Rookie LB Kevin Dodd Anxious to Hit the Field


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans linebacker Kevin Dodd is rarin' to go.

On the first day of training camp on Saturday, Dodd was in uniform like the rest of his teammates. But instead of practicing, he worked on his own, and then stood on a fence line to sign autographs for fans afterward.

Dodd was placed on the team's Physically Unable to Perform list because of a foot injury that required surgery during the offseason.

"It is real difficult just to not be able to be out there and be a part of this team,'' Dodd said. "But the smartest thing for me now is to not be out there.

"I am still getting after it, working and taking it step by step and hopefully will be back soon. … Of course I kind of want to be out there, but it is what's best. The coaches, they know what is best for me. It is up to me to just trust their plan."

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he thinks Dodd will be on short-term PUP.

"We felt like we've been very smart with the way we've handled his injury, and why push it?" Mularkey said. "Every couple days, we'll test him to see where he's at.

"But especially for the first couple of days where there's no pads, the physical part is not going to be as much a part of the practice. We just thought this was the best for him."

Linebacker Brian Orakpo complimented Dodd earlier this offseason after watching him play at Clemson. In his final college game, Dodd registered three sacks and five tackles for loss in the national championship game against Alabama.

The Titans selected Dodd in the second round of the NFL Draft.  He's expected to make an impact during his rookie season behind outside linebackers Derrick Morgan and Orakpo.

At the start of camp, Orakpo talked about Dodd with even more optimism.

"(I like) the way he can rush," Orakpo said of Dodd. "It's a big guy that can rush. That's what we need. You can't have too many rushers.

"Take Denver for example. You had Von (Miller) and DeMarcus (Ware) as premier guys, but all those guys behind them — when they were down there resting and staying fresh — you had those young guys coming in and really making plays as well.

"That's what I feel like we're capable of having here is depth and guys that can get after the quarterback, similar to what Denver had to win that Super Bowl last year."

The Titans select Clemson OLB Kevin Dodd in the second round (33rd overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

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