Quick Hits: Praise for Lewan, Officials, Uniforms

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans kicked off organized team activities on Tuesday, when players on offense and defense were able to compete against one another for the first time during the offseason.

On Wednesday, the team was back on the field, but the session was closed to media.

But that's OK. I had a few notes leftover to produce another round of quick hits…

**

Lewan Praise**

Titans coach Mike Mularkey went out of his way after the first OTA to praise tackle Taylor Lewan, and his approach this offseason.

Lewan, the team's first-round pick in 2014, started 15 of 16 games last season. He played through a shoulder injury in 2015 before missing the final game with a concussion. Lewan is expected to start at left tackle this fall, opposite rookie right tackle Jack Conklin, the team's first-round pick last month.

"Taylor has been, since the off-season program started, one of our top guys in the weight room,'' Mularkey said of Lewan. "When we've been out here, he's been one of the top leaders out here, doing everything we've asked. He's consistently finishing plays like we're asking him to.

"He's done everything we've asked and probably more than we've asked to step into that leadership role."

**

Zebras at practice**

Players should get used to seeing game officials at practice. Mularkey hopes it will cut down on seeing something else – penalty flags.

Mularkey said he plans to have officials at practice throughout the OTAs and at next month's minicamp. They'll be back at training camp as well.

"Obviously (the players) are more aware, they see the flags,'' Mularkey said when asked about the benefit of having officials. "They know they caused a penalty but it's not until we get together and I tell them we had 11 penalties in a practice, which is not acceptable, do they understand the magnitude.

"If you don't do that, you have no idea how many mistakes you made and what they were and how to fix them. It is not surprising it happened, but we have to get better, no doubt."

No nameplates

Something that won't be seen in practices: nameplates on the backs of the jerseys.

In years past, last names were on the back of practice uniforms. Those have been removed this offseason. Numbers are on the front and back, with the word "Titans" stitched on the front, above the number.

"That's just something I'm familiar with,'' Mularkey said. "(General manager) Jon (Robinson) was familiar with it. It's really about the name on the front of the jersey that we're talking about and always have been talking about, and it's different. It's change. It's things I'm familiar with with Pittsburgh and he is with New England."

Titans veterans and rookies join together for the first day of OTAs at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography)

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