The Tennessee Titans were on the practice field for day one of Training Camp 2020, after the strangest offseason of any of our lifetimes.

Friday was the first time the media has been present at St. Thomas Sports Park since locker room clean-out day following the loss in the AFC Championship Game. Covid-19 stole NFL teams a regular off-season of work in April, May ,and June. While Friday is one step towards a feeling of normalcy and football season, it’s just one practice.

Here are some observations from my perspective as the coronavirus camp got underway.

Titans media will still have a great vantage point of camp this summer. While we don’t have the ability to fully roam the sidelines, the franchise had done a great job of giving us the ability to do our jobs well enough to give the fans good insight.

Make sure you’re following A to Z Sports on social media for LIVE updates of Titans training camp: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Derrick Henry

The NFL’s leading rusher enters training camp with a brand new $50 million contract and a familiar focus. Henry is now a bonafide leader on this team and sets the tone during running back drills.

Henry looked comfortable in drills that worked on pass protection and pass catching. It’s tough to gauge running game success in practices as there is no full tackling, but Henry was able to find a few creases on the ground in team drills.

Kalif Raymond

Raymond has become a massive fan-favorite after his diving touchdown catch vs Baltimore in the divisional playoffs. The scrappy undersized receiver caught everyone’s eye Friday with several successful reps in one-on-ones vs the defensive backs.

Raymond’s top-end speed is unique to the Titans receiver group. His quickness in underneath routes could give him the potential to continue to develop into a more well rounded receiver. He just has a way of getting open.

With Corey Davis currently on the Physically Unable to Perform list, Raymond has a chance, with extra reps, to solidify himself as a roster lock on this Titans team. Rashard Davis, Cam Batson, and Cody Hollister are other veterans who are looking to better their standing on the depth chart.

A.J. Brown and Ryan Tannehill

These two haven’t skipped a beat. It was obvious to see how the new Titans starting QB and rookie WR had a connection during the 2019 season. After one practice it looked like they will be in for a big 2020. Brown made several catches during team 11-on-11 drills. One saw Tannehill thread the needle to hit Brown in stride. Don’t think he would have been caught in a race to the end zone.

CBs Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler

Adoree Jackson had his 5th-year option picked up this spring, so year four of his rookie contract is very important to him earning a second contract with the Titans.

Jackson looked quick, explosive, and showed no rust when covering receivers in one-on-ones and open field tackling drills.

A big question on Jackson is about how he will be used in the loss of Logan Ryan to free agency. We’ll learn more about the frequency in which Jackson will play nickel-corner versus the outside-corner spot his played in his first three years.

Malcolm Butler missed the Titans’ second half explosion last season with a broken wrist. He’s back and his smile is from ear to ear. Head coach Mike Vrabel cited Butler’s competitiveness and called him the team’s street-rat (that’s a compliment) for his approach to the game.

Butler’s aggressiveness showed in a couple nice reps in one-on-ones Friday.

D’Andre Walker

Didn’t expect this name did you? The 2019 5th round pick out of Georgia got a ton of reps on Friday opposite of Harold Landry at outside linebacker.

Yes, the absence of Kamalei Correa and Vic Beasley (non-football injury list) left reps up for grabs. From what I could tell, Walker held his own. Vrabel worked heavily with Walker last offseason before the Georgia product got injured and missed the entire season.

If the Titans pass rush is going to improve in 2020, it must be because of guys like Walker and second year OLB Derick Roberson have taken steps in development.

Other Titans Notes: 

Harold Landry showed up for year three looking strong and explosive. One one full-team drill rep he got pressure in the face of Tannehill and forced an incompletion. It could have been a sack.

The Titans inside linebackers is an exciting group to watch. Jayon Brown and Rashaan Evans have promising futures as a starting tandem. Don’t forget second year guy David Long Jr. He looks like a combination of Evans and Brown. Similar in size and quickness of Brown, but extremely aggressive and fast downhill in the running game like Evans.

KICKERS! Greg Joseph and Tucker McCann both did a good job Friday in making field goals. Joseph went 5 for 5 (maybe 4 for 5 based on our tough view on the FG posts), including hitting from 51, 47, 42, and 37. McCann, a rookie from Missouri, went 4 for 5. He has a big leg, but kicks more of a line-drive ball than Joseph. The Titans had an abysmal field goal percentage last season, at the bottom of the NFL, at 44.4%.


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