Backs

While the defensive backs didn’t grab any interceptions today, they still showed pretty well throughout practice.

Adoree’ Jackson started out the day winning two reps against Corey Davis.

Malcolm Butler beat Sharpe with ease in one-on-ones, and his trail technique almost allowed him to make a solid play on a ball meant for Anthony Ratliff-Williams.

Logan Ryan got beat (as everyone does) by Adam Humphries early, but made a couple plays in the backfield in 11v11.

Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro were again on the same page all day, giving up virtually nothing over the top. Byard also hit McNichols pretty hard in the backfield and lifted him off the ground early in practice.

The next Titans’ open practice for fans is again at Saint Thomas Sports Park, this Wednesday at 10am.