NASHVILLE, Tenn. — When players reported for training camp, a new era dawned for the Tennessee Titans. Fans are invited to attend a total of 17 practices during the four-week camp, all free of charge. It is the only time of the year that practices are open to the general public. The first practice fans can attend will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 31.
Once again this year the Titans will conduct training camp practices at Baptist Sports Park, where the vast majority of the team's camps have been conducted since the team moved to Tennessee in 1997.
Training camp will operate similarly to previous years. Free parking is available directly across the street from Baptist Sports Park at the CVS/Caremark corporate offices (445 Great Circle Road). A merchandise tent will be on site next to the practice field selling a wide selection of Titans apparel and merchandise, and cold non-alcoholic beverages will also be available to purchase. Fans can watch practice from the outside perimeter of the three practice fields, but spectators should be prepared to stand in typical Middle Tennessee summer heat for the duration of their visit, as shade and seating are very limited.
With the logistics of training camp largely unchanged, the team itself has undergone significant transformation. Less than four weeks after the 2010 season ended, the Titans announced that the organization and former head coach Jeff Fisher had agreed to part ways, ending a tenure that began in 1994. Then, on Feb. 7, owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. announced the 16th coach in franchise history—former Houston Oilers guard, Pro Football Hall of Fame member and 14-year offensive line coach Mike Munchak.
The 2011 campaign marks the 30th season with the organization for Munchak. In a 12-year playing career (1982-93), he started 156 regular season games (seventh in franchise history) and earned nine Pro Bowl invitations. He then spent three seasons (1994-96) as an offensive assistant/quality control coach before taking over the offensive line in 1997.
Munchak heads a 19-man coaching staff, of which 14 members are either new to the team or have a different role from 2010. Both coordinators —Chris Palmer on offense and Jerry Gray on the defensive side—were hired by Munchak early in the offseason.
The roster, assembled by general manager Mike Reinfeldt and his staff, has seen significant additions as well. Perhaps most notably, the team used the eighth overall pick in the 2011 draft to select Washington quarterback Jake Locker, who passed for 7,639 yards and 53 touchdowns during his four-year college career. Reinfeldt also has indicated the team will look to add an experienced veteran quarterback during the free agency signing period, which begins Friday, July 29, the same day players are scheduled to report for camp.
Once training camp begins, the Titans will have just 14 days before they open the preseason on Saturday, Aug. 13 at LP Field against the Minnesota Vikings. By Aug. 30 (tentative date), the roster must be trimmed from 90 to 75 players. On Sept. 3, the final roster cutdown will leave the club at 53 players, leading into the regular season opener on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, Sept. 11.
For an up-to-date camp schedule, fans can call the team's training camp hotline at (615) 565-4190, or they can go to the team's official website, TitansOnline.com.