Breaking down the first version of the Titans' 53-man roster

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A run-through of the first version of the Titans’ 53-man roster, which they can begin adjusting on Sunday when they will also put together a 16-man practice squad than can include six veterans.

Quarterback (2): Ryan Tannehill, Logan Woodside.

I didn’t think they’d keep three as the risk of losing Siemian from a practice squad spot isn’t something to fear that much. He’s simply not been very good since his arrival and they’ll be a comparable alternative out there, as sad a statement as that is. Also he’ll probably wind up on a practice squad somewhere and if the Titans wind up in need they can sign him from there, though the timing for getting him on the field in an emergency situation is a quation this season.

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(Cody Hollister photo: George Walker, Tennessean via pool.)

Running back (3): Derrick Henry, Darrynton Evans, Khari Blasingame.

Evans’ injury is clearly nothing they are fearing has an impact on Denver availability. Blasingame was really impressive as a runner and pass-catcher, so an as in-game option he is insurance. Jeremy McNichols will be on the practice squad barring a waiver claim and they’ll have some security there.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jadeveon Clowney’s fate is still very much up in the air. We don’t know when he fired Bus Cook as he agent and when the clock started on a five-day waiting period before he can hire a replacement, reportedly Kennard McGuire.

Cook can waive the five-day wait. Clowney can negotiate a deal without an agent.Beasley3

(Photo courtesy Atlanta Falcons.)

Meanwhile, the Titans cut D’Andre Walker in a surprise reported by @JustinM_NFL.

That’s made partly possible by the fact that Vic Beasley will come off the Non-Football Injury list and be part of the 53-man roster, the first official version of which we will learn by 3 p.m. CT. 

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Four guys with a shot to be with the Titans after the weekend

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Saturday is cut-down day and the tendency is to look for surprise cuts.

Here are three players who may still be on the roster after 3 p.m. CT Saturday, or could resurface Sunday if the Titans need to keep someone on the initial 53 before making an IR move.

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(Chris Milton photo: Mark Humphrey, AP via pool.)

Chris Milton – Nick Dzubnar get singled out as the special teams ace as he was a semi-notable offseason signing. But Milton was great on special teams last year when healthy, and he’s gotten better at cornerback. I remember one red zone one-on-one period where he played very physical coverage with great positioning.

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Titans' outside linebacker group top roster issue right now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Vic Beasley worked some with Mike Vrabel on a side field early during Thursday’s practice and Derick Roberson reportedly rode a stationary bicycle.

These qualified as big developments for the Titans at outside linebacker a dozen days before their scheduled opener in Denver.CorreaRushWash

Go anywhere else on the team and the questions are about depth.

But OLB is vying to replace receiver as the Titans trouble spot, a patchwork of players with minimal production, pedigree or both. Now with Beasley, there is even a desire question, something I didn’t think we’d be discussing about a Jon Robinson-Mike Vrabel significant money acquisition, whether the player in question is a one-year prove-it guy or not.

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Some degree of clarity on Vic Beasley is coming Saturday from Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Some degree of clarity is coming on Vic Beasley by 3 p.m. CT Saturday.

Teams have to trim their rosters to 53 by then, which also means they have to make decisions on lists like the one Beasley is on, the Non-Football Injury list.

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A spot on NFI means a player reported with an issue he didn’t suffer while under the team’s watch.

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Kristian Fulton, Darrynton Evans missing preseason time like high picks before them

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Beware the combination of a high draft pick and a Titans’ training camp.

In 2016, Kevin Dodd was the first pick of the second round. He had offseason foot surgery and missed the first 19 days of training camp.

In 2017, Corey Davis was the No. 5 pick overall and missed virtually all of camp with a hamstring injury.

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(Kristian Fulton photo by Mark Humphrey, AP via pool.)

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Five years removed from role as player-less coach, Shane Bowen is Mike Vrabel's chief lieutenant

Five years removed from role as player-less coach, Shane Bowen is Mike Vrabel's chief lieutenant

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After Dean Pees’ defensive meetings broke down in 2018 and 2019 and positional units assembled, the outside linebackers stayed in the same room. The coordinator noticed Shane Bowen already had a whiteboard filled with notes ready for his guys.

“A lot of coaches don’t do that,” Pees said. “A lot of coaches just write them down themselves, put them on their paper and then they tell their players. Well, he’d not only tell them, the players could actually sit there and look at them there on the board.BowenGW

(Photo: George Walker Tennessean via pool.)

“That’s taking the extra step, it’s doing a little more than everybody’s asking of you, kind of being a perfectionist, making sure his player knew what we were putting in and how we were going to do it.”

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Working the middle of the field working for the Titans' passing game

Working the middle of the field working for the Titans' passing game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Words that keep showing up in my notebook from training camp practices: middle and perimeter.

Middle is bolded and underlined, perimeter comes with a question mark or a light cross-out.

The Titans offense can hit plays on the sideline, of course. But their best weapons in the passing game seem best suited for the inside, and that seems to be where Ryan Tannehill keeps finding A.J. Brown and Corey Davis in addition to Adam Humphries.CDavisAug20MH

(Photo by Mark Humphrey, AP via pool.)

As a slot receiver, we’d expect Humphries to work there. As guys who more frequently line up outside, Brown and Davis might more often “win the red line.” Route-runners try to gain an edge against coverage and leave themselves space to go get a throw in that five yards marked off from the sideline on the practice fields.

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