NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans eased into offseason work last month in Phase One of the team's offseason program. During the early portion of the NFL's offseason, the focus is primarily on conditioning.
Then comes Phase Two, when coaches are allowed on the field to supervise work, and see footballs fly around.
On Tuesday, things get turned up a few notches. The Titans conduct their first of 10 organized team activities today at Saint Thomas Sports Park. It's the kickoff to Phase Three, a three-week period leading up to next month's minicamp.
"You get to compete,'' Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. "(Up until) now you can't line up (across) from a player. Obviously it is not going to be full-speed, but at least we can do one-one-ones, we can have some team periods, we can do some drills that involves players at least mirroring. No live contact, no bump-and-run — we are going to avoid it....We'll be able to tell a lot more."
It's not the regular season, but it's one step closer.
"It will be a big week,'' Mularkey said. "Now you're going to really get to see your rookies competing for the first time. They've done great studying and doing the walk-throughs and a lot of things on air, but now they are going to have somebody across from them that they are going to have to compete against. There's going to be a lot of competition."
The Titans are scheduled for 10 OTAs from today until the early part of June, and then the team will conduct a three-day minicamp in mid-June.
Training camp is scheduled to begin in late July, and the preseason kicks off in August.
Mularkey has liked what he's seen so far in the offseason program.
He's looking forward to finding out a lot more.
"The attention to detail has been good — we're much further ahead than I ever expected in all the schemes. And the guy have been very attentive,'' Mularkey said.
"Now, when the ball is snapped, the tempo is going to be higher. It always looks good on air, but let's see how it looks when the blood flow is a little higher and the mind is thinking a little quicker, how well they compete. The next three weeks we're going to find out a lot about these guys."
Titans rookies, including all 10 draft picks, take the field for minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Gary Glenn, AP)