BudRehabNASHVILLE, Tenn. – There is only so much Bud Dupree’s been able to do so far as a pass rusher rehabilitating his repaired right ACL.

There is only so much he can feel the urgency of the holdovers from a group that produced a paltry 19 sacks in 2020.

The Titans’ big new addition to the pass rush group seems to have a really good feel for his place at this stage of his onboarding.

“Just being around them, being in meetings is different from being on the field,” Dupree said. “Being in meetings is different from being on the field as far as, you know, feeling the urgency, feeling the real pressure that's built up from those guys who (were) here last year. The chip on their shoulder is different from guys who are just getting here.

“This is a whole different stature of work that they've been through over the years. The pain, the pain, you know, the hard work and dedication, the time they put into it, so they're their chip on their shoulder is very different from the guys who are just getting here. The guys who are just getting here, man we're trying to come in and get on a rolling train and make our presence known as much as we can by making the best impact that we can.”

Dupree offered no timetable for his return to practice. He suffered his injury on Dec. 2. Typical returns from ACL injuries are seven to nine months, and it can be 10 before a player is fully back. So August would be seven, September eight, October nine.

(A bit on the other guy returning from an ACL tear and on an earlier timetable. Taylor Lewan said he's had no second surgery.)

“When Bud is out there his role will change,” Mike Vrabel said. “Right now his role is to get as healthy as he possibly can, be ready to go, continue to work hard. His role on the field right now hasn’t been defined.”

He’s rehabbed in Arizona and Atlanta but has been in and out of Nashville as he’s found a place to stay, and during those stopovers, he said he’s gotten to know guys as he has during team Zoom meetings.

As for now, the new pass rusher said his teammates see him going hard and respect it.

It’s really all he can do at this stage to establish his role with them.

The final piece of his answer about living up to a five-year, $82.5 million contract with $35 million guaranteed was a home run that showed his ultimate intention.

“The bigger part that it is not me producing, it’s bringing someone else along to produce as well,” he said. “So once you’re doing that, it’s all working.”

He has no choice but to be patient, but seems to have the right personality – excited but measured – to accept the mission at hand, for now.

There is certainly a great degree of anticipation.

“Once we (the newcomers) link with those guys and everyone has the same goal and the same vision,” he said, “then that's when the unit will mold together.”

***

Practice notes from Tuesday...

--Ryan Tannehill worked at one point in a scramble drill where targets were already out at the end of their routes. He then rolled hard as those targets reacted to give him an option. There was no defense involved.

--During one special teams period, Kevin Byard worked with Scott Booker on breaking up passes, Derrick Henry went through his usual pass-catching routine with Tony Dews, Janoris Jenkins spoke with Anthony Midget and Julio Jones spent time with the quarterbacks.

apple icon 144x144 precomposed--I don't think DeShone Kizer has done anything to really close the gap on Logan Woodside in the offseason where there is not a lot of chance to gain ground anywhere. He might still in camp.

--Henry was involved in some stuff where the quarterback worked with five eligible receivers running patterns and spacing themselves. He was not in that Tuesday. Julio Jones wasn't in it for the second day in a row. They may just deem it unnecessary. 

--Jeff Swaim and Anthony Firkser both caught red-zone seven-on-seven TD passes in the middle of the goal line from Tannehill, the first over Rashaan Evans, the second on Amani Hooker. Cody Hollister had a bad drop in that period.

--Monty Rice was back after sitting out Tuesday. Rodger Saffold left the field early in the session.

--The two practice, and OTAs, featured a lot of team stuff where the QB dropped back but never threw and both sides simply "read."

 

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