NASHVILLE – The Titans are taking every precaution necessary to stay safe while playing football during a pandemic.
Players and team personnel have been tested daily for COVID-19. Meetings are being held in the team's spacious indoor practice facility so players and coaches can spread out more, there's a limit to the number of players in the weight room and other areas at the same time, and the cafeteria is now grab-and-go style.
If somebody slacks off with social distancing or mask wearing, well, the Titans have a 6-foot-8, 321-pounder ready to enforce the rules.
Dennis Kelly, aka "The Undertaker" gave teammate Taylor Lewan the "What in the name of Dr. Fauci?" look the other day for not wearing his mask properly.
"I think Dennis would be an unbelievable dictator in any country, as the way he's been handling the mask thing," Lewan said with a smile on Monday. "And so, although it's been very annoying, he's doing a good job, and I hate even saying that out loud. Dennis is a really good friend of mine, so I hate doing the boy compliments, but Dennis and I actually got into it today about me and my mask was below my nose so he made sure and told me the protocols of what to do. And so, he's been doing a good job. He's definitely not worried about being annoying in that sense, which is good."
No one is upset with Kelly, the team's NFLPA player rep, for his enforcement.
As an organization, the Titans have proven to be on the same page with COVID-19 safety protocols at the start of training camp.
"Dennis is definitely doing his thing, making sure that we stay safe, keeping the health of the team first, keeping the health of everyone in this organization first," tight end Jonnu Smith said. "He's definitely been patrolling on his thing. We just got to kind of follow Dennis' lead when it comes to safety protocols."
"He's really been anal about it," safety Kevin Byard said of Kelly. "We're all getting used to these new rules, and protocols, and wearing a mask, and stuff like that. I think it's good. I think it's good for Jon (Robinson) the coaches, everybody's trying to make sure that everybody's wearing masks. At the end of the day, the safest teams and the healthiest team this year is going to be the one that's going to be playing in January and February. We can only control what we can control. Different sports whether it's basketball, NHL, baseball, they all have different ways of going about things, but as far as us as a team, we're trying to do our best."