TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers his quick hits and observations from Day 20 of Titans training camp at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Quick Hits and Observations from Day 20 of Titans Training Camp – a joint practice with the Carolina Panthers.Here’s what you need to know …
What stood out• Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was the defensive star of the day. Jackson had a pair of breakups early in practice in 1-on-1 drills, and he made a nice breakup in the end zone in 7-on-7 drills on a ball thrown by Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Later, Jackson picked off a pass in team drills.
• Running back DeMarco Murray busted off a big run – through gaping hole – on the first play of a team run period. It was a repeat of the first play on Wednesday.
• Cornerback Logan Ryan had a nice breakup on a Newton pass intended for Kelvin Benjamin on one-on-one drills.
• Quarterback Marcus Mariota was mostly sharp. He was especially effective in a two-minute period, finding tight end Delanie Walker on a number of plays. Mariota completed passes all over the field during the session, although a few sailed on him during one period.
• Newton did more in practice for the Panthers, and he also did more jawing with fans, who yelled both “Roll Tide!” and “War Eagle!” at the former Auburn star.
• Running back Derrick Henry turned in a number of nice runs in a team run period vs. the Carolina 1s.• Receiver Rishard Matthews had a good day. He made a number of catches in every period, including a deep ball in 1-on-1s that left him screaming with excitement.
• Things were chippy at times, but a big brawl never materialized. Titans linebacker Erik Walden and Panthers guard Andrew Norwell did some pushing and shoving after one play, but things quickly calmed down.
• Linebacker Jayon Brown continues to make plays. He forced a fumble on Thursday, a day after picking off a pass.
• Receiver Tre McBride caught a deep ball in 1-on-1s.
• Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey caught my eye for the second day in a row. He’s going to be a fun guy for Panthers fans to watch.
Play of Day
The Titans created a pair of turnovers on Thursday, and the biggest one was made by linebacker Wesley Woodyard.
Woodyard stepped in front of a pass thrown by Panthers quarterback Joe Webb, and returned it for a touchdown.
It was part of a good day for Woodyard.
Story of the DayVeteran receiver Harry Douglas worked with the first team in Thursday’s practice, and he made plenty of plays.
Douglas has been solid for the Titans in camp.
With Corey Davis(hamstring) and Tajae Sharpe (foot) sidelined for weeks because of injuries, Douglas was busy early in camp. With Eric Decker now sidelined with a sprained ankle, Douglas saw even more reps against the Panthers.
“He’s invaluable,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Douglas, a 10-year veteran. “He is a coach in the locker room and on the field. He does everything right. He is a guy to follow. He’s had a productive career, and has played a long time.
“Harry has been very productive. You can trust him. If you are a young player and you don’t follow Harry Douglas, you are not giving yourself a real good chance.”
Decker, who suffered an ankle sprain on Wednesday, did not practice and Mularkey said he won’t play in Saturday’s preseason game against the Panthers.
Linebacker Aaron Wallace (back), receiver Mekale McKay (hamstring), cornerback DeMontre Hurst (groin), receiver Tajae Sharpe (foot), long snapper Beau Brinkley(groin) and Davis (hamstring) did not practice again on Thursday.
Mularkey said he expects Murray to see his first preseason action against the Panthers.
• Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook from Little Big Town attended practice and chatted afterward with Mularkey.
• Mularkey said the Titans have rearranged practice on Monday, August 21, so they’ll be able to watch the solar eclipse as a team on the field. The team plans to hand out glasses for players, coaches and team officials to wear on Monday.
• Members of the Make-a-Wish Foundation were on hand at practice. Like last year, the first play of the team’s first home preseason game has been auctioned off for charity.
• Titans rookie Jack Conklin was treated to a pie in the face from members of the offensive line. It’s his 23rd birthday.
• The Titans had their rookies perform a “talent show” on Wednesday night in front of the whole team.
• Defensive back Darrius Sims, who starred at Vanderbilt and was signed by the Titans earlier in the day, was on the practice field and practiced for the first time in camp.
• Veterans (with four years experience) will be allowed to break camp tonight, Mularkey said. The rest of the players will have curfew tonight, and will leave the team hotel tomorrow.
Next up: The Titans face the Panthers at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Nissan Stadium.