By Karen Christensen //@ksc47
What did we learn from the first week of Titans training camp?
Cornerback Malcolm Butler is a hit. Left Tackle Taylor Lewan is Nashville’s daddy (highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL, $80 million). Tight End Delanie Walker gets a contract extension and he has a guardian angel.
New coaching staff is comfortable and having fun, especially defensive back coach Kerry Coombs. Wide receiver mystery: why is Rishard Matthews on the PUP list? The Competition: running back Derrick Henry vs running back Dion Lewis.
Malcolm Butler has been the most exciting player at camp. He has been intercepting plays every day and making WR Corey Davis work extra hard. In an interview after practice, Butler stated that he tells the younger players that “a play a day keeps the coach away” when referring to his daily work ethic.
Left tackle Taylor Lewan has signed a new contract with the Titans making him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL. He announced the deal at a press conference dressed like the character Boss Hogg from the old television series “The Dukes of Hazzard”. The Titans organization has shown financially that they value quarterback Marcus Mariota’s on-field bodyguard.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) July 27, 2018
And while we are on the topic of contract extensions, tight end Delanie Walker signed an extension that is good until the year 2020. This year will be lucky number 13 for Walker, and he was lucky to not get hurt during a traffic accident last week while driving to training camp.
Walker says his Lamborghini ended up underneath an 18 wheeler on Third and Union Avenues in downtown Nashville and the situation “was pretty dangerous”. His contract extension is worth a total of $23.2 million.
The Titans are working with a whole new coaching staff this year under head coach Mike Vrabel. Vrabel has been on the field working with the team and taking hits. He likes being a hands-on coach. He mentions working on fundamentals as something he has noticed that the coaching staff needs to keep focusing on during training camp.
Defensive back coach Kerry Coombs is a vocal guy out on the field; all that energy that he exudes is firing up the Titans secondary. Reports from camp have the defense beating the offense every day, and Coombs is enthusiastically congratulating his DBs.
The offense is needing to find their niche and their players. WR Rishard Matthews is at training camp but he has been placed on the physically unable to perform list. The team is not releasing any news about his injury.
Also back this year is WR Tajae Sharpe; head coach Vrabel says Sharpe is looking strong this year. Corey Davis has been battling it out with CB Malcolm Butler and is definitely up to the strong competition.
The social media rumor is that Rishard Matthews is actually being held off the field so that the remaining wide receivers will have more playing time during camp and thus more time for the coaches to evaluate which receivers will be making the final cut.
And now that Derrick Henry will be the featuring running back of the Tennessee Titans since DeMarco Murray’s release and retirement, all eyes are on him. All 6’3” of him. Henry is starting year number three in the NFL, and he proved last year that he can be a proved that he can be a premier RB in this league.
Derrick Henry ranked second in the NFL in yards after contact per attempt in 2017. His new teammate Dion Lewis was right behind him. pic.twitter.com/ridttSXn0z
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) July 28, 2018
During camp, Henry has been spotted catching a lot of throws from Mariota. Tennessee has signed RB Dion Lewis who played for the New England Patriots last year and also signed rookie RB Akrum Wadley from the University of Iowa.
Rounding out the RBs for Tennessee is David Fluellen. Looking forward to more news on the offensive side as camp continues.
Talk Titans with Karen on Twitter @ksc47