NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A fury of weekend moves landed five new players on the Titans' 53-man roster – kicker Ryan Succop, linebacker Quentin Groves, cornerback Brandon Harris and receivers T.J. Graham and Kris Durham. Wednesday's practice was no welcome reception as the Titans steadily prepare for their season opener against the Chiefs this Sunday.
"Wednesdays are always tough," said head coach Ken Whisenhunt. "Even though we had the extra day, when you throw that [game] plan at them you know, it's a little different trying to go through it the first day. I think for our first gameplan practice, even trying to get the look teams right was a little bumpy at times, but the effort was good."
All five have been thrown into the fire – like cramming for a final without attending a single class all year.
"It's definitely been a whirlwind," said Durham, who posted 490 receiving yards and two touchdowns last year in Detroit. "I got the playbook on Monday and it's been a cram session for the last couple of days just trying to figure out what's going on. I've been listening to everything, listening to Jake [Locker], and listening to the coaches."
Durham grew up just three hours from Nashville in Calhoun, Ga., and is looking forward to being closer to home.
"I'm really excited. Growing up in Georgia, instead of being a Falcons fan I was a Titans fan. I love the city. I actually trained up here before the combine," Durham said before naming Frank Wycheck as his favorite Titans player growing up.
Graham is a former third-round pick for the Bills, recording 684 receiving yards and three touchdowns during his two seasons in Buffalo. He provided a unique metaphor to describe the tough scenario of playing catch up during a game week.
"Well, pressure makes diamonds, so hopefully I can take this opportunity and make the best of it," said Graham.
Everybody in the organization is doing their best to help the newcomers get settled as quickly as possible. The team chemistry that the players worked so hard to create during training camp has made the Titans locker room an easy one to join.
"I don't feel like the new guy at all. I feel like I fit right in," said Graham. "No one has given me the cold shoulder and everyone is trying to help me and bring me along every day."
Groves own 141 total tackles, five forced fumbles, and two interceptions over the course of his six-year NFL career spanning four different teams. He has arguably the easiest transition to the Titans having played for defensive coordinator Ray Horton in both Arizona as well as in Cleveland just last year.
"It makes it more comfortable," said Groves. "I don't have to go out there and learn a new defense. I can just go out there and play football."
One word stuck out in particular for Groves when describing his first impressions of his new team.
"Hungry. We're hungry to win and hungry to prove ourselves," Groves said. "It's a team that has veterans, great young guys and playmakers on both sides of the football. I like that nobody is mentioning Tennessee."