NASHVILLE – The Titans hit the field at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Monday for the 13th practice of training camp.
Here’s a look at what stood out on Day 13:
-The defense once again dominated Monday’s practice. The pass rush forced quarterbacks to get rid of the ball before they wanted to, and the coverage in the secondary was as smothering as the heat. At one point, safety Kenny Vaccaro could be heard shouting to the receivers: “Y’all get some new routes.”
-Quarterback Marcus Mariota had trouble getting the ball out during an early team period. Outside linebacker Sharif Finch was very active, in the backfield several times in a row on plays that likely would have resulted in sacks. Big defensive end Brent Urban batted down a Mariota pass at the line of scrimmage as well.
-The most impressive thing I saw from the offense in the early team drill? A pair of blocks – one by TE/FB Ryan Hewitt on a run by Dalyn Dawkins, and another from receiver Cody Hollister, who shielded linebacker LaTroy Lewis with his body downfield. Coach Mike Vrabel shouted praise to Hollister after the play.
-Rookie receiver A.J. Brown, who returned to practice on Sunday, did his most extensive work to date on Monday. Brown was in full pads, and he went through individual drills early. When the team moved from its indoor practice facility to outside, Brown also took part in some plays in team drills. He’s clearly making progress as he returns from his hamstring injury.
-In a quick 1-on-1 live period, Hooker made a nice, physical tackle. Linebacker Ukeme Eligwe and safety JoJo Tillery had stops in this period, while running back Jeremy McNichols had a scoring run.
-Receivers Adam Humphries and Taywan Taylor made catches in the team period, and tight end Anthony Firkser caught a pass from Mariota before quarterback Ryan Tannehill later missed him on a pair of throws.
-Tight end Cole Wick had a bad drop.
-Adam Humphries, Adoree’ Jackson, Kalif Raymond and Papi White all fielded balls in the return game.
-In a red zone period later in practice, the defense flexed its muscle and dominated again. Mariota threw nothing but incomplete passes in this period, and when Tannehill worked with the 2s, they had no luck either.
-Cornerback Tye Smith made really nice plays on back-to-back snaps, one in the corner on a ball intended for Taylor.
-Linebacker Daren Bates made a nice stop after a short Tannehill completion to running back Jeremy McNichols.
-Quarterback Logan Woodside had a little more luck when he came on with the 3s, but not much. He appeared to toss a short touchdown pass to running back Alex Barnes, who went out of bounds right at the pylon.
-In a period that saw the Titans work on 2-point conversions, tight ends Anthony Firkser, MyCole Pruitt and Ryan Hewitt all caught passes for scores, but both of Tannehill’s passes to Wick fell incomplete. Barnes had a score here. In the same period, defensive back Kenneth Durden made a nice break-up.
-When the red zone period – and practice – ended, the defense celebrated.
-Running back Derrick Henry still hasn’t practice since leaving the first day of training camp, but he seems to be doing more each day in his rehab. Henry worked on a side field today, and he later worked in a sand pit.
-Receiver Corey Davis returned to practice, but his work was somewhat limited.
-Linebacker Cameron Wake, defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, running David Fluellen, guard Nate Davis, tight end Delanie Walker, receiver Tanner McEvoy and defensive lineman Frank Herron did not practice on Monday.
-Linebacker Derick Roberson left practice early and did not return.
-Final observation: Man, it was hot. The feels-like temperature is scheduled to reach 112 degrees in Nashville on Tuesday, when the team has an off day.
Next practice: Wednesday, 9:50 a.m. (Joint practice with Patriots, open to fans).