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Observations from Wednesday's Titans Minicamp


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were on the field Wednesday for the second day of a three-day minicamp.

Here's a look at what stood out:

  • The defense won Day 2 of minicamp. Quarterback Marcus Mariota was forced to hold​the football on several occasions, either because of solid coverage in the secondary or an aggressive pass rush. On several plays that were ruled sacks, the defense succeeded in both areas. The defense was swarming.
  • Things got cranked up during a live session right out of the gate, when coach Mike​ Vrabel hand-picked players to take part in a drill designed to improve open-field running, and tackling technique. In the drill, an offensive player has the football, and his goal is to get past the defender without being touched with two hands. Defensive backs Malcolm Butler, Logan Ryan and Kevin Byard were successful, among others, along with linebacker Harold Landry. Tight end Jonnu Smith and receiver Taywan Taylor were among those with wins on offense.

The Titans take the field for Wednesday's minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn)

  • Taylor made several nice grabs on the day, especially in the middle of the field.
  • The offense battled through some sloppiness that included a mishandled snap on the​first play, a false start and some missed chances downfield when receivers were open. Receiver Darius Jennings has enjoyed a solid offseason, but he let the ball go through his hands on a deep ball thrown by quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
  • The Titans have great depth at cornerback, after front-liners Logan Ryan, Adoree'​Jackson and Butler. Cornerback LeShaun Sims had a nice day on Wednesday, breaking up passes while being solid in coverage. Sims picked off a pass thrown by Gabbert, but the official called defensive pass interference. Personally, I
    didn't see much contact. Later, Sims broke up a pass in the middle of the field.
  • Running back Dion Lewis was stuffed at the line of scrimmage early by defensive lineman​Jurrell Casey and linebacker Aaron Wallace. Lewis is an elusive guy, but he didn't stand a chance on this play. Later, defensive lineman Austin Johnson smothered him for no gain.
  • I mentioned running back Akrum Wadley's burst on Tuesday. I saw it again today.
  • Linebacker Jayon Brown was in a position to sack Mariota on one snap, and when Gabbert​took over for the No.2 offense, linebacker Josh Carraway and Johnson got to him.
  • I noticed Landry, the team's second-round pick, on several plays on Wednesday. He​got to Mariota on what was probably a coverage sack, and he showed a burst coming off the edge.
  • Running back Derrick Henry busted through the middle and picked up steam rolling down​the field on a number of handoffs. Henry looks leaner, and faster to me this offseason.
  • Undrafted rookie Deontay Burnett and Devin Ross made plays. Burnett had catches on​back-to-back plays across the middle during one period, while Ross went up high to make a catch in an early team drill. Burnett let a catchable ball go off his hands early, however. Undrafted rookie Cameron Batson made a nice snag on a leaping grab across the middle.
  • Receiver Tajae Sharpe showed up with some nice grabs. Sharpe caught a ball on the left​sideline and raced downfield, and later he caught a ball in the middle of the field.
  • Tight end Delanie was active late on a two-minute drive that also included catches by​Sharpe, Burnett and Nick Williams.
  • Safety Kendrick Lewis intercepted a pass that went off tight end Jonnu Smith. It was a​nice, heads-up play, but the pass should've been caught. Near the end of practice, defensive back Kalan Reed broke up a pass intended for receiver Jordan Veasy.
  • Vanderbilt football coach Derek Mason and members of his coaching staff attended​Wednesday's session. The group included a pair of former Titans/Oilers – defensive lineman Jovan Haye and defensive back Rayna Stewart. University of Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell also watched minicamp with members of his staff.
  • Tackle Taylor Lewan was not present for the second day in a row. Receiver Rishard​Matthews, tackle Jack Conklin, tight end Phillip Supernaw, and receiver Michael Campanaro did not practice.

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