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Observations From Titans Training Camp on Tuesday


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

Here's a look at what stood out:

-The Titans spent most the practice working in "Call It" periods, which closely resembled a scrimmage without tackling. The format allowed for a whole lot of highlights in team periods, and we'll get into those in here.

-Practicing in pads for the second day in a row, things got feisty early. On just the third play, defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons and offensive lineman Jamarco Jones grabbed each other's facemask after a play and wouldn't let go, despite Coach Mike Vrabel and others telling them to cool it. After a short bit, Vrabel had seen enough. After the mini-skirmish was broken up, Vrabel sent both players off the field, and both of them ended up in the dreaded sandpit.

-It wasn't the only fireworks on the day. Later, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair grabbed receiver Treylon Burks around the back of the collar on a gadget play, and then got a little too demonstrative. Once again, Vrabel stepped in and indicated it was a 15-yard flag for a horse collar tackle, as well as a flag for taunting. The head coach was having none of it on this day.

-I give Al-Shaair credit for not losing his intensity after the mini-scolding. On the very next play, the linebacker met running back Tyjae Spears in the hole, and he delivered a big hit that dislodged the football. It was recovered by offensive lineman Aaron Brewer.

-I thought starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill had a really good day. I charted Tannehill at 4-of-5 on the first drive, and he completed a fourth down pass to receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Later, Tannehill connected with Burks on another fourth down pass. Tannehill was 8-of-10 on the day, and he's now 46-of-62 in 7-on-7 and team periods combined in camp.

-Things weren't always smooth with the first team, however. Tannehill stumbled and fell to the ground as defensive lineman Denico Autry got past tight end Trevon Wesco on a rush, and he would've also been sacked as Autry and edge rusher Arden Key converged on him again in the backfield.

-The o-line is still figuring things out, but Vrabel said on Tuesday he's seen cleaner pockets since the pads came on.

-Chris Hubbard got extra work at right tackle after Jones was sent to the sandpit.

-Running back Derrick Henry caught a pair of screen passes early, and he's getting good work.

-Receiver DeAndre Hopkins provided several reminders that he's going to be a force to be reckoned with, as he stepped up to make a number of tough catches in the middle of the field. Hopkins doesn't catch the ball – he snags it out of the air with authority.

-Safety Amani Hooker had a nice pass break-up in the middle of the field on a pass intended for tight end Chig Okonkwo.

-Spears got my attention with a heck of a block in protection on a blitzing Hooker.

-Quarterback Will Levis got some work with the 2s, and I thought he turned in a pretty good day. Levis actually started 0-3, but he settled in and completed his next four passes, including touchdown passes on three consecutive throws for the second day in a row. Levis connected with receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. on a deep ball for a score before finding Roberson open again for another touchdown. Levis connected with receiver Mason Kinsey for a touchdown as well, and he threw a strike to receiver Racey McMath. Levis finished the day 5-of-11, and I have him at 28-of-41 in the 7-on-7s and team periods combined in camp.

-Edge rusher Caleb Murphy nearly intercepted a short Levis pass that went off the chest of receiver Mason Kinsey.

-Looking through my notes, I noticed I wrote down Roberson's name a lot. He had a busy day, and a good day. I bet he's getting an IV about now.

-Edge rusher Sam Okuayinonu had a nice pressure that likely would've been a sack.

-I noticed big defensive lineman Naquan Jones making a nice stop on a Hassan Haskins run

-Linebacker Otis Reese IV delivered a big hit on running back Julius Chestnut.

-Linebacker Ben Niemann had a break-up on a Levis pass intended for Kinsey.

-Defensive back Elijah Molden stepped up with a nice play in run support.

-Quarterback Malik Willis made some nice throws as well, including one play when he stepped up in the pocket and found receiver Kyle Philips. A play layer, Willis found tight end Alize Mack streaking down the middle of the field for a big play. Willis was also nearly intercepted by safety Matthew Jackson late in practice, and he missed a few throws. I had Willis at 6-of-10 for the day, and I have him at 27-of-45 in the 7-on-7 and team periods so far in camp.

- Kicker Trey Wolff was 7-of-8 in practice, with makes from 42, 34, 38, 33, 52, 33 and 54, and a miss from 46. He's now 26-of-28 in camp. Kicker Caleb Shudak did not kick in the team period, and he's 18-of-20 in camp.

-Jared Stillman of 102.5 The Game, outfitted in a bright red shirt, had a pretty ugly drop when he tried to catch one of the field goal attempts by Wolff while standing under the crossbar. It reminded me of an infamous drop by Jack Dundee, played by Robin Williams, in one of my all-time favorite sports movies – The Best of Times. Dundee eventually made up for it with a big catch while working against Dr. Death in a Taft-Bakersfield rematch. We'll see if Stillman gets a chance to redeem himself any time soon.

-Defensive lineman Teair Tart returned to practice.

-Linebacker Luke Gifford and offensive lineman Corey Levin did not practice on Tuesday.

-Former Titans lineman Brian Schwenke was on hand for today's practice.

-Charles Davis and Paul Burmeister, who will handle the preseason broadcasts for the Titans, attended today's practice.

-Former Titans receiver Derrick Mason was on hand for today's practice.

-Ramon Foster and Ron Slay of 104.5-FM watched practice together, and they looked like a couple of NBA forwards on the sideline.

-Albert Breer from SI's @TheMMQB attended today's practice.

-A big crowd of season-ticket members attended today's session.

Next open practice: Thursday, 9:15-11:15 a.m.

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