In a league that races to 'next man up,' Titans paused when Johnathan Cyprien went down

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.


“It just shows you how he feels about Cyp, it just shows you how well respected Cyp is, how irreplaceable Cyp is as a human and a player on this team,” Logan Ryan told us on The Midday 180. “He brings a lot of energy, a physical attitude. He definitely was the hammer in our secondary. We’ll keep it moving, it’s next man mentality.

“But at the same time you’re talking about someone’s livelihood and you want to make sure that they are feeling OK. Sometimes in football, you want to keep everything moving, move the ball and put it down. But you can’t do that all the time. I think we all got a little struck by that one.”

Now the Titans appear poised to look outside for help and their current depth at safety isn’t great with Kendrick Lewis (currently out but expected back), Demontre Hurst (currently working with the starters), rookie Dane Cruikshank and Kalan Reed.

My Midday 180 colleague Jonathan Hutton asked our guy Greg Cosell to assess Vaccaro, Eric Reid and Mike Mitchell, three veteran safeties who are available.

Cosell said Vaccaro has the most versatility and ranks as a very good athlete who can also play over the slot. Mitchell is a free safety, a position that Kevin Byard occupies. Reid is a box safety like Cyprien.

Later reports added Lardarius Webb to the list. He played for Dean Pees in Baltimore.

You are not authorised to post comments.

Comments powered by CComment

Cron Job Starts