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Observations From Titans Training Camp on Tuesday


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

Here's a look at what stood out:

-I oftentimes lead with the highlights on offense, but this spot is going to the defense today, and one player in particular – linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair. Once again, Al-Shaair was around the football all day. The former 49ers backer intercepted quarterback Ryan Tannehill early, and he nearly got him again later when he was gunning for receiver Kyle Philips. Al-Shaair has been turning in a lot of good days in camp, and afterward he drew some praise from head coach Mike Vrabel.

-Al-Shaair surely thanked safety Kevin Byard in the locker room. It was Byard who tipped Tannehill's pass into the air during an early up-tempo period, and that led to the interception. Tannehill was trying to sneak it into Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, but Byard broke it up.

-Safety Amani Hooker, another player who has been especially active of late, intercepted Tannehill later in practice when he was trying to connect with tight end Chig Okonkwo. Defensive back Elijah Molden deserves an assist for this one, because he got his hand on the football and knocked it into the air.

-DeAndre Hopkins, who had a big day on Monday, got the day off on Tuesday.

-Tannehill had some good moments, including a strike to receiver Treylon Burks on the first play of the up-tempo period and a bomb to Burks in 7-on-7s. Tannehill also went 6-for-6 in a 7-on-7 period. But his two-minute drive ended with the pick, as he tried to squeeze the ball into a tight window. Tannehill finished the day 13-of-17 with the two INTs in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined, and I now have him at 82-of-129 with three interceptions in 7-on-7 and team periods combined in the nine open practices of camp.

-Quarterback Malik Willis did a really nice job in a two-minute period at the end of practice. All three QBs were presented with this scenario: 1:10 left, ball at own 25, need a FG, one time out. Willis moved up in the pocket to complete a pass to Mason Kinsey on the first play before connecting with receiver Colton Dowell and tight end Josh Whyle. Then came a strike downfield to receiver Reggie Roberson Jr., roughly 25 yards downfield. After Willis spiked the ball, kicker Trey Wolff came on the field and made his 33-yard field goal. Mission accomplished for Willis and the No.2 offense. I had Willis 8-of-15 for the day, and I now have him at 56-of-99 in 7-on-7 and team periods combined.

-Quarterback Will Levis did his job effectively in the two-minute period as well. Levis came out firing, connecting with receiver Tre'Shaun Harrison on a bullet across the middle to set the drive in motion. Then came a sideline completion to receiver Gavin Holmes, before a strike to tight end Kevin Rader. Levis missed streaking Kearis Jackson downfield, but after a Julius Chestnut run, the Titans sent Wolff out for another kick, and he made it, barely, from 47 yards. Mission accomplished for Levis and the No.3 offense. I had Levis at 11-of-15 on the day, and I now have him at 58-of-95 in the 7-on-7 and team periods so far in camp.

-Running back Derrick Henry has been known to run over defenders. On Tuesday, guard Daniel Brunskill got a taste of that when he got in Henry's way, and got run over.

- Kicker Trey Wolff had a good day. In addition to the two makes at the end of the two-minute drives, Wolff also made 8-of-9 kicks in a special teams period, making kicks from 33, 35, 48, 44, 51, 33, 41 and 33, with a miss from 40. Wolff finished the day 10-of-11, and I now have him at 42-of-47 in camp. Kicker Caleb Shudak did not kick on Tuesday, and I have him at 36-of-40 in camp.

-Byard had a couple of pass break-ups on the day.

-Defensive back Tre Avery showed up in run support in an early up-tempo period.

-Linebacker Ben Niemann was right there on a Hassan Haskins run early.

-Linebacker Otis Reese IV had a nice breakup on a Levis pass intended for Jackson.

-I mentioned Roberson making a big catch in the two-minute period, and he's been showing up more and more of late. I chatted with Roberson after practice.

-Dowell had a really bad drop across the middle on a perfect strike from Willis, but he settled down and finished the session on a high note, with a number of catches, including a Levis ball deep downfield in a 7-on-7 period.

-Kearis Jackson, Kyle Philips, Mason Kinsey, Gavin Holmes and Eric Garror all fielded punts in a special teams period.

-Big Denico Autry got his hand on a Tannehill screen pass to Burks, which kept the ball from getting there.

-Game officials were on hand for today's practice, with Scott Novak and his crew, and Walt Anderson from the league.

-In addition to Hopkins, defensive lineman Teair Tart, defensive back Chris Jackson, defensive back A.J. Moore, offensive lineman John Ojukwu, defensive lineman Naquan Jones, and tight end Alize Mack did not practice on Tuesday.

-Offensive lineman Corey Levin was back at practice.

-I saw offensive lineman Dillon Radunz, who remains on PUP, working on a side field with a trainer.

-Former Titans receiver Eric Decker was on hand for Tuesday's practice, and he chatted with Henry after the session.

-NFL Network was on hand for Tuesday's session, as Ian Rapoport, Sara Walsh and Scott Pioli did the show and several interviews after practice.

-Analyst Greg Cosell, a regular on Nashville radio and a long-time producer for NFL Films, was on hand for today's practice.

-Father Ed Steiner, a Roman Catholic priest who one of my teachers at Father Ryan High School back in the day, was back at today's practice. Because of his presence, I was on my best behavior once again.

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

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

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