The Johnathan Cyprien injury sort of overshadowed what went on at Titans practice on Thursday, but there was still plenty of work getting done.
For a good part of the day, it seemed as if the offense might have held the upper hand on the defense. Marcus Mariota continued to connect with Corey Davis, hitting him several times on different routes for good gains.
Delanie Walker had another day off – his second of camp – and Jonnu Smith seemed to capitalize on the opportunity with a couple of good plays.
“I think that’s the biggest thing that you just said; taking advantage of opportunities. Whether a guy is out there or not, whether a guy gets a rep or gets a couple more reps with the threes, whatever it is, it’s your opportunity as a player to try to be noticed on film,” Vrabel said of the 2017 third-round choice. “We’re watching, our scouts, and all of our coaches are watching all of our tape trying to find the right guys that can help us win and any time you have a chance to go out there in a team setting or a one-on-one setting and get noticed, that’s always a positive.”
Elsewhere, though, Titans tight ends continued to be plagued by drops. Luke Stocker flubbed a couple of passes; Tim Semisch could not haul in a short ball and Antony Firkser, who had made an impression earlier in camp, had a drop too.
Play of the day: Speaking of Smith, he leaked out the back side of the formation in team drills and was wide open – completely uncovered on the route – and caught a pass from Marcus Mariota in stride. Smith was so wide open on the route that it almost looked like Mariota was late delivering the football, but in seeing the play unfold, it appears that the quarterback was simply waiting for Smith to get to the right spot before delivering the pass.
Long shot of the day: Maybe he is a long shot no more, now that he is running with the ones due to injuries to Johnathan Cyprien and Kendrick Lewis, but Demontre Hurst, a converted cornerback, is playing at safety with the first team and is getting passing grades from the coaching staff for his work there.
“He had a good day yesterday. We’ll take a look and see how he did today,” Vrabel said. “He certainly stood out yesterday by taking advantage of the opportunities that he got with the first group and being able to go in there. I think the biggest thing you look at right away is can a guy handle it mentally. Is he making the checks that he should when he’s with the first group? Is the communication where it needs to be? From first glance, it was.”
Showing up: Harold Landry has only shown the occasional flash at outside linebacker while running with the first team in Brian Orakpo’s absence. But one of those flashes came on rush in team drills. Landry made a beeline for Marcus Mariota as he shot through the gap to record what would have been a sack, had contact been allowed.
Out today: First-round pick Rashaan Evans continues to be out of action and the “being evaluated” and “heat related” statements may not be completely accurate in describing his ailment, it seems.
Evans was joined out of action today by fellow rookie linebacker Sharif Finch, defensive tackle Bennie Logan, linebacker Brian Orakpo, tight end Delanie Walker and safeties Johnathan Cyprien (headed to IR) and Kendrick Lewis.