NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While it’s not clear if the Titans will be looking at any remaining veteran additions before training camp, it is clear they will not be looking at one: Ndamukong Suh.Suh

The Titans courted him last spring before the former Lions and Dolphins defensive lineman landed with the Los Angeles Rams for a one-year deal reportedly worth $14 million.

But indications are that the Titans do not judge Suh to be a fit and that they may not have been as high on him as we believed a year ago after they had him in for a visit in March.

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Undrafted rookies these days have to produce in three days or can be gone

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans clearly have some priority guys in the undrafted rookie free agents they signed. Running back Alex Barnes from Kansas State and outside linebacker Derick Roberson from Sam Houston State look to be two of them.AlexBarnes

(Alex Barnes photo courtesy Kansas State athletics.)

But of the dozen guys they signed, a third are gone after rookie minicamp, replaced by guys on the list of 31 tryout players who out-performed them.

It’s the way things work these days. While high-priority free agents are pretty safe, the rest have to shine right from the start or their can swap spots with guys who were only assured of a three-day audition.

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Rookie camp gave Arthur Smith a bit more, different work

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Like players waiting for their first meaningful snaps, Arthur Smith’s got to make the best use of his time before he gets to call plays in preseason games, reviewing those to help prepare for opening day in Cleveland.Smithrookiemini

In the first real glimpse of Smith working as the offensive coordinator, in a light blue windbreaker, he flapped his arms and motioned receivers about where to go and how to angle routes. One longer conversation before the start of one segment the media saw of Saturday’s rookie practice was with second-round pick A.J. Brown, the receiver who was, as he should have been, automatically, at the head of the line.

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AJBrownpodiumNASHVILLE, Tenn. – For starters, Saturday had very little meaning. Rookies vs. rookies with no pads a day or two into the playbook, with on a day when five of six draft picks, 16 undrafted rookies and 31 tryout players were on the field.

Fewer than 10 of these guys are likely to make the 53-man roster at the conclusion of training camp.

But we saw some A.J. Brown route running.

 

And some D’Andre Walker one-on-one work with Mike Vrabel.

Vrabel got a nick on his nose but said he didn’t know who from, that it’s all just a bunch of guys. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Spend 90 minutes with Steve Watterson, the former longtime Titans’ strength and conditioning coach, as Jonathan Hutton and I were fortunate enough to do on Friday’s edition of The Midday 180, and you’ll get stories of pranks and players, injuries and ownership and much more.Watterson

Right off the top, I was struck by how much he said he felt responsible for injuries during his time with the team. As I’ve said time and time again, which there are things a team can do to reduce injuries and things it can fail to do that might increase them, Mike Vrabel is entirely correct when he says the injury rate in the NFL is 100 percent. Luck is certainly also a huge factor.

“I would say all of it (is connected to me), that’s how I felt,” Watterson said. “Every time a guy got injured, it was a heart attack and I would stay late at night and call peers around the league and find out, ‘What are you doing, what’s different, how are you handling a situation?’

“Another time, believe me I’m not exonerating myself, I’m just giving you an example that sometimes the fans don’t see. Let’s take a look at the year (2017) that Marcus had a hamstring, (Corey) Davis had a hamstring and (Tajae) Sharpe had a hamstring issue, oh and DeMarco (Murray). One of the variables out of that is, that entire offseason, they didn’t work out with me one day. Davis came in with an injury, a foot injury. He was limited in what he could do in conditioning. If you remember DeMarco had toe surgery, hand surgery. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As Kevin Mawae prepares to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame om Aug. 3, he’s donated more than 200 items from his career and life to the hall.MawaeMemorobilia

They include jerseys, posters, footballs, helmets, photos, notes, playbooks and newspaper clippings some of the notable artifacts include:

  • New York Jets jersey worn by Mawae during an exhibition game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Aug. 2, 2003 in Tokyo, Japan.
  •  Mawae’s game-worn AFL 50th Anniversary Tennessee Titans jersey from his final season in 2009.
  • Mawae’s game worn Louisiana State University Tigers helmet.
  • Game ball presented to Mawae by the Titans in recognition of his 200th career game on Oct. 7, 2007 against the Atlanta Falcons.
  • The Ed Block Courage Award presented to Mawae in 2009 during his final season in the league after battling back from a torn tricep tendon in his right elbow in Dec. 2008. [Unlocked]

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Comparing coordinators: Who's had as many as Marcus Mariota?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – We’ll continue to go back-and-forth and round-and-round on Marcus Mariota, especially until we have any new evidence of how he can play with Arthur Smith’s modified scheme and new play-calling.

My stance remains the same until we see something new: Consecutive seasons where he posted 13 and 11 touchdown passes do not cut it. He’s trending in the wrong direction and while the coordinator changes, the LaFleurMariotainjuries, the protection issues and the insufficient weapons are all mitigating factors, they simply don’t excuse that level of production.

Working under his fifth-year option he’s making $20.922 million, a cap hit that’s an increase of $13.218 million from his fourth year. He’s got to prove worth it, or I believe the Titans can find a 2020 rookie to throw 11 or 13 touchdowns.

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Titans' draft room was on smaller side, not like packed houses in Buffalo, Indy

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Bills and Colts produced nice videos with inside looks at their drafts shared on social media.BillsDraft

I watched both with great interest. They offered a good sense of how Brandon Beane and Chris Ballard -- the Buffalo and Indianapolis GMs, respectively -- operated their draft rooms.

But what was most striking was how packed those two rooms were. The Bills (pictured) had at least 25 people in there during the first round and the Colts 18 as best I could count in the screenshots I took.

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