TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt gives his observations from Tuesday’s minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans were on the field Tuesday for the first day of a three-day minicamp.
Here’s a look at what stood out:
• Quarterback Marcus Mariota and the offense had their moments on Tuesday, but overall it looked like a winning day for the defense. The pass rush looked solid, and the secondary made plays downfield, including defensive backs Malcolm Butler and Kalan Reed right out of the gate in 7-on-7 drills. A pair of nice catches – by receivers Jordan Veasy and Tajae Sharpe – didn’t count early because they didn’t get both feet down inbounds. Mariota made some nice throws during the session, but he missed a few as well. Keep reading for more.
• Receiver Corey Davis returned to practice after missing some work last week. Davis snatched the ball out of the air on a pass across the middle of the field in individual drills, before his work was scaled back late.
• Receivers Darius Jennings and Taywan Taylor hauled in touchdown catches early in the session in 7-on-7 work.
• Cornerback LeShaun Sims knocked the ball away from tight end Luke Stocker at the goal line. Sims has had a nice offseason.
• Running back Derrick Henry continues to look explosive. He showed a burst after taking a handoff, and turned it into a nice gain.
• Undrafted rookie Akrum Wadley appears to be making the most of his limited reps. He caught a pass from quarterback Blaine Gabbert in team drills, and took off. The guy is quick.
• Outside linebacker Derrick Morgan wasn’t fooled when Mariota sprinted to his right, and then threw back to his left trying to hit tight end Jonnu Smith. The ball sailed over Smith’s head, but Morgan was right there.
• Cornerback Logan Ryan sniffed out a running play, and met tailback Dion Lewisnear the line of scrimmage. The shifty Lewis put a move on Ryan, but the bet here is he would’ve been corralled on this one.
• Tight end Delanie Walker continues to make plays in practice. He made a nice catch on a Mariota pass across the middle, just a few plays after Mariota connected with receiver Tajae Sharpe streaking across the middle of the field.
• Jonnu Smith made a pair of nice catches. One of them came on a sideline throw by Mariota, when he managed to get two feet down. The other came on nice catch across the middle of the field.
• Gabbert threw a strike to rookie receiver Deontay Burnett, who catches the ball well. Undrafted rookies Veasy, Burnett and Devin Ross have all impressed during offseason work.
• Kevin Dodd took part in Tuesday’s minicamp after missing the team’s organized team activities. Dodd did some good and bad. He jumped offside on one play, but on the very next snap he busted into the backfield to greet running back David Fluellen in the backfield.
“I just asked him to do what we’ve asked everybody else to do,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said of Dodd. “To come in, to be attentive, coachable, to give great effort, to know what to do. From first glance, it looks like he did that. So we’ll take a look at the film and go from there.”
• Tackle Taylor Lewan was not present on Tuesday. Titans GM Jon Robinson released a statement before practice on the subject: “As we start the mandatory veteran mini-camp, we were informed by the representatives for Taylor Lewan that he would not be attending the camp. We have had several constructive conversations over the last 5-6 weeks about his contract status. He is currently under contract, and we are working to keep Taylor as part of this organization for a long time.”
Vrabel was asked about Lewan after practice.
“I have a lot of faith in Jon and our organization and the front office and certainly Taylor has a situation,” Vrabel said. “I think Jon pretty much covered it with the statement. … We all have a contract, I understand that. Everybody in this building has a contract and I understand there sometimes becomes issues with those. I think they are best handled internally, and that’s where we’ll go.”
• Four players are taking part in this week’s minicamp on a tryout basis: Cornerbacks Bradley Sylve (Alabama) and Jarell Carter (Trinity International) and receivers Malik Earl (Missouri State) and Brandon Shippen (Temple).
• Former Titans safety Donnie Nickey is working this week’s minicamp as an intern.
• The Titans hit the field for Day Two of this week’s minicamp on Wednesday.