A special hat tip today to Luke Worsham of A to Z Sports. I had a conflict and was not able to attend today’s training camp practice. I promise it won’t be a habit, but Luke filled in capably.
It was another up-and-down day for quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was picked off three times on the day, but then rebounded to go 6 of 7 in the two-minute drive to lead a touchdown march against the defense.
“We want them to be aggressive, and then certainly down there, there’s some times where he was too aggressive,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel said in discussing Mariota’s red zone approach. “There’s a fine line being able to understand what the defense is and trust it and know where the guy’s going to be and then kind of waiting for things. So, he has to, as all of us do, have to do a better job of anticipating kind of when those plays are going to be available. Whether that be an outside linebacker coming under and not making a play and it bouncing outside. Just understanding when you can kind of take those chances and when you can’t.”
Injuries: Bennie Logan was back today as was linebacker Sharif Finch, but obviously as was discovered later on, it was a rough day for Nate Palmer, who landed on injured reserve after suffering a leg injury on Monday.
Others missing from practice included wide receiver Corey Davis, who worked out and went through stretch, but then went back inside. That would seem to be an indication that Davis won’t suit up in the preseason opener against Green Bay on Thursday night, having gotten no work on the field since Saturday. If Davis is missing, along with Rishard Matthews, who is on PUP, that means starters reps for Taywan Taylor and Tajae Sharpe, but also opportunities for the likes of Michael Campanaro, Darius Jennings Nick Williams, Deontay Burnett, Jordan Veasy and Devin Ross.
Others out of practice on Tuesday included linebackers Rashaan Evans and Brian Orakpo, who have now been out for a week and a half each.
Long shot of the day: Ross got a lot of targets from Mariota and backup Blaine Gabbert in hurry-up situations. Titans coach Mike Vrabel mentioned wanting to get him involved as a returner against Green Bay. Ross appeared to be pretty far down the depth chart a few days go, but has been getting opportunities the past three practices and has been cashing in on them.
Play of the day: Logan Ryan jumped a Taywan Taylor slant in the red zone for what would’ve been a 99 yard pick six in a real game. It was off of that RPO style play-action slant, the same play that Kendall Wright scored on in Mariota’s first career game. But this time, the ball should have never been thrown.
Runner-up play of the day: Dion Lewis also had a really nice day. He caught two touchdowns in red zone drills and had some nice runs as well. Lewis looked really fast and has a chance to give the Titans something out of the backfield they have not had in a long time with his ability to turn a checkdown into a big play.