NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans wrapped up their offseason work with a minicamp this week at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Here's a look at six things that stood out:
Marcus Mariota's progress**
Mariota increased his workload throughout the offseason, and he looked like a different guy this week compared to the one who took the field in May during OTAs. His footwork, and his overall movement, looked improved. Plus, he delivered the ball with accuracy. Most of Mariota's offseason work came in 7-on-7 drills, so things will move much faster when he returns for camp. But he'll benefit from the practices this offseason.
Corey Davis, and his strength
Davis, the fifth overall pick of the draft, has looked the part from the day he walked across the stage at the draft. But he took things to another level this week when coaches and trainers turned him loose after limiting him earlier this offseason because of an ankle injury. Davis snatched the football out of the air, and hauled in footballs with defenders around him. He's going to win a lot of one-on-one battles in the NFL.
Derrick Henry's hands
Coach Mike Mularkey raved about Henry's speed last week, and he definitely looks faster this offseason. But Henry impressed me with his hands this week. He got behind two different defenders to catch deep balls on Wednesday, turning his body to haul in the passes while on the run. Henry averaged 10.5 yards per catch as a rookie, but these were from 40 yards out.
Kevin Byard's comfort level**
This time last year, Byard was still getting used to his new teammates, and a new defense. The team's third-round pick from MTSU picked things up quickly as a rookie, but he sometimes worried about making mistakes. Byard is much more sure of himself these days, and surrounded by plenty of newcomers – from veterans to rookies – he looks like a guy who knows what he's doing by making plays.
Positive news on Kevin Dodd
I'm basing this off what Mularkey saw, and said. Dodd, slowed this offseason while recovering from a second foot surgery, was running full-speed at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday. It's a good sign. Mularkey talked with optimism when discussing Dodd at the end of minicamp. He said he expects him to be ready to practice, and make an impact, when training camp begins next month.
Dennis Kelly's foot
The 6-foot-8, 321-pound offensive lineman sealed a Punt, Pass and Kick competition between players and coaches on Thursday with a 27-yard boot. Kelly went with straight-ahead, toe-kick approach, something he used in high school before a smaller, soccer style kicker took his place. Kelly turned in a pretty impressive boot on the final day of the minicamp. It split the uprights, and it had plenty of distance. Ryan Succop, watch out.
Titans players the field for Day 2 of a three-day minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)