NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans, who wrapped up their virtual offseason program on Thursday, are set up to not be hurt too badly by the missed practice time.

While other NFL teams may have trouble rebounding from not having a single in-person offseason practice, the Titans’ continuity will give them multiple potentially significant advantages once Training Camp rolls around.

“The fact that we are in the same system with the COVID-19 stuff that’s going on right now, I think this is probably—it’s an ideal situation,” safety Kevin Byard said.

ROSTER CONTINUITY

Of the 25 players who started for the Titans at the end of the 2019 season in the AFC Championship, 22 are still with the organization.

Aside from RT Jack Conklin (Browns, free agency), DT Jurrell Casey (Broncos, trade) and CB Logan Ryan (free agent), the Titans’ entire corps from 2019 will be back for the 2020 season.

“I’m glad that the nucleus of our team is back,” general manager Jon Robinson said.

That lack of change in the starting lineup will prevent the Titans from having to christen very many new players once Training Camp rolls around, giving them one less thing to worry about.

Not having to spend a vast amount of time showing the ropes to new players could come in handy for the Titans whenever Training Camp opens, as they’ll have more time to make up for what was lost by not having offseason practices.

One of those things that the Titans did lose, which head coach Mike Vrabel plans to open Training Camp focusing on, was the ability to re-hone fundamentals.

“We have to make sure that there’s a foundation and a base for our team during the football season,” Vrabel said. “When things get tough, you have to rely on the fundamentals.”

SCHEME CONTINUITY

Aside from the less-than-a-handful of lineup alterations, the only real change the Titans will face in 2020 is not having former defensive coordinator Dean Pees, who retired in January after coaching with the Titans for two seasons, calling plays in the booth.

“Dean Pees, he left such a big mark on the defense and on the team as well, just with his understanding and his philosophies and concepts,” linebacker Rashaan Evans said.

Even with the loss of Pees, the Titans’ defense is primed to not lose too much of a step.

It appears that Vrabel and outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen will combine to call defensive plays in 2020, both of whom will presumably use the same scheme terminology that Pees did.

Not having to learn a new scheme on either side of the ball, something several teams will be forced to do rapidly when Training Camp begins, gives the Titans another leg up.

“I think we’ll just be a little bit further ahead than probably most teams, or teams that are learning an entirely new system,” Byard said. “We can kind of just hit the ground running as soon as day one of training camp starts, and I think that’s going to be important for us.”

Add to the Titans’ roster and scheme continuity the fact that likely only one rookie (CB Kristian Fulton) will begin the season in a starting role, and it’s easy to see why the Titans are in good shape.

It will still be a challenge for the Titans to overcome the lost practice time, just as it will be for the NFL’s 31 other teams, but it’s undeniable that they will have some distinct advantages whenever they get back on the practice field.

“I think we’re all excited to get going,” QB Ryan Tannehill said. “I think being away for this long, we don’t really get this much of a break from the game. I think guys are itching, I know I’m itching.”

MORE: Why It’s Too Early to Worry About Who Will Call Plays For the Titans’ Defense in 2020

Cover image: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today


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