NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Now that the Titans' three-day voluntary minicamp is a wrap, it will be time for Tennessee's players and coaches to become film critics.
Rather than studying San Diego's offense and Cleveland's defense and visualizing the transference, the Titans will have images with which to evaluate themselves in systems similar to what new Tennessee head coach Ken Whisenhunt used as Chargers offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator Ray Horton used last year in Cleveland.
"We've been studying San Diego a lot," Kendall Wright said. "That's really the only offense we can look at and study, so we study a lot of San Diego's offense and just by watching it, I feel like we have a chance to be a good offense if we go out there and put in the work every day.
"This minicamp helped us," Wright said. "We can go watch film of ourselves and get everything corrected that we need to get corrected before the OTAs (organized team activity practices) and the other minicamp (in June). It will get us prepared by looking at ourselves and seeing what we're doing wrong and next time, going out there and just doing it right."
The Titans opened the minicamp that was allowed to all teams with new head coaches at a fast pace and continued over the course of the three days. The Titans are scheduled to begin Phase II of their offseason program Monday. During that segment, coaches are allowed to work with individual position groups, and players want to build off what they learned this week to be better by the time OTA practices can begin at the end of the month.
"We kind of started going 100 miles an hour and have to gauge back for this next phase," Derrick Morgan said, "but we have the reps on tape, so in this next phase, we're going in the classroom, but instead of watching Cleveland's defense or something like that, we're watching our own defense. We've gotten a chance to apply the defense on the field and we'll be learning from that."
The Titans wrapped up their first round of minicamps Thursday at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography.com)
Kamerion Wimbley said he thought the team "got a lot of good work in" because of productive meetings and walk-throughs that accompanied the three days of practice, but added "we definitely still have a lot of hard work" remaining.
"I think coming into the minicamp, it was great to knock some of the rust off and back in the motion of things," Wimbley said. "I think it's been a good experience. I think we've learned a lot. (Linebackers coach Lou) Spanos really takes the time to explain what he wants out of us and break that down so when we go out on the field, we're able to practice fast and not really think too much."
The minicamp was also helpful to offensive and defensive players who joined Tennessee via free agency.
"It was definitely a good session for us," linebacker Wesley Woodyard said. "We've still got a long ways to go, but we took a right step."
Right tackle Michael Oher said the key will be to keep making progress.
"I've installed new offenses before," Oher said. "It takes some time, but I think the last couple of weeks we've had a chance to get familiar with it and learn a lot of it. It's coming together OK, but I think by the end of the OTAs and minicamp, we'll have it down completely. We should."
COMMUNICATION BOOST:** Receiver Nate Washington and defensive back Blidi Wreh-Wilson said they thought their position groups did a great job with on-field communication.
Washington said the Titans laid a "stone (foundation) instead of a wood one."
"The way we've moved with the communication alone is tremendous," Washington said. "Guys are out there, and if there is a problem, there's no more stopping the play and trying to figure out what's going on because the guy next to him definitely knows what's going on. It's definitely a strong block that we're starting on, but I've said this before, we can't get complacent with that starting block. We will continue to grow together. We will continue to push each other."
Wreh-Wilson is a year removed from his third-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft and is competing with 2012 fourth-round pick Coty Sensabaugh and other Titans for the starting cornerback spot opposite Jason McCourty. He said he appreciated the reps he took because of their value as learning opportunities.
"When I got out there, it was definitely, there was no lifeguard on duty," Wreh-Wilson said. "You've got to know what you've got to do, you've got to make sure you're making the right checks. I feel like I had a good grasp on it. I had a couple of errors here and there, but I can clean that up. It's still early in the offseason."
Wreh-Wilson noticed more communication from others and himself.
"We've got a whole lot more communicating. Guys that haven't communicated the best in the past are stepping up and taking more leadership roles," Wreh-Wilson said. "I've been talking more than I ever have, and it's what Coach Horton wants us to do. We set the standard with our defense and if we want to be a defense that's on one page, we can do that.
"When you're young, you kind of feel like you should keep your mouth closed, but that's not what they want," he added. "They want anybody (to speak), and if you get out there, you better know your stuff and make your calls."
TRYOUTS:Receivers Brian Robiskie and Jheranie Boyd had tryouts with the Titans Thursday by participating in the final day of minicamp.
Robiskie was a 2009 second-round selection by Cleveland and played 31 games with the Browns. He has also spent time with Jacksonville, Detroit and Atlanta. Boyd joined Tampa Bay as an undrafted rookie in May 2013 and spent training camp with Cincinnati and was on Kansas City's practice squad late last season.