The Titans used most of Monday’s practice before Tuesday’s day off to work a real scrimmage type of situation.
Offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur and defensive coordinator Dean Pees matched wits against each other during the day, working to get a close simulation as possible of some game day situations.
That meant that a lot of the team drills weren’t necessarily exciting, as there were plenty of short passes and running plays that not wow the crowd, but were needed in order to continue with the installation of both the offense and the defense.
“It’s great. It’s one of those deals where (Mike) Vrabel just comes into the meeting room and says, ‘We’re going to line up and go play some ball.’ It’s great to get to play some real live situations, because we know we’re going to face those whenever we get into the games,” safety Kevin Byard said.
Kevin on the spot: Speaking of Byard, who had 10 turnovers last year with eight interceptions and two fumble recoveries, had a pair of fumble recoveries in Monday’s work.
“I got a turnover, but it’s only the first week of camp and we’ve got a ton of stuff to get better on,” Byard said.
But when pressed, he said he felt the defense won the day.
Play of the day: Marcus Mariota found Taywan Taylor for about a 30-yard gain in one of the longer plays of Monday’s work. There was a caveat, however, as Taylor later lost the ball while continuing to run after the catch.
Runner-up: Marcus Mariota thread the needle with a downfield pass to the sure-handed Delanie Walker during on series of the scrimmage. It looked like it was going to be a big gain, but second-year linebacker Jayon Brown got a hand in and knocked the ball out as Walker was going to the ground.
Long shot of the day: Cornerback Rico Gafford made his presence felt with a hard hit that got the defensive backs fired up in one-on-one tackling drills. Gafford, an undrafted rookie from Wyoming, garnered some attention in the spring despite going undrafted, as he ran in the 4.2s at his pro day.
Special visitors: The Titans had two different special visitors on hand for Monday’s practice. The Titans hosted James Shaw, the hero who took the gun away from a shooter at a Nashville Waffle House earlier this year. Shaw was scheduled to speak to the team Monday night.
Also, Vrabel and a number of players met with some wounded veterans from both the United States and Britain. These veterans were in Nashville as part of the 1,000-mile Walk of America.