NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Sharif Finch came into the league as a pass rusher with a good array of moves, an uncommon thing for a guy who didn't get drafted. He's worked a ton with the first team so far in training camp, in part because Cameron Wake's snaps have really been measured. TakeALap 2FinchLap

But Wake may really be a situational player which will mean plenty of opportunity for Finch in his second year.

As Finch and I took a lap, we discussed his emergence as a front-liner in camp, who he's modeled his moves after, his affection for Julius Peppers and Lawrence Taylor, the toughness he showed at Temple, his gigantic family, his best friend on the team and the Blues and Jazz he plays on the piano, along with some Beethoven. 

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Successful Marcus Mariota-to-Tajae Sharpe throw in the corner of the end zone has potential to be a staple play

SharpeTDEagles2NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- During a Tuesday red-zone seven-on-seven period, in the back left corner of the end zone, facing Marcus Mariota in the back left corner of the end zone, Tajae Sharpe rose up over LeShaun Sims and with high hands pulled in a touchdown pass.

That play, or some version of it, has been something we've seen working for the Titans and the Mariota-to-Sharpe connection, particularly in that end-zone situation, looks like it's developing into something that could be a staple play for a developing offense that needs a big play passing element.

I asked both Mariota and Mike Vrabel about how it is coming along and it's potential to be a regular feature for Tennessee.

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Examining the depth chart the Titans ask us to disregard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The rules require teams to put out a depth chart leading into their first preseason game. So teams do it. Then they poo-poo it.

Mike Vrabel said his right-hand man John Streicher compiled theirs with his input.

It’s the first I can remember that makes the Titans a three-wide base offense, an idea I both love and will believe when I see the Titans lined up in 11 more often than in 12, or two-tight.DepthChart1

Are the Titans a three-wide base offense, I asked.

“I think we could be in three-wide receivers, four-wide receivers, we could be in three-tight ends,” Vrabel said. "...Looking at the practice schedule that's what I thought today so we went with three wides."

Yeah, they won’t be in four-wide or three-tight end to open a game with any regularity and a Monday mood snapshot isn't what we're looking for or what the NFL technically requests, though they don't really care. I just fail to see what it would hurt to one time actually provide a snapshot of what the actual base offense looks like. And if it's three wides, how about the right three wides?

(Depth-chart reading reminder, read a position all the way across, left to right, then come back to the second line.)

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TannehillNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Ryan Tannehill ran the first-team offense Monday for the Titans and looked crisp executing 2:00 offense that was new to him. Marcus Mariota had the day off, watching in uniform as his backup ran stuff that had a lot of carryover from last year that he already knows.

Whether the practice time is any sort of indicator about playing time Thursday night in the preseason opener in Philadelphia remains to be seen, but it doesn’t seem like it will be. 

With some second-string linemen and tight ends still humming “Bang a Gong” from the soundtrack that played earlier, Tannehill threw one of his better passes to Tajae Sharpe against Malcolm Butler crossing from the middle to the left side and he went out of bounds.

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Mailbag: What might be different for the Titans against the Colts

Greetings. Hope you made it through the rain at Nissan Stadium if you made it to the Titans’ practice. I enjoyed the big trip to Canton for Pro Football Hall of Fame festivities.

I’ll be all plugged back in on Monday and ready to see what unfolds in preseason game No. 1 Thursday night. In the meantime, I spent some time with the best of your questions.

TitanUpFlagPK: Keeping the ball longer on offense and scoring more are two big keys. The Titans lost 38-10 and 33-17 last year. They may have a great defense, but odds are they are going to have to be in the 20s to beat Indy.

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CANTON, Ohio – In a stirring speech during which he gave comprehensive thanks to those who helped him arrive here, Kevin Mawae stood beside his bronze bust and began the chapter of his life during which he will be introduced as a Pro Football Hall of Famer.MawaeBust

I saw a group of Mawae supporters walking into Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium with one gentleman in green Jets’ jersey and another in his Titans’ blue 68.

Over 26 minutes and 50 seconds, he hit the speech out of the park, with lovely tributes to his parents, brothers, kids, in-laws and his wife, Tracy, who presented him. That included some tears as he remembered his brother John, who was killed in an alcohol-related car accident.

He paid tribute to the Hall of Famers he admires, to the coaches and teammates who helped lift him here – from his childhood teams to his final football stop with the Tennessee Titans -- and to all levels of staff that play a largely unseen role in helping a player succeed. 

Each of those Titans was mentioned, as were Alge Crumpler (who is also here) and Vince Young.

Ultimately, Mawae asked all his teammates from any stage of his career to stand.

“You are teammates, you are friends, you are my brothers,” he told them. “We did this. Kevin Mawae didn’t do this.” [Unlocked]

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CANTON, Ohio – All those cranes that are such a part of the Nashville skyline are not going to be part of building the Titans a football palace like the ones in Dallas and Atlanta or the ones going up in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk has said in the past she was not yet thinking about a new stadium even with Nissan Stadium’s lease set to expire following the 2029 season.NashvilleStadiumSkyline

In an interview with The Midday 180 on Friday during a pause in her day during meetings of the NFL’s Hall of Fame committee, she made her biggest pronouncement yet about Nashville’s stadium future, saying she wanted to put to rest any idea that she will be approaching the city seeking a new one.

“…I don’t want a new stadium,” she said. “But I do like The Hard Rock Stadium. That’s a very interesting model and one that we need to keep looking further at to make improvements. I’m all about making it the best stadium for our fans that I can without being ridiculous. Because at the end of the day the stadium doesn’t win football games.

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Bulked up coach's favorite David Fluellen ready for positional versatility

David Fluellen worked his way up to No. 3 running back last season and was in line for carries when coaches got frustrated with Derrick Henry in the win over New England.

He quickly suffered a knee injury, which derailed that.

fluellen

After the season, the plan was to bulk him up and increase his opportunities beyond special teams. So now, with Jonnu Smith out,  he's showing up in the move tight end role as an H-back and a F-back along with Ryan Hewitt.

He's also a headliner in Mike Vrabel's policy that the Titans will treat a player the way a player treats the team. WIse young newcomers would be wise to watch how he works and carries himself.

Here's my recent chat with Fluellen.

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