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Quick Hits and Observations: Day 3 of Training Camp


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans just wrapped up Day 3 of training camp.

Here's what you need to know …


What stood out**

• The Titans practiced in full pads for the first time in camp, and there were some big collisions. While coach Mike Mularkey liked the intensity, he didn't like the fact the team was sloppy at times.

• Running back DeMarco Murray made some nice runs right up the gut in a team period when the offensive line opened some gaping holes. On three straight plays Murray gained positive yards, and he looked good doing it.

• Defensive lineman Antwaun Woods – all 318 pounds of him -- busted through the middle and wrapped his paws around 5-7, 174-pound running back Khalfani Muhammad, and then landed right on top of him early in practice. Muhammad got up, and to his credit, showed some burst when he got his hands on the ball during practice. (He probably didn't want Woods catching him).

• I noticed rookie tight end Jonnu Smith more on Monday than previous days. On one play in particular, Smith caught a Marcus Mariota pass across the middle of the field and turned in a nice gain.

• Receiver Corey Davis made some plays, but he wasn't as noticeable on Day 2 as he was out of the gate in his first practice on Sunday. Mularkey said he talked with the rookie on the way off the field, and Davis acknowledged as much. Mularkey likes the first-round pick's work ethic, and approach.

• Linebacker Nate Palmer busted through the middle to meet running back Derrick Henry in a run period.

• On 1-on-1s with the receivers and cornerbacks, receivers Rishard Matthews, Jonathan Krause and Taywan Taylor all made really nice grabs. Taylor got open deep, and caught a ball from quarterback Alex Tanney.

• The Titans found some interesting ways to get the ball in the hands of Taylor on Monday, including some on gadget plays. Even with some veterans around him at the position, Taylor continues to get himself noticed in practices.

• Mariota hasn't thrown a red zone interception in his first two NFL seasons, but safety Da'Norris Searcy got him near the end zone on Monday. Searcy stepped in front of Eric Decker and snagged a Mariota pass out of the air.

• Linebacker Derrick Morgan showed up with some nice rushes, including one when he forced Mariota to throw the ball away.

• Matthews and Decker both let catchable passes slip through their hands during a team period in the second half of practice. Matthews got behind the defense, but a deep ball escaped his grasp. I typed in this space Sunday I hadn't seen Decker drop a ball in camp. I won't be able to type that again.

• Krause, who played at Vanderbilt, is off to a nice start in camp. He's at a position loaded with talent, but he's been making plays.

• Safety Johnathan Cyprien broke up a pass intended for tight end Phillip Supernaw with a nice play.

• Tight end Delanie Walker had a big day, especially late. Walker caught a touchdown pass from Mariota after making a big catch earlier in the same period.


Play of Day**

Mariota made some nice throws to some of the team's front-line receivers, including a late red zone touchdown pass to Matthews after scrambling to create more time.

But the most eye-opening throw and catch involved Mariota and receiver Darius Jennings.

In one-on-one drills, Mariota lofted a deep ball downfield that Jennings caught while sliding on his back. Just a few seconds earlier, Jennings could be seen talking to the veteran Decker, who appeared to be offering advice.


Story of the Day**

Mularkey raved about cornerback LeShaun Sims and his work ethic on Monday, and he also revealed some inside information about Sims and two of the team's veterans – tight end Delanie Walker and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey.

It turns out Sims was named the offseason performer of the year among the "skills' for his work, according to Mularkey. He was competing against receivers and defensive backs. Walker won the award for the "mids" while Casey was named the top performer among "big guys."

"They are pretty proud of winning it," Mularkey said. "And LeShaun, the response he got from the team for winning it the other night, it was very big."

The offseason award comes with perks.

"They get preferred parking here, and preferred parking at the stadium," Mularkey said. "They get a suite at the hotel, and they get to pick one road suite. They get a dinner out with their position, so their position group gets rewarded for it.

"Then they get to pick one padded practice off."


Titans QB Marcus Mariota signs autographs on Day 3 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography)

Injury Watch**

• Receiver Tajae Sharpe did not practice for the third straight day. He was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of camp because of the foot injury he suffered earlier in the offseason. Mularkey said the team plans to be patient with Sharpe, which means he could miss a bit.

Other notables

• Quarterback Marcus Mariota signed autographs for roughly 1 ½ hours after practice.

• Adoree Jackson, Eric Weems, Khalfani Muhammad and Harry Douglas all lined up to catch punts during a special teams portion of practice. Titans general manager Jon Robinson watched them track and catch footballs from just a few feet away, and he whistled and coughed to try and distract them. Talk about some added pressure.

Next practice: Tuesday, 8:55 a.m. at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Titans players take the field for Day 3 of the team's 2017 training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones Photography, Gary Glenn)