Six Things We Learned About the Titans this Offseason



NASHVILLE, Tenn. —**The Titans wrapped up a three-day minicamp on Thursday with a relay race.

It was a sprint to the finish, and it capped off an offseason that also included 10 organized team activities and two months of training in the offseason program.

The Titans will report to training camp at the end of July.

Here's a look at six things we've learned this offseason in workouts …


Murray's a leader:** The Titans traded for DeMarco Murray because of his abilities on the field, and he's looked good. But behind the scenes – and sometimes on display on the field -- Murray has gone out of his way to push other players on the roster, from rookie running back Derrick Henry to the receivers. During one practice, Murray told one of the team's receivers, 'This is how No.88 would do it', after he failed to aggressively attack the fooball in the air while in a red zone drill. He was talking about his former teammate in Dallas, receiver Dez Bryant.

Mariota has improved:This was bound to happen. With a season under his belt, better players around him, and an entire offseason to work, everything has worked in Marcus Mariota's favor. Still, Mariota has looked comfortable in practices, and he looks even sturdier – proof he turned things up a notch in the weight room. It's a good sign as he prepares for his second training camp.


Sharpe's ahead of the curve**: It's rare to see a rookie come in and have so much success early, especially at the receiver position. But Tajae Sharpe has done just that. Sharpe began running with the first team unit in OTAs and it continued in minicamp. He's been bumped up because he's a great route runner who catches the ball well. Can he hold the spot in training camp? So far, he's looked the part.

Henry can catch: The Heisman Trophy-winning running back didn't get a chance to catch many passes at Alabama. Coaches clearly felt they didn't need to throw it to a guy who had so much success by receiving handoffs. But Henry displayed good hands – and the ability to get open – during OTAs and minicamp. It makes him even more dangerous out of the backfield.


Mularkey doing things his way:** When Mike Mularkey took over as interim coach last fall, he made some changes, but he couldn't really do things the way he wanted to. It wasn't fully his team quite yet. Since the interim tag was removed, he's done things his way, and players are digging it. Mularkey has lightened things up in the building with his approach, and brought an atmosphere that's made it more fun for the players. But he's far from a pushover. He's let players know when they need to step it up, and hasn't been afraid to make changes.

Other receivers need to step up: Sharpe is a feel-good story that's been talked about all offseason. But shouldn't some of the veterans be keeping him from running with the 1s? Kendall Wright has worked mainly in the slot, and has looked good. Veteran Rishard Matthews has been the starter opposite Sharpe, and he's on track. But the team is looking for more from Dorial Green-Beckham and Justin Hunter, and it's no secret. Mularkey has said it himself during the last few weeks. If the Titans are going to thrive on offense, they need a number of receivers to be consistent.

Titans players finish the offseason with a relay race at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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