NASHVILLE – Titans GM Jon Robinson held a press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Wednesday, one day after trimming the team's initial roster to 53 players.
Earlier in the day, the Titans began putting together their practice squad.
Robinson made it clear there's still plenty of work to be done.
Here's a look at the hot topics from Wednesday's presser …
-Robinson started off by sending his thoughts to the folks in Louisiana impacted by Hurricane Ida, saying "my heart pours out to them."
-The Titans currently have 10 players on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, so additional players will need to be released when others are activated. "We still have some work to do over the next couple of days as guys come off of that," Robinson said. "You have some corresponding moves, and we continue to talk through that."
-Robinson said receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, the team's fourth-round pick who was released and signed back to the practice squad, will continue to work. "I don't know that anything went wrong," Robinson said. "Some players, it takes them longer to transition to the pro game." Robinson said he challenged Fitzpatrick to come in every single day and work to be better. "He knows what the expectation is, and I know the capabilities that he's capable of," Robinson said. "The only one that can change that is him." Robinson said Fitzpatrick has the skillset, but he needs to improve.
-Robinson said the team has added quarterback Matt Barkley to the team's practice squad after releasing him earlier in the day. The GM said "it was a really close battle" between Barkley and Logan Woodside, who ended up winning the No.2 job behind starter Ryan Tannehill. "They are both going to help us this season," Robinson said. "It's good to have a veteran guy like Matt here, working with us."
-Robinson said running back Mekhi Sargent earned his spot behind Derrick Henry and Darrynton Evans. "I saw a guy who when we handed him the ball, he was decisive as a runner," Robinson said of Sargent. "He hit the hole, he tried to run through contact when somebody tried to tackle him. …. He went and lined up on the kickoff team and ran through whoever was trying to block him and tried to smoke the guy with the ball. When you have that approach to your position, to the game of football, it certainly made my decision and Mike (Vrabel's) decision a lot easier to keep a guy like that around."
-When asked about 13 defensive backs being on the roster, Robinson reminded the "roster is in flux" but he said the guys on the team now earned the right to be here.
-Robinson said "I'm excited that Mason Kinsey is back" on the practice squad. "I thought he had a heck of a preseason," Robinson said of the receiver, "and he's grateful for the opportunity."
-Robinson joked that offensive lineman Corey Levin "saved us a flight" by being in Nashville on Wednesday, when the team claimed him off waivers from the Jets. Robinson said Levin knows the system since he was drafted by the team, and his versatility makes him valuable. Robinson said Levin played really competitive snaps in the preseason. "Stylistically, he plays the way we play," Robinson said of Levin. "And from a scheme standpoint, he knows the scheme. It was good to get him back."
-When asked about receiver Julio Jones and his ability to practice, Robinson said the seven-time Pro Bowler has been preparing hard, and he's looking forward to seeing him play on Sundays.
-Robinson said outside linebacker Derick Roberson and defensive lineman Teair Tart both earned spots on the roster by getting stronger, and working hard this offseason.
-Robinson offered kicker Sam Ficken a nice compliment, saying he's done a nice job since being added last month. "He's been really good for us," Robinson said. "I am excited to see him kick it through those yellow things this fall – hopefully they're PATs."
-Robinson said rookie Dillon Radunz is still adjusting to the NFL after only playing in one game for North Dakota State last year. Robinson said Radunz has gotten better with his hands, but he still needs to clean up his technique. Robinson said Radunz has worked after practices to improve "and I'm excited about the upside of him," Robinson said. "And the cool thing about him is he can play several spots – he can play guard and he can play tackle."
-Robinson said rookie cornerback Caleb Farley "is another one who has steadily gotten better" and it's all about working in his technique at this point.
-Robinson said it was great to get head coach Mike Vrabel back in the building on Wednesday after a 10-day absence due to COVID-19 protocols. "It is good to have him back," Robinson said of Vrabel. "He is such a great leader on the practice field, the players respect him. He has a wealth of knowledge about the game of football in all three phases. He's a teacher, and he works to inspire guys to go out every single day and improve. So, to have him back leading the football team. … He had a grin on his face this morning as he was parking his truck and walking in."