Logan Ryan showing off value as a run defender early

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We make the mistake occasionally, thinking of a nickel corner as a corner, whose job is to cover.

RyanBut Logan Ryan has shown us he’s an effective blitzer, with the fifth-most sacks on the team in 2018 (four). And on the first big run day of training camp on Sunday, we saw his role as a run defender show up prominently.

He burst into the backfield to hit Dion Lewis for a loss and made other plays outside, showing himself to be a big factor in the run defense.

“What they pay me to do, the salary they gave me, is to be a game-changing player,” said Ryan, who wears yellow cleats on the weekend to help his young daughter spot him. “So, I want to make it so the team has to prepare for me, neutralize what I do. I want to make an impact on every game. …

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Tracking Mike Vrabel's movement as he watched Sunday's practice unfold

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Vrabel is like the cartoon Tasmanian devil when the Titans are spread out at practice.

He runs to one group, watches for a bit, jumps in to get his hands on one guy with some advice picking up on what the position coach is talking about, steps back, gradually backs out, then spins his head, turning his attention and closing in on the next group to repeat the process.VrabelWalker

             (Mike Vrabel works hand-on with Delanie Walker during Saturday's training camp practice.)

It looked simultaneously exhausting and energizing, and I’m certain knowing the head coach might step into your drill at any moment adds life to the individual practice period, where positions work by themselves. Sunday’s was 15 minutes long and Vrabel made it to inside linebackers, outside linebacker, the defensive line, the offensive line, back to the defensive line and back to the inside backers.

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Jordan 1NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Let's go back to Logan Ryan’s charity event on May 31. The Chow Down raised money for his animal rescue foundation.

There, his friend and teammate from the Titans' defensive backfield, Kenny Vaccaro, bid some serious cash on a Michael Jordan autographed jersey.

Vaccaro told me Saturday he lost the jersey that same night, and I thought it was only fitting that we put out an APB in an effort to help him find it, as unlikely as it seems.

Here, unlocked, he tells the entire, sad story. It's a long shot, but if your friend had a jersey that looked like this one out of nowhere at the start of June, you may be in line to have a good friend in the Titans' secondary if you provide some details.

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Two-fold rationale for day of heavy red-zone work shows off smart approach

 RedZoneNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Vrabel smartly crafted the second practice of training camp to accomplish two things: Give the Titans extensive work in the red zone and limit the sort of long runs that can contribute to early soft tissue injuries.

Tennessee’s offense ranked 23rd in the red zone last season, scoring touchdowns just 53.2 percent of the time it got inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. The defense was second at 44.7 percent.

Vrabel is optimistic things will get better deep in opponent’s territory. He joked that once Ryan Succop is healthy the kicker will only be needed for extra points and kickoffs.

This is the start of my 24th training camp, and I don’t recall seeing a session with so much focus on one area.

It’d be cool to have more of them. The marketing department could sell “Short-Yardage Sunday,” though that would probably tire certain people out too much.

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Titans stand to recoup chunk of Taylor Lewan signing bonus as a result of suspension

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Lewan’s pending four-game suspension will cost him $3,411,766 of his 2019 base salary.

But when the suspension under the NFL’s policy against performance-enhancing substances becomes official, the team will also be able to recoup a share of his signing bonus.LewanRobinson

       (Photo: Lewan and Jon Robinson after practice Friday.)

Per the NFL and NFLPA’s document outlining the policy on performance-enhancing substances: “Players who are suspended pursuant to this Policy shall be required to forfeit any applicable bonus amounts in accordance with Article 4, Section 9 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.” I outline that below.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Training camp’s start offered us some offensive-line clarity, some nice red-zone offense, some show of command by the quarterback in question.

Here’s my sketch of the Titans’ first day…

MariotaJuly19Marcus Mariota: I thought he had a rather good day. There was an early red-zone one-on-one period that was filmable. The advantage is big for the offense. I missed a good early connection with Corey Davis before I got rolling with my phone. He and Adam Humphries had a clear connection and the corner throw to Tajae Sharpe was excellent. 

Thursday, Mike Vrabel said he wants Mariota to be aggressive but not reckless and to take command of the offense. [Unlocked]

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Sorting through the Titans' odd nonchalance about supplements

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Taylor Lewan was as candid and as accountable as he could be. His goal as he faces a pending four-game NFL suspension for a violation of the policy against performance enhancers is to be transparent.LewanPEDs

He put the news out himself Wednesday as he felt reporters closing in so he could control the initial narrative and did well with it.

He will appeal but has minimal expectations that will have good results.

But the pre-camp press conference on Thursday where he spoke that also featured Mike Vrabel and Jon Robinson didn’t bring a lot of clarity to the issue or what happens from here, particularly beyond Lewan.

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Large share of former Titans believe Taylor Lewan's violation was an accident

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One former member of the Titans whose time with the team predated Taylor Lewan came out on Twitter and forcefully said he doesn't believe the performance enhancement penalty was the result of a mistake.LewanWash

The outspoken Bernard Pollard told Lewan: "You cheated this game to get that contract. All of a sudden, what a coincidence, you faild after signing an $80 million contract. That's BS."

Lewan maintains he tested positive for osterine despite it not being listed as an ingredient in any of the supplements he took. Osterine is a modulator that helps minimize the negative effects of workouts allowing an athlete to work longer and harder.

I was struck by Pollard's comments and decided to reach out to other former Titans to as if they believed Lewan's positive test was the result of an accident or not.

I texted with seven guys who played for the Titans but were not teammates with Lewan.

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