NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Not so long ago, the broad NFL mentality didn’t lend itself to caring much about a player’s personal issues.

In 1990 Oilers offensive lineman David Williams stayed home from a game on the road for the birth of his son and Babygate was a national scandal.

Missing a game to welcome a child might still be looked down on by some now, but the world has changed and the league has changed with it.

Pro sports have evolved to allow a broader understanding of life beyond the game, in many ways that have less visible impacts than missing kickoff.Head Coach Mike Vrabel Press Conference

Wives and kids, moms and dads, friends tugging at a player and anything else under the big heading of life that may once not have been allowed to be a factor in the tough-guy atmosphere of a facility or practice field are not walled off as much now -- at least not in Nashville.

With the Titans, Mike Vrabel considers it a key part of his job to know what’s going on with his guys and make sure they can sort through it to best put their worries aside to most effectively do their jobs.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Wednesday doesn’t mean a thing on Thursday.

And the Titans proved it in their second practice of training camp.

Ryan Tannehill Practice

The first day they ran a smooth and clean operation. Nice routes and well-delivered balls but also some good reads and breaks by defenders for breakups and picks. Eleven field goals attempts and 11 makes. Things like that.

Twenty-four hours later?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – No matter how good it was last year, a team starts from zero when training camp opens.

That doesn’t mean optimism can’t be way up there.

Wide Receiver Julio Jones Catch - Tennessee Titans

“We are insanely confident,” Rodger Saffold said. “The only thing is just that we have to remember ourselves that though we are back to back rushing champions, though we’re making it to the playoffs two years running after having a drought with this team that we have to re-earn everything.

“We just can’t put the names over there and think that we are going to win. We have to put in the work and that time is now.”

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The NFL wants players vaccinated for Covid-19 and on Wednesday they got themselves a bit of a poster boy for their policies working effectively to get the job done.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said he would not have gotten a vaccine but for the league’s policies.

Ryan Tannehill Press Conference Photo

He has not passed the required time period since getting his shot, so he wore a mask during stretch and warmups as the team’s first practice and is subject to the indoor protocols for unvaccinated players until the proper time passes.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On the eve of the first practice of Titans' training camp, let’s run through the most important things Mike Vrabel had to say.Tennessee Titans Mural Team Video Room

MV: “As you guys can see, we still have some new construction going on, but the coaches' offices and the players meeting rooms, the squad room is finished. It's fantastic. It is going to allow us to teach and coach our players. ...So, again just want to thank (Amy Adams Strunk) and her family for continuing to provide the resources for us to do our job.”

The upgrades have been steady and on a grand scale. The coaches’ offices used to occupy a share of the first floor of the two-story section of the building along with the locker room, meeting rooms/ the auditorium, the cafeteria, the media relations department, the media room and the media library.

In recent years the media moved upstairs and a studio for team media productions was built into that space. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans take the field Wednesday for their first practice of 2021 training camp.

Their 14 practices in MetroCenter and the two against the Buccaneers in Tampa along with three preseason games – at Atlanta, at Tampa Bay and against Chicago – will tell us a great deal.

Kristian Fulton, Tennessee Titans

But some fundamental thematic questions won’t be answered until we see real action starting with the season opener on Sept. 12 against Arizona.

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