Titans put on a weekend show

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Titans put on a weekend show
Rishard Matthews. Photo courtesy of USAToday

Titans put on a weekend show

On Friday night, the Tennessee Titans participated in their own version of Friday Night Lights at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tennessee.

The fan base at the practice was categorized as kids and their parents. It made for some fun pictures being shared on social media. Here is one by Jim Wyatt.

Few things in sports are as wonderful to see as a wide-eyed child getting to see his favorite player from his favorite team. There were plenty of kiddos swarming the Titans players and the players seemed to be enjoying every minute of it. The pictures on social media are fantastic.

There were roughly 7000 fans on Friday night. At the stadium, 11,000 on Saturday night in the lower tiers.


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On Saturday night, the Titans had a scrimmage at Nissan Stadium. The fans present for the scrimmage appeared to be more of a typical fan base.

DeMarco Murray and Corey Davis sat out each night’s festivities. Murray’s “minor” hamstring injury, as of now, has cost him just as much time as Davis’ hamstring injury which was categorized as being more severe. A to Z Nashville said Davis was emotional about missing the two days.

Derrick Henry continues to flourish in Murray’s absence. Both nights, Henry was outstanding.

Taywan Taylor caught the fans attention, but also botched two returns and missed a gimme catch right to him.

Adoree Jackson has been electric in the return game. Whether the staff is concerned of the first round pick being injured or tired on returns is about the only things holding him back from being the Titans return man already.

The Titans spent much of their offseason bulking up on special teams free agents. Many of their own players that were re-signed were special teams players also. While Jackson is blessed with exceptional athleticism, it’s not a good sign that he is “tearing up” the Titans special teams units.

Jurrell Casey sacked (in a non-contact manner) Marcus Mariota twice. Jack Conklin has to step it up and when he does, that will illustrate the beauty of camp competition.

The competition for backup free safety is fierce right now. Undrafted free agent Denzel Johnson had a pick six off of Alex Tanney. Curtis Riley made two nice stops breaking up a pass and tackling Khalfani Muhammad in the backfield. Kalan Reed was switched to safety (as I predicted LAST season) and he has been playing very well. DaNorris Searcy was the first to sub for starter Kevin Byard one night, but he quickly shifted to strong safety. Those I spoke to could not pick a favorite, but Johnson played the most seeming to play both spots.

Jonnu Smith had two touchdowns, Jace Amaro had one, and Delanie Walker had a touchdown. The tight ends were prevalent in the red zone offense, but the offense was characterized as 50/50 between the two tight end set and the three wide receiver set.

“Eric Decker and Marcus Mariota are old friends.” It’s unclear who stated this first, but it was a phrase “everyone” was saying this weekend. It paints a nice picture of how comfortable the two are already.  Not to rain on Decker’s parade, but Rishard Matthews is still ‘the man’ at wide receiver.

Every single day, fans tell me Antwaun Woods is clearly the most disruptive nose tackle. Josue Matias has been solid as the backup guard. I’m getting plenty of emails from fans “seeing” my predictions with these two coming around.

Tyler Ferguson is the clear fan favorite as a backup quarterback.  Marcus Mariota ran some and many fans wanted to ‘see his legs’ in action. It’s interesting how Terry Robiske’s offense and Mariota’s presence has created a fan preference for running quarterbacks.

Jayon Brown appeared to work with the second and third string the first night and the first string the second night. He made a big play on Derrick Henry that caught everyone’s attention.

Henry’s success brought concerns about the defense as well as praise for the offensive line’s blocking.

Josh Carraway ran with something of a third or fourth string unit, yet stood out as being far too good for that group. He covered well, wrapped up well, and even pressured the quarterback. Erik Walden did very well setting the edge while Kevin Dodd rushed the passer well, but fans were quite displeased with their coverage ability. This is exactly as I characterized things a month ago. Carraway is probably the most complete player of the group.

Ryan Succup didn’t miss all weekend.

 

 

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