Pickers Mailbag: Nissan Stadium has tripled its WiFi bandwidth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Greetings mailbag connoisseurs. I welcome you with open arms.TitansFlameballCloth

My weekend is filled with a big Little League baseball tournament, the U.S. Open and the U.S.’s second game in the Women’s World Cup.

I hope yours is as good and that you have a wonderful Father’s Day. (Here is a great gift idea.) 

If you missed it Wednesday, I sat down with Mike Vrabel for Periscope/ Facebook Live. Many have said that alone is worth the price of admission.

On to your mail.

PK: I dug around on this a bit to provide you with an update.

As for security – There will be more equipment, more lines and better staffing to try to get people into Nissan Stadium more efficiently. The long-term plan, given what the Titans are working with, is to amp up pregame events inside the building in order to prompt more people to want to be in there earlier, alleviating the big push shortly before kickoff.

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Derrick Henry now reviews a video of him in a drill at the beginning

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Not long after Derrick Henry arrived in Music City, he struggled through a drill under the watch of then-running back coach Sylvester Croom.

It was an unsure rookie and an unfamiliar drill, but it was visually arresting for a Heisman Trophy winner and second-round pick.

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Derrick Henry footwork. #titans

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As minicamp closed up, after watching him crush similar stuff four years later, I thought it would be interesting to show him that video. And lucky for me he went along with it as he left the field Wednesday.

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As their numbers are officially retired, remembering Steve McNair with Chris Chandler, Eddie George with Deja Voom

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans connect past and present through Mike Vrabel, who played with Eddie George at Ohio State and remembers putting a hit on Steve McNair in a playoff game.

The two best players of the Titans' era of the Oilers/Titans franchise were honored Wednesday with an announcement by Amy Adams Strunk that their numbers will be officially retired at the team’s home opener, on Sept. 15 against the Colts at Nissan Stadium.IMG 3801

The numbers have not been worn since George last played for the Titans on Jan. 10, 2004 in a heartbreaking playoff loss in New England and since McNair last played for the Titans on Christmas Eve of 2005.

They represent the best era of NFL football in Tennessee NFL football, and during their time as teammates, the team’s 80-48 record (.625) ranked third in the NFL behind only the Green Bay Packers’ 88-40 (.688) and the Denver Broncos’ 83-45 (.648).

In those eight years, the duo experienced only one losing season, 7-9 in 2001.

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Why Marcus Mariota's eggs are more important than you may think (it's not actually about eggs)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Reporters used to hang out at least once a week around the quarterbacks’ locker, and it wasn’t all notebooks and microphones. It certainly wasn’t all live streamed as a TV show.eggs

The official stuff would be over, the cameras would be down, the tape recorders off.

Then, as with some of the sorts of conversations that still exist with lower-profile players, sometimes even one-on-one, you could bullshit about stuff – the NBA finals, the success or failure of alma mater, the headlines in or out of the world of sports, a good restaurant, a funny joke or – even – the menu helping a guy who’s offseason focus was bulking up 12 or 13 pounds maintain the weight.

Player-reporter relationships aren’t like a typical office, but some of these conversations are actually like those that take place in a typical office.

The elevation of quarterbacks to once-a-week talkers who often hit bullet points, say as little as possible and get the hell out of dodge has decreased the opportunity for such connections in some places with some guys, certainly the Titans' private and reserved one.

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Looking at Marcus Mariota's most important snaps from minicamp Tuesday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In June, Marcus Mariota is focused on competition not results and that’s a good approach for any team and any player at a stage of the offseason when there is no contact and no games.IMG 3637

He’s had good days, average and bad through OTAs and the Titans began to wrap the offseason with mandatory minicamp Tuesday, three days that could wind up being chopped to two.

As I’ve mentioned, the team periods now are minimal and focused largely on third down. The second focused predominantly on swing passes dump offs to running backs. But the first was more standard passing against the blitz, and Mariota’s segment wasn’t pretty.

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IMG 3540NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the Titans kick off three days of minicamp Tuesday before shutting down until training camp, they are likely to operate with a caution that has crept into a lot of operations around the NFL.

In OTAs, Mike Vrabel scaled back some of the team periods, sacrificing some 11-on-11 time and using those periods for more seven-on-seven passing periods (no linemen) while the guys in the trenches worked on their own with their position coaches.

That will continue in minicamp, which could well be chopped to two days.

There will be an overall emphasis on third down and not much if any run game work, as it means little give all that context. It’s better saved for training camp when there will be thudding in pads. [Unlocked]

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – While A.J. Brown is available to practice in the Titans’ minicamp starting Tuesday and will do some work, the team will hold him out of team periods to be cautious.

Brown pulled up with an apparent hamstring issue early in an OTA session last Tuesday. Then offered an optimistic tweet a bit later.

The Titans do not have a great history with receivers and offseason hamstrings and clearly want to ensure Brown will be completely fit when the team reassembles for training camp in late July. [Unlocked]AJBrown1

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I hope your summer is going well. Greetings from New Jersey, where I'm with my parents and siblings for a couple of days but remain dedicated to you and provide this mailbag.

Please catch the podcast with Rodger Saffold, which is a good listen and available to all.

Mariota3INDPK: This was not specifically for me, I don't think, but I'm not too proud to pretend, Mike.

I don’t have a bright line for this – but he’s not going to throw 30 TDs and five picks the way one respondent to your Tweet [Unlocked]

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