Offense Bounces Back on Second Day of Camp




NASHVILLE, Tenn. –** A day after the Titans' defense opened up training camp in dominating fashion, it was Tennessee's offense that had the better practice on day two at Baptist Sports Park.

Despite a steady rain drizzle throughout the afternoon, passes were crisp and receivers were reigning in most of the passes within reach. The offensive line was opening up holes, and the running backs were shifting through with speed and quickness.

"Yesterday, the defense made the plays, today the offense made the plays. That's part of camp," head coach Jeff Fisher said. "As you install more things, you create more opportunities to make plays."

One of the biggest playmakers of the day was rookie tight end Jared Cook. The third-round pick from South Carolina made a great catch falling onto his back early in practice. Later, Cook made a leaping grab in the end zone over cornerback Tarnard Davis, just one play after Davis made a nice interception right in front of Cook.

"We're going to continue to load [Cook] up with the offense and create some matchups," Fisher said. "One thing he can do, he can usually come down with the ball in one-on-one situations."

Another standout performer of the day was second-year wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, who made a spectacular diving catch up the sideline on an out-and-up route. On the play Hawkins landed on the ball and got the wind knocked out of him, but quickly returned to practice. He continued to make catch after catch, including a touchdown on a fade route.

"We got a lot of things done," Hawkins said. "I made a few mistakes out there, but for the most part I thought I did well today."

The offensive weapon that many of the fans were most excited to see, however, was recently acquired free agent wide receiver Nate Washington, who showed quickness and speed. In his work with the first team, Washington appeared in sync with quarterback Kerry Collins, as they hooked up on crossing routes, posts, out patterns and comebacks.

Quarterback Vince Young was excited at all of the new and developing weapons at his and Collins' disposal. When asked how it was to have such great athletes on his side of the ball, Young said, "A blessing from the football God. We've got some terrific athletes and they are coming along. Cook had a great day today, Nate Washington is one of the speedy guys we have been looking for. We have to continue to keep practicing and buying into coach Heimerdinger's scheme and let everything develop like it needs to because we have a lot of talent on the offensive end".

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY: As the day wore on, the rain increased which led to a few dropped passes, but for the most part the wide receivers were holding onto the ball. Fisher said he was glad to be able to simulate a "wet ball" condition so that his players won't be fazed by rain during a game situation.

DEFENSE COMES ON: Also as the day progressed, the defense began to make its mark on the field. Free agent cornerback DeMarcus Faggins made a nice pass breakup when he jumped a route in front of Cook. Later, he came in on a corner blitz, leading to an early throw and Vincent Fuller interception.

STELLAR D-LINE: As usual, the defensive line made an impression during the practice session, as defensive end Jevon Kearse made two would-be sacks, defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson swatted down a pass attempt and rookie defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks got into the backfield to make a would-be sack- if the defense was allowed to hit the quarterback.

IN THE FOLD: First round pick, wide receiver Kenny Britt agreed to terms late this afternoon. He was too late for Saturday's practice, but is expected to be on the field Sunday afternoon. The only others to miss practice today were center Kevin Mawae (PUP list) and kicker Rob Bironas.

MAKING STRIDES: Rookie running back Javon Ringer finds himself in a crowded backfield, but is looking to make his mark. The 5-9, 205-pound back said he is gradually taking steps to learn more of the offense.

"Now, instead of thinking so much about where I'm supposed to go and what I'm supposed to read and things like that, I can just play," Ringer said.

Ringer was a fifth round pick out of Michigan State, where he finished with 4,398 yards, 10th all-time in Big Ten history.

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