Three Quick Hits from Wednesday's Practice


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The Titans just wrapped up practice on Wednesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

On Sunday, the team will face the Patriots.

Three quick hits after today's practice:


Facing Gronk**

Slowing down Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is priority No.1 for the Titans on Sunday.

To do that, they'll need to slow down No.87 – Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. And that's easier said than done.

Gronkowski has 61 catches for 1,018 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. With his enormous size (6-6, 265) he's a tough matchup.

"Size, speed, smart, (he's) a very patient route runner,'' Titans interim coach Mike Mularkey said of Gronkowski. "He knows he's going to get jammed, disrupted at the line of scrimmage … He doesn't panic, and he sets up his moves very well. This is all for a guy who can run for a big tight end."

So how do teams defend him?

"It's a tough matchup for whoever you put out there -- linebacker, safeties, anybody,'' Mularkey said. "I think you have to change your defenses up. Their scheme is to try and find the mismatch, someway, somehow. And it really is a mismatch unless you put two on him, tightly on him. So it will be a challenge."

Mularkey said the Titans must do a good job tackling him as well.

"We need to rally to the ball,'' Mularkey said. "Every team that I have seen him face has had a problem tackling him. Every team."


Aubrey promotion**

The Titans promoted safety Josh Aubrey from the practice squad on Wednesday, in part because veteran safety Da'Norris Searcy is dealing with a hamstring injury.

But Mularkey said Aubrey earned the bump up for his preparation, and performance on the practice field.

Aubrey (5-10, 207) has eight games of NFL experience over two seasons, after entering the league with Cleveland as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He played six games as rookie for the Browns and two games last year in Houston.

"I am truly grateful for the opportunity, man,'' Aubrey said. "Now I am ready to make the most of it."

Depending on the health of Searcy, Aubrey could be needed on Sunday.

"I am preparing as if I'm playing every week,'' he said.  "We are playing against the best quarterback ever. That's really all you have to say to get ready to go."


Injury Report**

Titans receiver Kendall Wright didn't practice on Wednesday, and Mularkey said he's still recovering from the rib injury that forced him to miss Sunday's game against the Jets.

Wright did some running this week.

"(He's) not up to the standards we hoped he'd be,'' Mularkey said. "He's sore after running, and we're going to run him again tomorrow and see how he is tomorrow. He is getting better."

Defensive linemen Mike Martin (knee), Sammie Hill (knee) and Derrick Morgan (shoulder) all missed practice on Wednesday as well, in addition to Searcy, who Mularkey said is "day to day."

Morgan will be placed on Injured Reserve "at some point" this week, Mularkey said.


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