No Tennessee Hangover, Most Titans Show up Early

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans apparently are very eager to get back to work.

The team that wasted the NFL's best record and home-field advantage with an opening playoff loss faced a voluntary reporting deadline Thursday for training camp, and coach Jeff Fisher said about 95 percent of his Titans showed up early for conditioning tests.

An experienced Tennessee squad also showed Fisher they deserve the relatively easy training camp schedule. Fisher is opening camp a week later than he could have because of playing Buffalo in the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 9, and he currently has planned only two days with two full team sessions.

"They have high expectations. They've worked well this offseason and ready to come in and compete," Fisher said Thursday.

"I'm especially pleased right now with the condition level of this football team, the commitment. I talked about this last year how important that was. They've pushed themselves even further. Their condition tests were excellent this morning. With that being said, we're looking forward to this."

Linebacker Keith Bulluck tweeted he passed his conditioning test Wednesday by posting an average time of 57 seconds in two 300-yard shuttles. Running back Chris Johnson took his Thursday morning but only announced on Twitter that he handled the test, while LenDale White traveled to Nashville tweeting that he was ready to "reclaim my throne."

The Titans insisted throughout the offseason that they aren't looking back at 2008 when they went 13-3 before a 13-10 divisional loss to Baltimore. Their focus has been on Sept. 10 when they open the NFL season in prime-time against the defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers, a team Tennessee routed late last season.

The only player not signed yet as of Thursday was Kenny Britt, the 30th pick overall. Fisher said he checked with general manager Mike Reinfeldt and Vin Marino, senior director of football administration, and was told talks were closer. The coach said he would not rule out having the receiver from Rutgers on the field Friday.

Britt's agent did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press on Thursday.

In a sign of how healthy the Titans are, the only question Thursday was whether All Pro center Kevin Mawae starts on the physically unable to perform list. He is recovering from a torn triceps tendon in his snapping arm but was able to take part in conditioning tests as was defensive end Jevon Kearse, who spent the offseason recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Only two starting jobs must be filled during camp, one on offense with free agent signee Nate Washington the favorite to earn the open spot at receiver and the other on defense where All Pro tackle Albert Haynesworth must be replaced.

Tennessee will practice only 11 times before leaving for Canton. Not that playing time will be a problem with five preseason games -- most since 1994 when still called the Houston Oilers. Fisher said they will play that opening game to win in honor of owner Bud Adams and the franchise's 50th anniversary as an original American Football League member.

That means Kerry Collins will play as long as possible, secure as the starting quarterback thanks to his new two-year deal.

The status of his backup Vince Young will be closely watched this camp.

The 2006 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year lost his starting job to Collins after a meltdown and injured knee in the 2008 season opener, and the Titans must see whether he can hold off Patrick Ramsey for the backup job and pressure Collins. Young is due to count more than $14 million against the salary cap in 2010, which would be very pricey for a backup.

Fisher said he wants Young to have fun again. And make plays.

"To do that, you have to know what to do and how to do it. It's really pretty simple. I want him to have fun again, and I'm confident he will do that," Fisher said.

The coach had talked briefly with Young's mentor and former Titans quarterback Steve McNair about visiting camp shortly before McNair was murdered July 4. Fisher wasn't sure how much McNair would have spent around the Titans, trying to decide how interested the ex-quarterback was in coaching.

Fisher didn't plan to address McNair's death with his team because he has talked with most players individually already.

"We know how close Vince was to Steve and how Vince was affected by that. Vince is mature enough to know that he can take something as difficult as that experience was and turn that into a positive. Personally, I hope that will be the case for him," Fisher said.

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