I know some of you who can't attend training camp appreciate photos from it and I'll have some for you after some commentary on Sunday night's practice. I'll try not to repeat boring and not helpful things that the beat writers report, such as "someone completed a long pass/touchdown pass to someone" or "someone else made a nice catch" or "someone made an interception."
I do like to try to provide you things that mainstream media don't, such as personnel groupings and defenses. And now, here's Sunday night's practice report, with some pictures to follow.
It was very crowded at St. Thomas Sports Park. Although I arrived about 45 minutes early, there was a long line of fans waiting to get in. When I got to the fields, the first good spot I could get was at the far 10-yard line, where the running backs do their work. I could have continued to the end zone of the second field, where the o-line and d-line have their areas set up, but decided to stay put.
After the RBs had done their stretching and loosened up near the building, they came down to their area for some position work and the QBs soon joined them. The highlight, in this case a lowlight, came when Jake Locker badly misfired on a short pass intended for CJ, missing him by about five yards and causing CJ to shake his head. I know he wasn't the only one with that reaction.
When the team regrouped for some 11v11, I made note of some personnel groupings. The defense started the evening in 3-3-5, Gregg Williams' favorite sub-package, so at least this portion of practice was for the defense.
LDE Morgan, DT Casey, RDE Klug
LLB Ayers, MLB Fokou, RLB Brown
LCB McCourty, RCB Campbell, slot Sensabaugh, SS Pollard, FS Griffin
Pollard was in the box pre-snap a lot in this series, sometimes dropping back post-snap and blitzing once. I was a little surprised to see Klug at RDE with the first unit; it turns out that Ropati Pitoitua was held out of practice. The Titans now have Klug designated as a DE/DT on their online roster and on the handouts given out at practice and it's easy to see him getting some work as a DE in both 3-3-5 and Ruby (3-2-6) sub-packages. I hope Tom won't lose too much sleep worrying about Sensabaugh in the slot; maybe they'll give Blidi Wreh-Wilson or Alterraun Verner a shot with the first team next time.
Changing later to a 4-3,this was the first team d-line:
LDE Morgan, LDT Casey, RDT Hill, RDE Klug
I also made note of the offensive line personnel for both the first and second teams (I seldom bother with the rest of the offense, since they rotate personnel at the other positions frequently.)
1st unit – LT Roos, LG Levitre, C Turner, RG Velasco, RT Stewart
2nd unit – LT Stingily, LG Studdard, C Spencer, RG Oscar Johnson, RT Otto
It's been normal for the Titans, both with Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews as OL coach, to move non-starting players around, such as flipping tackles Otto and Stingily. I suspect Chance Warmack's absence provided the team an extra opportunity to look at Turner at center, with Velasco shifting to guard. Now that Warmack has signed, Oscar Johnson seems destined back to the third team before being cut but at least he'll always be able to say he was once a second string NFL guard.
And now, some photos for your enjoyment.
CJ in action
Ryan Fitzpatrick rolls out after a handoff
Besides Locker, Fitzpatrick and Rusty Smith, several times I noticed a fourth guy wearing a red quarterback jersey, far right in the above picture, jersey number 1. There is no mention of another QB on the Titans roster and I haven't read any reports of the Titans signing one. I never did get a chance to see a name on the back of his jersey either.
Rusty winds up.
It's dusk and the rest of the pictures get darker.
7v7, Justin Hunter in foreground.
That's Gregg Williams and Jerry Gray in background.