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Camp Notebook: Titans Welcome Fans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Mike Munchak took the microphone and personally greeted hundreds of Titans fans who turned out at Saint Thomas Sports Park Friday night for the first public practice of 2013 training camp.




Coach Mike Munchak addresses Titans fans as the team began its first training camp practice that was free and open to the public.
Click here for a slideshow from Friday's training camp practice.

"Be as loud as you want, but don't jump over the fence because Bernard Pollard may tackle you," Munchak joked.

He thanked the crowd for attending, gave a description of the practice and told the fans how much players and coaches want to give them a good season. Munchak has made a habit of addressing the fans before the first open practice of each camp, and later told reporters how much he and the team enjoy the public practices.  

"It's always great to have the fans out here," Munchak said. "I think having the fans here watching, yelling out and cheering for good catches, I think it adds a lot more to the practice than a normal practice. I think they enjoyed themselves and we'll have a couple more night practices coming up on Sunday night and Tuesday night."

Kenny Britt said earlier Friday how much he enjoys practicing in front of fans.

"It's been a long time since we've been under the lights with fans there and just practicing against ourselves and showing off what we could do to the coaches, but it goes to another level when you see people out there watching you," Britt said. "It makes you feel like you're in the game, and fans don't get to see our offense go against our defense much, so there's really going to be a lot of intensity out there and a lot of competitive battles."

Britt and Titans QB Jake Locker were just two of several players who signed autographs after practice although they were not on the schedule that has every player signing at least one time during Titans camp. **Click here for the schedule of the first week**.

The Titans have open practices scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday and 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

GRIFFIN JOINS POLLARD IN PADS: Pollard opted to open camp in pants with pads Thursday and recruited safety Michael Griffin to do the same on Friday after **some banter between them**.

A rule change will require players to wear pads in their pants this season, so Pollard and Griffin got an early start on it.

The Titans will wear shoulder pads for the first time on Saturday but still have the option of being in shorts. That will change Sunday when the team is scheduled to wear full pads.

"Sunday night, we'll be in full pads and kind of be in full pads for a while so they can get used to that once we get started, Munchak said. "And then we'll just see how it goes. It's about them figuring out what they want in their pads cause there's all different options for them. A lot of these guys never wore pads on their legs in the game, so it's not a big thing, but something they've got to get used to, so we'll just kind of wear pants a little more because of that."

EXPERIMENTS UNDERWAY: The two days without any pads allowed the Titans to transition back to football incrementally, but the team has already used the first two days of practice to switch groupings on both sides of the football.

Alterraun Verner took first team reps at cornerback Thursday, and Tommie Campbell opened the night with the first team Friday. Munchak said the team is likely to alternate between Verner, who started all 16 games in 2012 and Campbell while using training camp to look at other players like Coty Sensabaugh, who recorded an interception Friday night, and 2013 third-round pick Blidi Wreh-Wilson in the role opposite Jason McCourty.

"We were happy how the season went for him last year," Munchak said of Sensabaugh. "He just keeps getting better. They trust each other with him in there. This gives him a chance not just at nickel but a chance to compete at corner with the rest of them. He's done well, he does great things."

WARMACK WATCH: A delay remained in the signing of top pick Chance Warmack, who has not reported to camp.


Rob Turner prepares for a snap at center with Brian Schwenke at left guard and Fernando Velasco at right guard.

The Titans used a combination of Fernando Velasco, free agents Andy Levitre, Rob Turner, Chris Spencer, Kasey Studdard and fourth-round draft pick Brian Schwenke on the interior of the offensive line, which will allow them to further evaluate the depth they added to the offensive line this offseason.

Munchak said a rule change that eliminated the requirement for players to spend their first two days at camp before putting pads on will allow Warmack to "jump right in" once he does sign and arrives in Nashville.

Munchak said he was confident that Warmack will report to camp in shape but the Titans may reduce his reps for the first couple of days.

"I think he's excited about his opportunity," Munchak said. "He's a guy that watches a ton of tape. Playing well means a lot to him. I think you saw that in college. I think that's why he was so good in college. He worked at it. He never took anything for granted just because he had one good year and won a national championship, he worked harder the next year to get better.

"He got better each year in college so he's that kind of worker," Munchak continued. "He's meticulous like that, so I think he'll come in knowing that a lot's expected of him. He knows he's going to get a lot of attention when he comes in, the attention he doesn't really want, but it comes with being in the position he's in, so I think he'd want to come in and show people that he is going to be a great addition to this football team." 

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