NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Practice No.15 of training camp is in the books for the Titans. Here's a look at five things that stood out from Thursday's session…
Mariota's wheels:** Quarterback Marcus Mariota had another solid day throwing the football. He completed 12 of his 14 passes, including a beautiful toss to receiver Kendall Wright. Mariota floated the ball over the outstretched arms of linebacker Zach Brown in the middle of the field on that one. But the most memorable play of this practice session came when Mariota scooted to the outside and took off down the sideline. Linebacker Avery Williamson chased him, and toward the end shook his head and said out loud: That's one fast Hawaiian. Or something close to that at least.
O-line shuffling: The Titans did more experimenting up front on Thursday, with rookie Jeremiah Poutasi getting most of the work at right tackle. On Tuesday, Jamon Meredith worked most at that spot. Byron Bell and Andy Levitre, meanwhile, worked at left guard during practice, but Bell got most of the work. Center Brian Schwenke was back in action after missing time earlier in the week. The Titans offensive line is very much a work in progress, and coach Ken Whisenhunt said after practice the team is trying to find the right combination up front.
Return game:** Another spot where the Titans are checking their options is in the return game. Bishop Sankey, Tre McBride and Jacoby Ford handled kickoffs on Thursday, while Dexter McCluster, Da'Norris Searcy, Michael Griffin and Ford handled punts. Special teams coach Nate Kaczor was especially animated in practice as he harped on the importance of paying attention to the details, especially on kick returns. He offered constructive criticism to Sankey and McBride, who really got an earful. Ford slowed down one drill when he let a kickoff slide through his hands.
Titans players take the field for training camp on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
Effective combination:** I've mentioned the training camp chemistry between Mariota and Wright multiple times in this space. Well, quarterback Zach Mettenberger and receiver Rico Richardson have a pretty good thing going themselves. The two hooked up for a touchdown in the preseason opener against Atlanta, and they've had another good week. On Thursday, Mettenberger served up a long ball Richardson ran under, and it looked very familiar. Richardson has had a really good camp.
Injuries: Cornerback Jason McCourty worked on a side field as he continues to rehab a groin injury. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson also missed practice, along with linebackers Yannik Cujoe-Virgil, J.R. Tavai and Zaviar Gooden. In addition to Schwenke, defensive lineman Angelo Blackson also returned to practice.