Full disclosure for today’s practice between the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I watched the Titans offense go against the Bucs defense.
The only time I saw the Tennessee defense was the final period when both teams came together and alternated series against each other.
So for the purpose of today’s superlatives, keep in mind that they will lean toward the offense today. The plan tomorrow is to watch the Titans defense take on Tampa Bay’s offense.
Play of the day: Corey Davis was the “player” of the day for the Titans offense, even getting a smile from Coach Mike Vrabel when asked to assess his work in the practice.
Vrabel said that Davis, “did some nice things” on the practice field and acknowledged that his timing with quarterback Marcus Mariota has gotten much better throughout camp.
“It’s a little bit of both. It’s been a long off-season and we’ve definitely been working on that part of it, just the timing, the chemistry. I feel like we’ve come a long way, but we’re definitely still working on it,” Davis said.
Mariota said his receiver did a great job of getting open and making plays when the ball came his way.
“Corey did a great job of finding the open windows and making some great plays for us,” Mariota said.
Davis’ play of the day, among the many catches he had, was to haul in a one-handed fingertip ball that he kept under control on play down the left seam following a deep crossing route. The ball was a bit behind him, but he got a hand on it, then corralled it without losing much stride on the play.
“I think Marcus (Mariota) made a play. I said, “did you see Corey (Davis) there? Was he running a little faster than you thought?” He said – when Corey had the one-handed catch – “I just knew he was going to be there.” You just have to trust what you see in the coverage and kind of throw into a spot. Corey made a heck of a play. He really showed up and did some nice things there,” Vrabel said.
All in all, it was the kind of day the Titans needed to see from Davis in the work against another team, and the kind of performance he needs to deliver on a consistent basic, not just flashes here and there.
Longshot of the day: The wide receiver pecking order among those on the bubble appears to be lining up. Darius Jennings, Deontay Burnett and Devin Ross seeming to be getting reps much earlier than some of the other undrafteds who are competing for roster spots. Those three are especially getting looks with the second group in the three receiver package. Jennings is getting a few first-team reps in the three-wide package as well.
Burnett, operating a lot of the slot with the second group, had another strong day catching the football and running smooth routes to create some separation.
Michael Campanaro’s continued absence is allowing the three mentioned above and Nick Williams to expanded reps in camp.
Others like Jordan Veasy, Brandon Shippen and Camerson Batson seem to be doing more work with the third group now.
Out of practice: Veteran linebacker Wesley Woodyard was out of practice on Wednesday, and could be just getting a maintenance day to rest, given that he had not had one before today’s work.
Others who are out are all presumed to be injured. They included Campanaro; cornerback Kalan Reed, who was limping at the end of Monday’s work; Dane Cruikshank, Rashaan Evans, David King and Brian Orakpo. Jack Conklin and Rishard Matthews remain on the Titans’ PUP list.
Speedy option: Dion Lewis looked particularly good weaving through traffic on a play to the left side that went down the far sideline for a nice gain on a simple running play.
Rushing: The Bucs pass rush got into the backfield on at least three occasions in practice where officials blew the play dead in order to simulate a sack.
On one of those Tampa Bay’s Jason Pierre-Paul grazed Mariota as he came by him, knocking the Titans quarterback to the ground. Mariota, however, said it was more his own clumsiness of tripping over his feet that caused him to fall rather than the incidental contact from Pierre-Paul