The crash of the helmets. The buzz of the season. Everybody is 0-0. Organized Team Activities have officially begun! The beginning of the NFL season is rapidly approaching and I can’t be the only one vibrating with anticipation. The only thing that comes close to the excitement surrounding OTA’s is the Titan’s preseason hype train. Numerous Titans made strong impressions as a new regime begins.
Starting with the quarterback, Marcus Mariota has ditched his knee brace he wore last season! He showed off his health today tucking several balls and showing speed and elusiveness. Mariota also showed off his accuracy, making several nice throws in traffic against a young, hungry secondary. Look for Mariota to continue to impress in the new offense and make strides as the offseason progresses.
There looks to be a deep competition brewing in the Titans receiving core. Amongst the many receivers making impressions is new receiver Michael Campanaro, who spent last season with the Ravens. It was reported that Campanaro hauled in the most grabs in Tuesday’s workouts. Campanaro appears to be hungry for a roster spot.
Second-year players Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor each turned a few heads the last couple of days. Davis has been demonstrating the physical, dominating capabilities that made the Titans draft him with the fifth pick last season. Davis dominated the middle of the field and showed a nose for getting upfield. Taylor, on the other hand, made his presence felt with the ball in his hands. Taylor displayed great shiftiness and a knack for avoiding tackles. Both appear to be healthy and looking to raise the bar this offseason. Undrafted receiver Jordan Veesy impressed with his size and ball tracking. His competitiveness showed as he was visibly upset with himself after failing to catch a well-defended deep ball.
The competition everyone has their eyes on is heating up as well. Running backs Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis look like a bear and her cub standing next to each other. That didn’t stop both from showcasing just how dangerous they can be individually and as a unit this season. It appears that the zone-blocking scheme is benefitting both backs early. Henry exploded for several big plays and displayed an improved nose for running lanes. Lewis displayed the elusiveness in space that made General Manager Jon Robinson target him in free agency.
This front seven is dripping with talent and potential and the secondary is hungry and physical. Confidence is certainly not scarce after these first two days. The linebackers have really stood out on the defensive end so far. Linebackers Derrick Morgan and Aaron Wallace have displayed great playmaking and disruptiveness. Morgan quickly sniffed out a botched exchange. Reports say that if it happened in a real game Morgan would be prancing through pay dirt. Wallace has been in the right place at the right time, bottling up a lot of runs, including a designed run by Mariota.
Cornerback Adoree Jackson has been wreaking havoc in coverage. Jackson broke up a beautiful pass to Taylor along the boundary. Jackson hasn’t been shy about showing off his athleticism as reporters claim he even caught a ball behind his back with ease.
As always, there were numerous titans sidelined with injuries. Wide receiver Rishard Matthews was sidelined today with a minor leg injury. He will work back in sooner rather than later. Offensive tackle Jack Conklin watches from the sidelines as he is recovering from last year’s knee injury. Head Coach Mike Vrabel gave no timetable for Conklin’s return to action. Conklin is not expected to take part in workouts this offseason because it’s to soon in the healing process.