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Observations From Titans Training Camp on Monday


NASHVILLE – The Titans took the field for their 11th open practice of training camp on Monday at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Here's a look at what stood out:

-The music. On Mike Vrabel's birthday, the playlist was designed to please the head coach, and I must admit, it pleased me as well. During the practice session, there was plenty of rock and country music blaring through the speakers. Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses, AC/DC, Motley Crue, Metallica and even some old school Styx (Renegade) could be heard loud and clear, along with some Bob Seger. There was also plenty of country, from Kenny Chesney to Luke Combs to even Kenny Rogers. It had been a while since I'd heard The Gambler. It was all music to my ears, and apparently Vrabel's too – the head coach was spotted dancing a bit to 'Welcome to the Jungle" at the start.

-With rain and storms in the Nashville area, the Titans practiced indoors on Monday.

-Defensive back Josh Thompson, who began camp on the Non-Football Injury list, practiced on Monday for the first time in training camp.

-Defensive lineman Kyle Peko, signed by the team earlier in the day, practiced on Monday, in No. 95.

-The Titans placed defensive lineman Shakel Brown on Injured Reserve to make room for Peko, per Vrabel.

-Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill hit all the right notes himself on Monday, at least most of them. Tannehill came out on fire, starting in 1-on-1s and it continued through 2-on-2, 7-on-7s and team drills. Tannehill, in fact, completed his first 16 passes on the day in 7-on-7 and team periods combined. The only period he didn't finish the way he wanted to was the 2-minute drive late, and it stalled after he completed his first three passes in that period. Tannehill finished the day 17-of-20 in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined, and he's now 106-of-165 in those periods through 11 training camp practices.

-The 1-on-1 period for the offense was fire, as DeAndre Hopkins, Chig Okonkwo, Tyjae Spears, Treylon Burks, Josh Whyle, Mason Kinsey, Colton Dowell, Racey McMath, Reggie Roberson Jr. and Kyle Philips all got open and made catches.

-In the 2-on-2, Burks, Kinsey, Whyle, McMath, Dowell, Hopkins, Roberson and Gavin Holmes all made catches.

-Whyle, who had a few hiccups in the preseason opener, arguably had is best practice of training camp. He caught at least four passes, including a deep ball from Tannehill in a team period.

-Roberson looks beastly in his red zone opportunities in the 1-on-1s and 2-on-2s, as he went up high on two separate occasions and came down with the football with defenders draped all over him.

-DeAndre Hopkins looked like DeAndre Hopkins. After a quiet ending to last week, he was very noticeable again in Monday's session.

-Burks also had a day. I wrote the No. 16 down again and again and again at practice.

-Defensive backs Roger McCreary, Sean Murphy-Bunting, Kristian Fulton and Alonzo Davis were among those who played good defense in the 1-on-1s. McCreary made another nice play in the 2-on-2s.

-Fulton is the guy who ended Tannehill's streak of 16 straight completions, as he broke up a pass intended for Burks.

-Defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons nearly picked off Tannehill when jumping up at the line of scrimmage on the next play.

-Running back Derrick Henry had a number of big runs in what was a fast, spirited practice. Henry found a big hole up the middle on one long run, and he turned on the jets to get to the outside and eventually into the end zone after another.

-Peko made his presence known right out of the gate, as he scooped up a fumble by Spears and returned it for a touchdown. Spears had the ball punched out as he was stumbling, and trying to regain his balance.

-Quarterback Malik Willis was also hot early, completing his first three passes to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Roberson, and Tre'Shaun Harrison before a few errant throws. Willis was intercepted in a red zone drill, but he executed a pretty effective two-minute drive that ended with a missed field goal. Willis finished the day 10-of-17 in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined. I now have Willis at 73-of-128 in 7-on-7 and team periods combined.

-Cornerback Tre Avery, who had an interception on Saturday in Chicago, is the guy who intercepted Willis. Avery jumped up and picked the ball off in traffic, in the end zone. It was a hell of a play.

I chatted with Avery after practice:

-Quarterback Will Levis finished the day 6-of-8 in the 7-on-7 and team drills combined and I now have him at 71-of-115 in the 7-on-7 and team periods so far in camp. Levis threw a strike to Gavin Holmes for a touchdown.

-Kickers Caleb Shudak and Trey Wolff both missed field goal from 50-plus to end two-minute drives. In an early special teams period, I had Shudak at 6-of-6 and Wolff at 5-of-7. Shudak is now 46-of-51 in camp, and Wolff is 51-of-58 in camp.

-Defensive back A.J. Moore had a nice breakup.

-Running back Hassan Haskins, running back Jonathan Ward, offensive lineman John Ojukwu, tight end Kevin Rader, defensive lineman Naquan Jones, and linebacker Monty Rice did not practice on Monday.

-Defensive back Chris Jackson, tight end Alize Mack and defensive back A.J. Moore all returned to practice on Monday.

-Defensive back Eric Garror went down late and spent time with trainers, but he was walking fine after practice. Garror had a nice break-up on a ball intended for Westbrook-Ikhine in a red zone period.

-The Titans will travel to Minnesota on Tuesday for joint practices against the Vikings on Wednesday and Thursday, ahead of Saturday's preseason contest.

Next practice: Wednesday, Noon-1:45 in Minnesota vs the Vikings.

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