Saturday night’s open practice at Nissan Stadium for the Tennessee Titans will be a scrimmage between two intrasquad teams that the Titans’ offseason award winners have drafted.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota and defensive lineman Matt Dickerson are the co-captains for one team, and defensive lineman DaQuan Jones and running back David Fluellen are the co-captains for the other team.
Here’s what the captains had to say about their respective strategies going into the real-life fantasy football draft.
Fluellen, clearly very competitive, was hesitant to answer questions about he and Jones’ draft strategy. He’s keeping his cards close to his chest.
“I don’t know if I can tell you the strategy,” Fluellen said, “but me and my co-captain, DaQuan, looked for the best 53 guys like Jon Robinson would. We’ll put them on the field and they’ll help us win tomorrow.”
The co-captains for the scrimmage also were able to draft coaching staffs. Fluellen wouldn’t even budge on that information.
“Can’t tell you that either,” he said. “I don’t want to give my hand to the other team, so I can’t say that either.”
Jones, Fluellen’s co-captain, was a little more forthcoming.
“Me and Flu decided to go defense,” Jones said. “We wanted to go defense, and we had faith in our guys. We’ve got a good secondary, we’ve got our front four, and we’ve got linebackers. We’ve got people who we know are going to run and hit, so we’re very confident.”
When it came to getting offensive players for the squad to balance things out, Jones left that up to his co-captain.
“I handed that off to Fluellen, he’s over there more than I am…I kind of picked the o-line and he picked the skill guys.”
Dickerson, whose co-captain is Mariota, is looking forward to the opportunity Saturday night’s scrimmage will provide to improve upon his game.
“We’ve got a lot of guys,” Dickerson said, “so it was kind of cool to be put in Jon’s spot and coach Vrabel’s spot and see how the process worked. It was interesting. As a team identity, continue to be spot on and work on the fundamentals. Get ready for the season.”
One of Dickerson’s primary draft strategies was to lock up his defensive coordinator, Dean Pees.
“I wanted to get Coach Pees right off the bat, so that’s the first thing I did. It was me and Marcus, Coach Pees was on the board and he was one my first picks.”
Unfortunately for Dickerson and Mariota, Pees will be in Canton, Ohio on Saturday to watch Ed Reed’s enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They may have wasted a pick.
- Offensive coordinator Arthur Smith will call the plays on offense for both teams.
- In Pees’ absence, outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen will call defensive plays.
- Prior to the start of the draft, the Titans’ coaches had already divvied up a handful of players to ensure that everything will be fair.
- The first defensive player off the board in the draft was defensive lineman Brett Urban.