Titans Training Camp Report:
Julie and I drove up to Clarksville in the new convertible with the top up. Sadly. It rained the whole day. Now... I've followed football practicly my whole life... that's not to say that I know it all, nor that I have seen it all... but Friday afternoon I saw something I've never seen... and never even heard of. The Titans first practice was held out in the driving rain. I don't mean drizzle. I mean massive gusts and downpours.
Balls got dropped. Some folks went down. But nobody got hurt... and hey... these boys ain't made of sugar. They don't melt.
Neither did I... but I was worried about DrWho.
So what did we learn? Well... maybe nothing. Maybe a lot.
1) This team has a chip on its shoulder. That's good. That's very very good. They practiced all weekend in shoulderpads and helmets, but guys were hitting. Really really hitting.
2) Vince Young is huge... and he's got his heart and his head right. He looks a lot more comfortable under center than you've been told. In fact, watching him back to back with Volek, there really isn't much drop. Vince doesn't stare down his reciever, but he tends to stick to one side of the field. If he drops back, looks right, he throws right. Maybe not to the first option. He was making reads. Now that's not definitive. Fact is most of what I saw was 7 on 7, which is hell on DBs. It could well be that the first two options were almost always open. I saw him check to number 3 or 4 on the other side of the field maybe 10 times. The delivery doesn't look nearly as wierd in person as on TV. He got some balls tipped, but so did everyone else. In three practices I don't think he scrambled one time. He was dropping back and making reads. This is not Michael Vick.
3) Holy cow... the running backs are mad men. People... These boys look awesome. The difference this year to last year... its unreal. Lindale White wasn't there friday and saturday, so I missed him, but I understand he showed up in awesome shape. Way below his target weight. He hasn't been this small since he was 17. Travis Henry has also trimmed down. He's down to about 220, meaning he dropped 15 pounds. He is the hammer. He is hitting the holes hard. Saturday, Donnie Nickey (saftey) came over to try to take him down, and Henry ended his day. Henry knocked him plum ass over tea-kettle. On the other hand, Chris Brown has gained about 15 pounds, and he's much less tenative than I've seen in the past. These guys are on fire. White is gonna have a hard time catching up. I would never have said this 5 days ago, but if this keeps up, we could have one of the best backfields in the NFL.
4) Tyrone Calico still can't catch. One play, he makes an impossible catch... the next play he drops an easy ball. You can see the frustration on the WR Coach's face. He dropped a perfect 70 yard pass from Volek.. on the sideline I heard a coach say, "Dammit you can't drop that." I shouted over to him, "Calico can!" I looked at me and laughed... said, "That's his downfall. Don't matter how big and fast you are if you can't catch a cold."
5) Travis Henry knows how to do an Away Training Camp. He got to Clarksville a day early, called up Rent-a-Center and had them deliver two queen beds (making a catalina king. what does a 5'9" dude need with that?), a surround sound system, and Xbox360, and a 44-inch Plasma. Hell yeah.
6) All of the free agents are looking great. Even Bobby Wade who we picked up last year late. Thornton nearly killed Jared Payton. But being a vet, he pulled up at the last minute.
7) The defense is so much faster. Having Sirmon in the middle takes the play calling responsibility away from Bulluck and Thronton... so it frees them up to just play. They fly around. This is Pacman's first training camp, and he seems to be loving it. He's made some freakish plays. Andre Wolfolke still can't cover anyone. He makes undrafted free agents look great.
8) I think at this point Jacob Bell is gonna get beat out at right tackle. Stewart and Loper are just to big and to strong over there.
9) Pacman and Reynoldo Hill are going out of there way to line up against Drew Bennett and David Givens. That's a good sign.
10) Ok... I'll give you one Vince Young story... Saturday Randy Starks (308 pounds) made a great play on a ball. He tipped it up, then caught it... then... ***BANG*** de-cleated. Raped. Physically destroyed. A three hundred pound man literally goes flying into the air. Vince Young just busted his ass. Note to self... Vince don't appreciate being picked off. The crowd went wild... Starks noted that Vince had a red jersery... and complained a little that he couldn't return the favor.
So what do we know? Maybe nothing. Maybe a lot. Ask me again in 3 weeks.