NASHVILLE – A football floated through the air in Friday's Titans practice, and rookie defensive back Caleb Farley closed on it in a hurry.
Then, just as receiver Cameron Batson was on the verge of catching it, Farley stuck his right arm out and knocked the ball to the ground.
It was one of the most visible plays for the team's first-round pick since he was cleared to practice on Monday, but it wasn't a moment Farley celebrated.
"I was really upset with myself," Farley said after practice. "I feel like I could've gotten two hands on it and played through contact and caught it. I swatted it – I don't know why I did that.
"But it is all a process, and I am confident I'll be where I need to be when the time comes."
Selected by the Titans with the 22nd overall pick of the first round out of Virginia Tech, Farley practiced for just the fourth time as a professional on Friday.
Right now, he's not close to where he wants to be physically, but he's getting there. Farley started camp on the team's Non-Football Injury list, as he dealt with recovery and rehabilitation from the back surgery he had in college.
At this point, every day is a learning experience for Farley, but he's good with it.
"It has been truly an honor (to be out here)," he said. "I am extremely grateful to be able to come out here and run around, and put on cleats, shoulder pads and a helmet. It is truly a blessing, and I thank God for it. I am just trying to take advantage of the opportunity and work hard. I don't want to let my teammates down. I am just trying to learn what I am supposed to learn and get ready for the season."
Farley said his daily wins at this point are focused on not making mental mistakes, and playing with the right technique, using his eyes and feet. He's still learning the plays and concepts as he's incorporated into more work each day.
Physically, he's making strides as well. The 6-foot-2 Farley is back up to 200 pounds after getting pretty thin this offseason, after surgery. He's working to get his "muscles popping again."
"This is professional football," he said. "It is not easy, but it is a blessing. I wake up every day with a smile on my face and I am extremely happy to be able to come into the facility and be able to work with a lot of other great men.
"It is going to be a lot of hard work, a lot of tough times, a lot of stressful moments, but at the end of the day it is football and you live for wins."
Farley credited his teammates and coaches for helping him get up to speed.
"I truly feel the love and the bond here," he said.
Farley earned All-ACC honors at Virginia Tech in 2019, as he led the conference in passes defensed (16) and ranked second in interceptions (4).
In two seasons for the Hokies, he played in 24 games and totaled 56 tackles, six interceptions, 25 passes defensed and one sack. Farley opted out of the 2020 season.
With the Titans, Farley will be decked out in No.3 this fall.
"I am ecstatic," he said. "At one point I didn't know if I was going to get it – I swear had to pray for it. I am just extremely excited that Coach (Mike) Vrabel allowed me the opportunity to be able to wear it. That is my favorite number, my (late) mother's favorite number, and it has a lot of meaning behind it."
Something else that would mean a lot to Farley: Being able to be ready for Week One.
Farley plans to work hard to try and make it happen.
"That's up to God and the team and the training room," Farley said. "I just come out here every day and work as hard as I can to get ready as fast as I can.
"I feel like I am progressing. It is all about getting back to playing at a high level of football, very sharp. I am trying to get sharp."