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It's scorching out, so naturally Titans' coaches wear jackets to practice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The temperature will be heading toward 90 while the Titans are on the field Monday, and like the vast majority of August days in Music City, it’ll feel worse.

Mike Vrabel and a good share of his coaches will, naturally, wear jackets.VrabelJackets

“I’ve always worn a sweat jacket, when I was practicing with the Patriots I’d put it on,” Vrabel said. “I may have had a few Diet Cokes at 11:00 at night so that gives me the ability to sweat it out.”

(Then he joined John Glennon in mocking the question. I forged ahead because I think it’s both interesting and funny. Keep reading and get to the Will Compton stuff and you’ll agree.)

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Pickers mailbag: Former receivers can't automatically fix routes

pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Greetings party people.

Thanks for your questions.

Send them anytime via Twitter, using #PKmail.

PK: Again, my basic, default stance on something like this starts with the player. I don’t presume the player is not being coached sufficiently, I presume he’s failing to execute basic stuff he has been told. In time we find out how effectively a position is being told/taught/coached what to do.

TitansSwordBigBut seeing some bad technique by a receiver who hasn’t lived up to his billing so far doesn’t fall on Rob Moore to me, and the idea that Nate Washington or Chad Johnson have the ability to magically transform a guy is silly. They know the technique, but that doesn’t mean they know how to teach it. Playing ability or experience does not automatically translate to coaching ability. Two different things.

PK: Still gets paid, still counts against the cap. Teams have to build room into their cap to account for replacement parts should

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IMG 3202NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kenny Vaccaro watched practice, did some sprints and talked to reporters.

Then as his new teammates got ready for a day off, he got ready to head to the facility and get into the playbook.

Mike Vrabel said we can expect to see the team’s new safety, the replacement for the injured Johnathan Cyprien, get some action on Thursday night in Green Bay against the Packers.

He has multiple connections to the team.

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Kenny Vaccaro had a good workout for the Titans Friday and is signing a one-year deal.

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He’s now in line to replace Johnathan Cyprien as the Titans starting strong safety.

“Good size, played down close to the line of scrimmage a bunch in New Orleans but has the movement skills to pay off the hash, willing tackler,” a scout told me of Vaccaro.

Tennessee chose Vaccaro over Mike Mitchell, Lardarius Webb and Steven Terrell.

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Moments of note from Titans' Friday Night Lights

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – A few notable things from the Titans Friday Night Lights practice at Centennial High school, where 7,500 fans watched a practice that was primarily a scrimmage.

The first team offense opened up with a strong drive moving 75 yards in 13 plays and scoring a touchdown on a keeper from 2-yards out for Marcus Mariota. They burned a timeout over a personnel issue about midway through it. There was a good mix of Derrick Henry, Dion Lewis and Taywan Taylor along the way. I felt like Taylor had a lot of chances on the evening and played well.IMG 3031 1

Derrick Morgan had the night off and Brian Orakpo is still out with what is likely a shoulder bruise, so we saw Harold Landry and Aaron Wallace as the first-team outside backers.

David Fluellen has a very pretty one-handed catch of a Blaine Gabbert pass but the play was actually a sack with Tobenna Okeke braking through.

Logan Ryan broke beautifully on a Mariota throw for Delanie Walker and knocked it down, but he totally should have picked it. I talked to him for a minute after and he said good read, bad drop. Two plays later on a third-and-4, Malcolm Butler was flagged for pass interference against Nick Williams.

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Corey Davis, Titans' receivers determined to slap away aggressive DBs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans who are not on special teams continue to get good work in during special teams periods.

Thursday, I watched four receivers – Corey Davis, Taywan Taylor, Tajae Sharpe and the injured Rishard Matthews – work with their position coach Rob Moore and his assistant, Luke Steckel, on their release.

With choppy, super-quick hand motions the three healthy guys slapped Moore’s hands away.TaylorvsPanthers2

Davis was really combining the move with his get off. Taylor was also on the move but less aggressively. Sharpe was focused more exclusively on his hands. There was some discussion over how the coach wanted them to see the defensive backs hands while maintaining focus elsewhere.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An NFL practice field can be a heartless place.

I’ve seen easily over 100 injuries in practices I’ve been allowed to watch where a player went down and needed some time and attention to assess and address an injury.

And it’s completely typical that after it’s established no life is at risk, the ball gets moved downfield or upfield or to another field and practice resumes with a minimal delay.CyprienOAK

When Johnathan Cyprien went down on Wednesday, however, practice stopped. Mike Vrabel told his coordinators to talk to guys on the sidelines, and I saw Matt LaFleur indicate position coaches should round up their guys.

It was not an immediate turn to next man up, it was a full team pause to the one who went down.

Vrabel said he wanted to respect Cyprien and his situation.

The rest of the secondary and the entire team have to appreciate that, and hope they earn the same respect that is it’s ever their turn, they get a similar reaction.

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Titans' young OL and OLB coaches on how they win respect

TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Lewan did something silly on the first day of camp and came to regret it.

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He flopped to be funny in a drill with a teammate, which put new line coach Keith Carter in a spot and left Lewan saying it was the wrong time to be joking around.

All of which served to present a question: How does a new, young position coach establish himself as the leader of a group early on?

The early tone is important, and such coaches need to strike a balance, where it’s clear they are the boss but they aren’t necessarily overbearing.

“This business comes down to relationships and trust,” the 36-year old Carter said. “We spend a ton of time together. Just like two brothers would in a house, a coach and a player, sometimes you have a disagreement, an issue comes up and you work through it. Taylor and I are great.”

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