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Observations From Titans-Vikings Practice on Wednesday in Minnesota


EAGAN, Minn. – The Titans are in Minnesota this week for joint practices against the Vikings.

On Wednesday, the two teams went head-to-head on Day 1 at Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center.

Here's a look at what happened:

-The biggest news of the day involved the injury to Titans receiver Treylon Burks, who was carted off the practice field with an apparent leg injury.

I wrote a separate story on that development, and you can read it here: CLICK HERE.

-Man, it was windy. Winds were forecasted to be 20 to 30 miles per hour, and there were gusts that seemed to be much more than that. The winds made things more challenging for the quarterbacks, and the kickers.

-I thought the Titans defense really showed up against some pretty good weapons for the Vikings, and a quarterback who can sling it in Kirk Cousins. The Titans defense intercepted three passes on the day – linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, cornerback Roger McCreary and edge rusher Rashad Weaver each got one – including two picks in two-minute periods at the end.

-The offense struggled mightily right out of the gate, in the 1-on-1 against the Vikings DBs. DeAndre Hopkins made a nice catch to start things off in this period, and Kearis Jackson had a nice catch. But I counted more misses than catches in this period for the Titans, and some were bad drops. The Vikings were also flagged for a few PIs. But overall, I didn't think this day was an epic fail for the offense like some might lead you to believe. There were some good moments, and periods, and we'll get to some of those.

-It wasn't easy keeping up with all the action, I admit. I kept my head on a swivel, and did my best to see the Titans offense and defense while standing in between the two fields where the work was getting done. I missed all the 1 on 1s from the Titans defense while watching the offense, but felt I rallied from there and didn't missed a lot – except for a few plays when Burks went down, and was carted off, and I turned busy tweeting out updates.

-Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said the energy picked up after a sloppy start in the 1-on-1s, and a 7-on-7 period when the offense had a few passes broken up. But Tannehill got in a groove after that, albeit some on short routes and screens. Tannehill went 7-of-9 in the first 7-on-7 period, and he followed that up with a 7-of-9 effort in the extended first team period, his best pass of the day a bomb downfield to Burks, on the play he was injured. Tannehill was 6-of-7 on a final two-minute drive that failed to produce points. On the day, I charted Tannehill at 20-of-25 in the 7-on-7 and team periods combined. Tannehill threw one ball away due to quick pressure from the Vikings, and he had a ball batted down at the line of scrimmage.

-Receiver Kyle Philips was active in practice. Philips had a pair of catches in the first 7-on-7, and another on the two-minute drive.

-It didn't look like running back Derrick Henry had a lot of room to run on several plays, as the Vikings celebrated penetration at the line of scrimmage on multiple occasions.

-I thought quarterback Malik Willis had a really good day. Willis completed all four of his passes in the 7-on-7, including a touchdown strike downfield to rookie Colton Dowell. Willis then completed his next two passes, and here's where I might've missed a throw or two not long after the Burks injury. But once I got locked in again, I noticed Willis was locked in as well. I don't think I realized just how hot Willis was until I started tallying up my notes afterward, because by my count, he was 13-of-14 on the day. He hit Jackson on a deep ball on Wednesday as well.

-I'll get to Will Levis in a minute, but I don't want to stray too far from the defense because this unit showed up in Minnesota.

-I mentioned Azeez Al-Shaair with one of the picks – he hauled in a pass thrown by Cousins that was deflected, and later he was in the hole to stop a run.

-McCreary also picked off Cousins when he jumped a route on the sideline with great anticipation, and he had another breakup on a Cousins pass intended for Justin Jefferson.

-Weaver was very active, with a sack and then a pick. His interception, off a deflected pass thrown by quarterback Nick Mullens, set off quite a celebration. Defensive lineman TK McClendon Jr. tipped the pass at the line of scrimmage, which resulted in the INT.

-Cornerback Tre Avery continued his solid play with an early break-up, and he made another play in a team defensive period.

-Defensive backs Shyheim Carter, Armani Marsh and Eric Garror had break-ups in an early 7-on-7.

-Defensive back Kristian Fulton was in great coverage on several plays, and fellow DB Sean Murphy-Bunting showed up, too.

-Defensive lineman Denico Autry made his presence felt.

-Safety Amani Hooker made back-to-back solid plays in an early team period.

-Edge Arden Key had a nice pressure.

-Levis didn't have a whole lot of opportunities. He was 4-of-4 in the 7-on-7 period, including a strike to receiver Reggie Roberson Jr. Levis completed a short pass on in a team period as well. But Tannehill and Willis led the 1s and 2s, respectively.

-Receiver Mason Kinsey had three straight catches at one point – two from Willis, and one from Levis.

-Receiver Tre'Shaun Harrison showed up with several catches, including a strike from Willis.

-I didn't think it was a great day for the kickers, and the wind had something to do with that. Caleb Shudak was way short on a 54-yard kick into the wind, and he missed a 46-yarder into the wind, too. Shudak made a few short ones, but this wasn't a great day to kick – or judge. Kicker Trey Wolff made his first three kicks, but misfired on a few balls caught by the wind.

-Running back Jacquez Patrick, who was signed on Monday, practiced with the team for the first time, in No. 38.

-Defensive lineman Michael Dwumfour, signed earlier today, also practiced for the first time. Dwumfour has been assigned No. 97.

-Running back Hassan Haskins, running back Jonathan Ward, offensive lineman John Ojukwu, defensive lineman Naquan Jones, and defensive lineman Kyle Peko did not practice.

-Linebacker Luke Gifford went inside at one point.

Next practice: vs Vikings, Thursday, noon-1:45 p.m.

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