How Many 5-Year-Olds Would It Take To Tackle The Titans' Derrick Henry?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The premise began with a recent mailbag question and sent me on an early training camp quest.

Derrick HenryThere are many variables at play here, of course. 

Is Henry at full speed? Is he angry or is he worried about hurting 5-year-olds? How eager are the 5-year-olds?

But as I asked around, I left these constraints to the people answering the question.

How many Mike Vrabel?

“A shit ton,” he said.

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Titans' Mail: O-line Fears, Injury Concerns, DeAndre Hopkins Hopes, RB Pay

Titans helmetNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Welcome to the first mailbag of training camp on the first off day of training camp.

We've seen three practices but no pads yet -- some very solid work by Ryan Tannehill, the debut of DeAndre Hopkins, Derrick Henry in a Guardian cap, Arden Key making blockers look bad, the kickers hitting all but two field goals between them and much more.

Things will ramp up Monday, but first, let's hit some of your questions.

DeWayne Gee I keep telling myself that there is no way the offensive line could be as bad as last year. I’m starting to not believe myself. What are your thoughts?

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Thoughts On The Titans' Unpadded Pass Rush And Practice Notes

Jeffery Simmons
  Jeffery Simmons shows off the shell under his jersey

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Friday the Titans' pass rush was a major force. Saturday it was a bit less so.

That’s how training camp back-and-forth often works.

But it’s no shock that Tennessee’s defensive front, a team strength, had an overall upper hand over the offensive line, which may very well remain a team weakness but is at the very least in the early stages of figuring itself out.

How much do “sacks” – getting near the red-shorted quarterback and peeling off -- in the first three non-padded practices of camp really mean?

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Defense Wins Plays, Offense Finds Scramble Success For Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans' offense and defense both did a lot of winning in Friday’s practice. Often on the same play.

In seven-on-seven and in team periods, the coverage and/or the rush often would have ended a real snap, causing him to hold the ball too long or getting to the quarterback or to allow for what ultimately unfolded to happen in a game.

Jul 28, 2023; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Racey McMath catches a pass during preseason training at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Denny Simmons/The Tennessean-USA TODAY Sports
Racey McMath/ Denny Simmons/The Tennessean-USA TODAY Sports

But because such plays are not whistled dead in such situations so that the team can continue to get work, the offense frequently continued on to make quality scramble plays.

In fact, it may have been a record practice in that department.

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The Paul Kuharsky Podcast: The Titans' Building Analytics Systems

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One of the top Titans pushed money from this year to next year to pave the way for DeAndre Hopkins. Now Kevin Byard is enjoying the energy a big-time receiver brings to the team at the start of camp.

But he's seen a similar scenario before and knows the Titans need to put in the work and get things done beyond paper in order for it to be meaningful.

That's where I begin the new episode of the podcast, which awaits you on Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and iHeart as well as YouTube, which is below.

Other subjects I dive into:

💥 The Titans building analytic systems and the wait for examples of what they can do
💥 The Titans' terrible lack of depth and the one position where they might be able to survive injury
💥 I missed the end of Barbie and need someone to fill me in
💥 The training camp schedule and veterans' options to skip hotel life

All Brought to you by Jasper's

The podcast is the front door to PaulKuharsky.com.

If you like what you hear or see here, you'd really love the rest of the site. Come join the fun, which is on sale right now!

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Jamarco Jones Is The Titans' Most Important Question Mark

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – As the Titans lined up for their first practice of camp, the right tackle wore 73 but it might as well have been a question mark.

Mike Vrabel said a day earlier that Jarmarco Jones had already begun at the head of the line of candidates to replace Nicholas Petite-Frere at the spot. NPF will miss the first six games while serving an NFL suspension for violating the NFL’s gambling policy.

Offensive lineman Jamarco Jones (73) lines up at the Tennessee Titans practice facility, Ascension St. Thomas Sports Park, Wednesday, July 26, 2023.
Jamarco Jones/ © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Vrabel also mentioned every other available tackle on the roster:  Andrew Rupcich, Jaylen Duncan, John Ojukwu (who is being called O.J.) and John Leglue.

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Mike Herndon: Ranking The Seven Most Important Things We Can Learn From Titans' Training Camp

Mike Herndon: Ranking The Seven Most Important Things We Can Learn From Titans' Training Camp

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2023 Tennessee Titans begin training camp today, starting preparations for what figures to be a fascinating season. Mike Vrabel’s sixth season as head coach opens with his squad hoping to bounce back from their first losing season since 2015.

The addition of DeAndre Hopkins and the retention of Jeffery Simmons, Derrick Henry, and Ryan Tannehill make it clear that Titans brass are not viewing this as a rebuilding season. However, they laid out some groundwork for a transition from the Henry-Tannehill era by drafting Will Levis and Tyjae Spears in April.

Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry
Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry

With Henry and Tannehill both set to be free agents at the end of this season, this could be a farewell tour for the core group that appeared in the 2019 AFC Championship game and won back-to-back AFC South titles in 2020 and 2021. Maybe a successful season could push that timeline back, but the team appears to be preparing as if this is the last hurrah.

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DeAndre Hopkins Will Move Around As Titans' Young WRs Develop

DeAndre HopkinsNASHVILLE, Tenn. – In 2019 when Tim Kelly took over as the Houston Texans’ offensive coordinator, he diversified DeAndre Hopkins’ game.

The receiver had played 336 snaps out of the slot in 2014, but otherwise had predominantly worked outside. Under Kelly he played a large share inside – with 342 snaps inside as compared to 762 wide, per Pro Football Focus.

Fifty-six percent of his 104 catches and 52 percent of his 1,165 yards came out of the slot, per Sports Info Solutions.

The production out of those 31 percent of his snaps was impressive.

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