Time for Titans to Merge Rookies With Veterans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - One of the most exciting days of the offseason finally is here for the Tennessee Titans: The arrival of their new teammates, the rookies.

Some NFL teams throw their rookies in with veterans for their first organized team activities, or minicamps. Titans coach Jeff Fisher prefers to give the rookies a chance to look around and get a little comfortable before finding themselves on the same field with NFL stars.

Now the rookies, who arrived on Sunday, will take part in the team's offseason program with three on-field sessions starting today.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, himself going into his ninth NFL season, called it exciting.

"You get to see the new guys come in, see what they can bring to the team and ... we'll have all the guys ... we're going to have next year so we can start to move forward. we can start to build more as a team, it's not bits and pieces. Guys coming and going," he said.

Offensive players can't wait to see the top draft pick, receiver Kenny Britt of Rutgers, or the third-round pick in tight end Jared Cook of South Carolina. Kerry Collins has only seen a couple of highlights of Britt - only the third receiver drafted in the first round in the franchise's 50-year history.

"I'm excited for them to get here and see what they're all about. And of course, getting a receiver with the first pick is a big deal for me and obviously the offense. ... We'll see what they've got," Collins said.

For the defense, they want a close look at tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, the second-round pick out of Auburn, who will help a unit that lost Albert Haynesworth in free agency.

"Of course, we have high expectations, especially from us on the defensive lineman, ... whether he can help us or not right now," defensive tackle Tony Brown said.

End Jevon Kearse is rehabilitating from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to clean up some loose materials, so he will be helping coach at first. He said he can't wait to see assistant coach Jim Washburn go to work on the rookies.

"From Day One, he's going to be on you. He's going to be pulling, trying to get everything out of you that he wants and let you know this isn't college level. You can put it all behind you. It's all about what you can do for the Tennessee Titans," Kearse said.

Fisher cautions that the rookies will get extra work from rookie periods after the team sessions and that the rookies likely won't be doing much this week.

"But next time around, in June, they'll fall right into the swing of things, and I think they'll be fine. This group looks like it's a group that can learn. They showed just in a couple days that it's a smart group, so I think they'll fill in real nice," Fisher said.

MOVING ON: Tight end Alge Crumpler admits the memory of losing the football near the end zone of the Titans' playoff loss to Baltimore hurt for weeks after the game. The veteran also knows it's time now to focus on the next season.

"You just play. This is what I want to do, and it's what I'm going to continue to do. One, I wasn't careless, and two, I was doing what I always try to do, trying to get more yards and be physical and make a play and something bad happened," Crumpler said.

"Unfortunately, it's not like basketball or baseball where you get a series. It's one and done."

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