Two new Titans defenders who are making an impression

62595634 33DD 4F7B 9A96 657072905D1DNASHVILLE, Tenn. – Two players largely unknown to Titans fans made some noise in the team’s second preseason game, so let’s take a bit of a look at Lonnie Johnson (right) and David Anenih.

Tennessee claimed Johnson off waivers from Kansas City on Aug. 16. He said the Chiefs let him go early to give him the best chance to latch on elsewhere and get started.

He was a second-round choice in 2019 by the Texans out of Kentucky. That was Anthony Midget’s final year as part of Houston’s coaching staff, and the Titans cornerback coach was certainly asked what he thought about Johnson.

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Scout's take: The Titans' personnel through two preseason games

Scout's take: The Titans' personnel through two preseason games

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Preseason Game Two for the Titans allowed the coaching staff and front office to focus heavily on the positions that are still up for competition.

Malik Willis

Pool photo/ Donald Page, Titans 

Backup quarterback, starting right tackle, backup running back, the wide receiver rotation, backup defensive line, backup inside and outside linebackers, starting cornerback opposite of Kristian Fulton, backup safety and punter. 

The special teams’ decisions will impact some of these backup positions but also there will be 4-5 designated special teams coverage players.

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What Titans rookie QB Malik Willis said was better than what he did

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Malik Willis made small gains in preseason game No. 2.

But the Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback still had fits of indecision, ran when he didn’t have to and threw off target too often.

He played one series into the third quarter and made three electric plays that will be heavily circulated on social media but that hardly offer a full sense of his spotty effort in a 13-3 Tennessee win over the Buccaneers at Nissan Stadium.

Malik WIllis

© Steve Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

The best thing about his night wasn’t in what he did but in what he said afterward, where he showed calm accountability and shared a clear understanding of what he is, and isn’t, doing right now and how he needs to sort through it.

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Day Two highlights of joint practice for the Titans: Caleb Farley and Dontrell Hilliard

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Caleb Farley awoke and kept people out of the end zone while Dontrell Hilliard visited it a few times as the Titans wrapped up two days of practice work with the Bucs.

Those two will key my observations from Thursday morning.

Dontrell Hilliard

Dontrell Hilliard/ © George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Farley: Farley had a really bad day in his first go against Tampa, with smaller receivers breaking off routes to get great cushion among his struggles.

But he went to the tape, evaluated what he was doing and bounced back with a much stronger showing that included an interception that killed a Bucs’ series just inside the front right pylon of the end zone on a pass intended for Vyncent Smith. He also had a couple of breakups and gave up a score on a wheel route to Deven Thompkins.

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Rewatch Titans' broadcast on all the hot topics

Screen Shot 2022 08 18 at 8.16.01 PMNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- One man did his best to watch nearly 170 players Wednesday and Thursday.

I certainly came away with impressions of the Titans after two days of joint practices against the Buccaneers, and I know you have a ton of questions.

So we gathered gather and chatted about all of it, with you bringing your best questions and me bringing my best answers.

You can watch rewatch on Twiiter, on our public Facebook page or on YouTube below.   

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Takeaways from Titans-Bucs practice: CBs, Treylon Burks and Malik Willis

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – My biggest takeaways from the first of two Titans’ practices against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The defense: I watched the Titans corners go against the Bucs’ receivers in one-on-ones for 23 plays, even as Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Russell Gage were not on the field for the visitors.

Treylon Burks

© George Walker IV / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

The way I saw it, the Titans “won,” 10 of those snaps. That’s a high rate in such a setting where quarterbacks are throwing with no pressure and defensive backs are playing straight up with no help.

Mike Vrabel said he saw things the Titans need to work on but called it encouraging.

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Mike Herndon: Breaking down the Titans' right tackle battle between Dillon Radunz and Nicholas Petit-Frere

Mike Herndon: Breaking down the Titans' right tackle battle between Dillon Radunz and Nicholas Petit-Frere

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The position battle with the most intrigue in Titans' training camp remains the contest for the starting right tackle spot between 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz and 2022 third-round pick Nicholas Petit-Frere.

Unlike many other positions on the field, offensive line battles are winner-take-all. The victor will be on the field for 100% of snaps barring injury, while the runner-up is relegated to the bench. The stakes are very high.Nicholas Petit-Frere Tape

Heading into camp, most viewed Radunz as the favorite to win the job as a second-year player who received a lot of praise from the coaching staff for his work in the offseason.

However, Petit-Frere has quickly turned this into a real competition.

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Podcast: Caleb Farley's rise, Bud Dupree's case, Julius Chestnut's status

The Paul Kuharsky PodcastNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The newest version of the podcast is ready for you and to make it easy for you to get there I've created a Linktree.

Head here and you can find routes to all the podcasts, plus my Twitter, the public Facebook page, membership, sponsorship and our title sponsor Tennessee Tickets (where you get a discount if you're a member).

In this edition, I run through much of what the position coaches discussed at the start of the week, hit on Bud Dupree's guilty plea to a misdemeanor assault charge and what it means with regard to the NFL's personal conduct policy, look again (won't we always) at the receivers and tell you about how Taylor Lewan put me in a bad spot with Racey McMath.

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