It was a very abbreviated practice today, as lightning in the area forced the team inside after only an hour on the field. I spent the positional work period near the o-line but close enough to watch the d-line as well.
Tracy Rocker had a new drill for his guys, clubbing tackling dummies. He placed four dummies about five yards apart in a square, then the linemen had to simulate a pass rush, clubbing the nearest dummy, then making a 90 degree turn to do the same to the next dummy. First they went counterclockwise, as a right defensive end would rush the passer, clubbing with the right arm. After that exercise was completed, they went clockwise, clubbing the dummies left-handed. Some used a rip following the club.
Today was the first day I remember seeing this – the team work, including 11 on 11, was done on the middle field. 250 members of the 101st Airborne were special guests today and were on the first field, lined up along the sideline, so they got a very good look at things. Maybe that was the reason the middle field was used for the team sessions today.
Unfortunately, what that meant for everyone else, is that we did not get a good look. One thing you could see, across the width of the third field and over the shoulders of the players who had taken a knee on the other sideline of the middle field, was the passing.
Matt Hasselbeck was sharp in the 11 on 11. At one point, he completed about 5 passes in a row, moving the ball downfield. The big play in that ‘drive’ was a scramble by Hasselbeck to his left with a 20 or 25-yard pass to Nate Washington down the left sideline.
The drive ended on an interception caused by a receiver tipping a pass up into the air. I didn’t catch his number so I’d rather not speculate on who it was.
The team vacated the field after that, going inside to the bubble. Fortunately, the soldiers were invited to join them inside to watch the remainder of practice. It was good to see the soldiers being given the access they were and recognized for their service. Another good thing to see was the coaches and Titans staff wearing 101st Airborne T-shirts today.
Here are more than the usual number of photos that will hopefully help to make up a little for the lack of things to report from today’s practice.
Members of the 101st Airborne from Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, were special guests this afternoon.
Malcolm Sheppard, Zach Clayton and Jovan Haye.
Julian Hartsell and William Hayes.
The coaches and staff all wore 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles T-shirts today. Here’s Tracy Rocker, sporting his T-shirt, and Shaun Smith.
Leroy Harris makes a one-handed scoop.
New OL Pat McQuistan
The d-linemen practice hopping…
and then trying to hop and catch the ball at the same time.
Sen’Derrick Marks returned to practice today.
Harris and Roos punch the blocking sled.
Bruce Matthews shows off his Screaming Eagles shirt.
Jim Washburn used a green ball tied to the end of a rope. Rocker uses a green ball attached to a pole. With both coaches, the signal to the players was the same. When the green ball moves, you move.
Assistant o-line coach Art Valero
Rocker’s newest drill.
Rocker watches as Hayes flattens the first two tackling dummies and bears down to club the third.
Karl Klug takes his turn.
Zach Clayton rounds third and is heading for home.
Jurrell Casey bears down on the third dummy.
It was good to see Sen’Derrick Marks getting some work.
The tackling dummies are no match for Shaun Smith.
Jason Jones looks physically more like a DE now than a DT.
Derrick Morgan prepares to club the final dummy in his path.
The soldiers of the 101st, background, have a much deserved great view.