Titans Training Camp: Day 9 Quick Hits and Observations

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

Here's a look at what stood out …

Coach Mike Mularkey said after practice he watched tape of Monday night's scrimmage and the offense was better than he thought.

"I was happier this morning than I was last night,'' Mularkey said. "I am not happy with the penalties, and I wasn't happy with the turnovers. But I was happy with the protection. For the most part, protection was pretty sound."

On Tuesday, the offense made more plays.

• Quarterback Marcus Mariota connected with receiver Harry Douglas early downfield, and hit receiver Rishard Matthews not long after on the sideline. Later, Matthews made another nice grab on a crossing pattern.

• Rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe made a big catch in traffic, in between safety Rashad Johnson and cornerback Perrish Cox. Later, he made a diving catch on a ball thrown by Mariota.

• Tight end Phillip Supernaw had a good day. He made two really nice catches, including a sliding grab in one drill.

• Cornerbacks Jason McCourty and Cox made nice breakups on a passes across the middle.

• Receiver Andre Johnson made an impressive grab on the sideline.

• Running back Antonio Andrews scored on a short touchdown run late in practice.

Wright out "a couple of weeks"

Titans receiver Kendall Wright missed practice on Tuesday, and Mularkey said afterward he's going to be out a while.

"Kendall is probably a couple of weeks out,'' Mularkey said. "It is not a tear, but it is obvious when you look at the MRI he has a lot of fluid in the area and he is probably a couple of weeks from being able to go.

"Nobody can afford to miss practices right now, but you have to deal with it. We are and he is, and he has been really good in the meeting rooms and really good in the rehab. (Kendall) has been here really early to get healthy. He is doing everything he can to get back."

Mularkey said Douglas and Tre McBride are getting extra reps in the slot with Wright out.

Rewards

Safety Daimion Stafford, who had an interception on Monday night, worked with the first-team unit on Tuesday, in place of Da'Norris Searcy.

Mularkey said Searcy is having a good camp, but he wanted to reward Stafford.

"He's played well,'' Mularkey said of Stafford. "We ran him with the ones a little bit today just to say, 'We recognize what you are doing, and we recognized your play. We are going to reward you.

"Searcy hasn't done anything to lose his job. He just needs to know he's being pushed like all these guys are. Searcy has played well for us. I'm very happy with him."

Mularkey said rookie safety Kevin Byard also worked with the second team as a reward for solid play of late.

Mularkey said defensive lineman Antwaun Woods, an undrafted free agent from USC, is running with the second team ahead of second-round draft pick Austin Johnson because of his performances in practice.

"Guys that have shown they are going to play at a consistent and high level, and play physical, they are going to get their opportunities,'' Mularkey said. "And that's what we're doing."

WWE belt

The offensive linemen and defensive linemen had another round of competition for the WWE belt on Tuesday, and once again the o-linemen walked away with the belt.

Again, it was rookie tackle Jack Conklin with the decisive win. Defensive lineman Karl Klug beat offensive lineman Sebastian Tretola in round one, and then center Ben Jones stopped Ropati Pitoitua in a one-on-one drill. With the team gathered around, Conklin then got the best of the Pro Bowler, Casey.

"He went for a speed, bull-rush thing,'' Conklin said Casey. "I knocked his hands down, he fell down, and I came down on top of him."

The offensive linemen have now won three straight battle vs. the defensive linemen, keeping the belt on the wall in the group's meeting room. Asked if the winners each week are engraved on the belt, Conklin smiled and gave a confident answer.

"If it never goes back to the defense,'' Conklin said, "I don't think you really need to put anything on it."

Injuries

Linebacker Nate Palmer (ribs), linebacker Aaron Wallace (ankle), cornerback Brice McCain (hamstring) and linebacker Kevin Dodd (foot) did not practice. Running back Dexter McCluster was excused for personal reasons.

Mularkey said there's a chance Dodd, who remains on PUP, could return to practice next week.

Offensive lineman Brian Schwenke was back in the practice field after missing Monday night. Center Andy Gallik (knee) also returned.

Cornerback Cody Riggs left practice with a head injury, and he's being evaluated.

Titans tidbits

The new bubble at Saint Thomas Sports Park is close to being finished, Mularkey said. The goalposts still need to be hung inside, along with cameras.

Mularkey praised fullback Jalston Fowler, and said the plan is to keep a true fullback on the team's 53-man roster.

Titans players take the field for Day 9 of training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)

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