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Observations From Monday's Titans Practice


NASHVILLE – The Titans returned to the practice field on Monday to begin preparations for Saturday's preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

Here's a look at what stood out:

-With Titans HC Mike Vrabel away from the facility after his positive COVID-19 test on Sunday, it was special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman who provided the voice before and after practice in the team huddle. Several other coaches seemed to be even more vocal than usual. Titans GM Jon Robinson, as usual, was on the field and made his presence known.

-Running back Derrick Henry got his most extensive work of training camp, as he went through all the periods, including some full-speed work in team drills. He actually provided a little humor on the day as well. After defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons razzed Henry about being out there during a late team period, the Titans ran a running play right at Simmons, and Henry ran in for a score. Henry walked up to Simmons and provided a "Remember Me?" moment.

-Simmons was especially chatty in Monday's session. In fact, he had words with guard Rodger Saffold following one play, and neither of the two seemed interested in backing down. Cooler heads prevailed.

-A number of Titans returned to the practice field today, including WR A.J. Brown, TE Geoff Swaim, G Nate Davis, C Ben Jones, DL Denico Autry, WR Marcus Johnson, S Matthias Farley, and OL Kendall Lamm. Brown went in early, however, after going through warmups and individual drills.

-Not practicing on Monday for the Titans: WR Julio Jones, S Dane Cruikshank, RB Darrynton Evans, S Brady Breeze, CB Chris Jackson, RB Jeremy McNichols, WR Chester Rogers, OL Chandon Herring, DL Larrell Murchison, DL Kyle Peko.

-Receiver Josh Reynolds was on the practice field at the start and went through a handful of periods, but he went inside early as well after talking with trainers.

-Receiver Mason Kinsey had an eventful day that ended on a high note. Kinsey, who leads the team in receptions during the preseason, was taken out of a drill by coaches early on for not finishing his route. He got called out pretty good because of it. But Kinsey bounced back in big fashion, scoring on a touchdown catch on a ball thrown by quarterback Logan Woodside moments later. Ben Jones raced downfield and lifted Kinsey into the air. Later, Kinsey caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Tannehill, with cornerback Elijah Molden covering him. Kinsey got up and spiked the ball, which provided an exclamation point on his day.

-Safety Kevin Byard recorded his third interception of camp when he picked off Tannehill in the end zone in an "End of Game" period late. Tannehill was attempting to connect with receiver Racey McMath.

-In an early team 2-minute period, the defense won with a stop. Simmons batted down a Tannehill pass to start the period, and Byard broke up a Tannehill pass to end it. In between, Tannehill connected with back-to-back throws to tight end Anthony Firkser. Cornerback Kristian Fulton made a nice defensive play in the period, and Byard and Jackrabbit Jenkins forced an incompletion to Reynolds as well.

-Firkser had a busy day, with a handful of catches, and one score.

-In a 7-on-7 period, Tannehill connected with Nick Westbrook-Ikhine for a touchdown, a play before he hit receiver Cameron Batson for a score. Batson had two TD catches in the period.

-Cornerback Caleb Farley got my attention with several nice plays on Monday. Farley, who made his preseason debut on Saturday, broke up a pair of passes in the 7-on-7 period.

-Linebacker Monty Rice had nice break-up in 7-on-7.

-Linebacker Rashaan Evans also had a nice break-up in a team period.

-Receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, who scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers, had a touchdown catch in a 7-on-7 period, and he had a catch in a team red zone period as well.

-While Marcus Johnson was back, he looked a little rusty. He had a rare drop, and he wasn't real smooth on a route later in practice.

-Running back Mekhi Sargent, who leads the team in rushing yards in the preseason, continues to get a lot of work in practices.

-Safety Amani Hooker got his hands on a Tannehill pass in a late period, and nearly picked him off.

-Tannehill connected with receiver Fred Brown with a touchdown, but defenders disputed it, claiming Brown's second foot hit the back line. It was close.

-A few plays later, Tannehill connected with McMath for a score, with Fulton in coverage.

Next practice: Tuesday, 12:15-2 p.m.

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