It was an interesting first day at Titans training camp.
Here are a few of the highlights and details from Thursday’s first day.
Play of the day: Malcolm Butler issued a challenge to receiver Corey Davis in one-on-ones, and the proceeded to wrestle Marcus Mariota’s on-target pass away from Davis.
Butler pledged that his Super Bowl benching would be extra motivation, and he certainly played motivated on that drill. After he took the ball away from Davis, Butler punted the ball to the other end of the field and told the second-year receiver, “This ain’t no (expletive) OTAs.”
Up and down day: Speaking of Davis, the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft, not only had the play that Butler made against him, but he also dropped two passes during team drills. However, he made up for that in a red zone drill by making the best catch of practice late in the session. With Adoree’ Jackson draped all over him in coverage, Davis caught Mariota’s fade route by leaping into the air and coming down with it while finishing with a slide out of the back corner of the right side of the end zone.
Taylor Lewan’s return: Taylor Lewan showed up for training camp Wednesday and was a limited participant in his first day of work. Lewan, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, is seeking a contract extension. He did not take part in team drills, giving way to Kevin Pamphile at left tackle.
Lewan said he probably would not take part in team drills until his contract situation was resolved.
“It’s hard to say, but I would assume when my contract gets done,” said Lewan when asked when he would be a full participant.
However, Coach Mike Vrabel worked to dispel that notion a short time later.
“That was by design. Taylor, we talked early on that he didn’t finish. He didn’t have a mini camp, and so he didn’t really finish the program, and we wanted to see where he was at and make sure that he had been working and that his skill set after individuals and the things that he did is going to be ready to move forward to go with team. We feel that he’s ready for that, and that’s his plan, and we’ll insert him back in there when Jon (Robinson) and myself and Taylor are comfortable that he is ready to go,” Vrabel said.
First-team line mix: With Lewan out and Jack Conklin on PUP recovering from knee surgery, the Titans offensive line on the first day of camp work was a little patchwork. Pamphile was at left tackle, while Dennis Kelly manned the right tackle spot. The interior of the line, which was expected to get some competition at guard, had the same three players who played there last year – Ben Jones at center, Quinton Spain at left guard and Josh Kline at right guard.
Minor moves: The Tennessee Titans agreed to terms with defensive Claude Pelon and designated tackle John Theus as “non-football injury.” Pelon has spent time with the Jets on their practice squad.
Rookie working in: First-round pick Rashaan Evans got some first-team reps with the defense, but he split time with free-agent pickup Will Compton, previously of the Washington Redskins.
Long shot of the day: Rookie undrafted receiver Deontay Burnett made a nice sliding catch on a pass from rookie Luke Falk as he continues his quest to buck the odds and earn a spot either on the 53-man roster or on the practice squad. The former Southern Cal standout is locked in a competition with Darius Jennings, veteran Nick Williams and Jordan Veazy, among others, to possibly be a fifth or sixth receiver.
Injury update: Wide receiver Rishard Matthews was the only non-participant in Thursday’s practice among players on the active roster.