NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans just wrapped up the first day of a rookie minicamp on Friday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Some practice field observations:
Stealing the show**
Most the cameras were on running back Derrick Henry, the last year's Heisman Trophy winner out of Alabama, on Day One.
Henry looked the part, and acted it. He's down a few pounds, practicing in the 243-pound range right now.
Henry took the first carry in offensive drills, and turned things up a notch when he broke through the line of scrimmage and into the secondary on running plays. Defenders aren't allowed to make heavy contact at this point, of course, but Henry is an imposing force.
Running backs coach Sylvester Croom isn't giving Henry a free pass. He stayed on him about getting his feet up in individual drills. He looked like a Clydesdale when he had a device attached to him designed to hold him back with resistance.
"It was good,'' Henry said. "It felt good being out there."
Coach Mike Mularkey praised him for his work.
"I liked a lot of things he did,'' Mularkey said of Henry. "Some of the holes, some of the plays we are running. His reads on the run were good for the very first day with a whole new offensive line and a fullback in front of him. But also some of the things he did protection wise. Some of the guys got beat up front and he had no problem stepping right up and picking up leakage so that is good to see very first day from him."
Tackle Jack Conklin worked on both the left side and the right side of the offensive line.
The Titans want him to get comfortable at both positions, though they'll eventually let him settle in.
"Right now I think a lot of it is just to understand the offense," Conklin said. "It's just going to speed up my process of learning the offense. If I know what the right tackle is doing, and I know what the left tackle is doing, I'll be able to understand the whole scheme better."
Conklin (6-6, 308) is a big man himself, but he moves well. Standing alongside guard Sebastian Tretola (6-4, 314), that's a lot of beef.
And he's fitting in.
"He's just one of the guys,'' Mularkey said of Conklin. "I think he wants to be just one of the guys. In meetings, he is asking a lot of good questions. … He is asking really intelligent questions."
Conklin is finding out a little bit about the Tennessee weather. He was sporting a pretty good sunburn after a full day in the sun.
Rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe had an early drop, and looked a little uncomfortable at the start.
But he made up for it and then some in his first day.
Sharpe, a fifth-round draft pick out of Massachusetts, had a good day. He caught at least five passes, many of them across the middle.
He went up high at one point to snag the football out of the air.
"Once you get out there, it is all just football at the end of the day,'' Sharpe said. "We just try to go out there and compete and have fun."
• Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk watched practice alongside general manager Jon Robinson.
• The Titans are working with new high-tech video equipment to film practices. Instead of the hydraulic lift the team used in years past, the team purchased three new land devices on wheels to film practices, and they were on display on Friday.
• Mularkey said the team's new bubble won't be ready until August 10, which is a few weeks into training camp. The Titans have discussed a Plan B, which could involve practicing at the indoor practice facilities at those schools in the event of bad weather.
• Titans offensive line coach Russ Grimm missed practice to attend his daughter's wedding.
• Nose tackle Antwaun Woods, an undrafted free agent, was excused for personal reasons.
Titans rookies, including all 10 draft picks, take the field for minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn, AP)