Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Following a win over the defending Super Bowl champs, and a 3-1 start, some Titans fans have expressed frustration over a perceived lack of respect from the national media.
Even Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan chimed in on the subject after the team’s overtime win over the Eagles.
“It’s ridiculous that people don’t give the Titans enough credit,” Lewan said. “Obviously we’ve been up and down with wins the last two seasons. We’ve had winning seasons with a big playoff win. You’ve got to start giving the boys more credit, man.
“Like, there’s 32 (NFL) teams, there’s not 31. You’ve got to start respecting Nashville.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel isn’t interested in diving into the topic.
In fact, he hates the mention of whether the team gets credit for being 3-1 heading into Sunday’s game vs. the Bills.
“I think that is probably the most ridiculous thing that any of us should worry about, is what kind of credit we get,” Vrabel said on Thursday. “The respect that you try and earn as a professional athlete should be by the guys on your side of the ball, and from the guys on the other side of the ball.
“Other than that, I couldn’t think of anybody that we would have to try and impress other than our team, and the one we are trying to beat.”
Titans tackle Dennis Kelly practiced on Thursday for the first time since preparation for Week 2. He was listed as limited on the team’s Injury Report.
Plenty of unknowns surround Kelly and his health, but it was viewed as a positive development nonetheless.
“I think that is always the thing, the return-to-play protocol that we do, and a lot of teams do,” Vrabel said. “We try and introduce him to some individual (work), or some pre-practice stuff and stretch, get warmed up and see how that feels.
“And if it feels good, go on to individual. And then continue to progress from there. And obviously we are always looking at his health and his conditioning, what his strength is like and what his weight’s at.”
Kelly has been dealing with an illness, and he said again on Thursday further tests and evaluations are needed.
“I have been trying to do as much as I can to get back when I can, but there are some things I need to wait on just to make sure everything is safe,” Kelly said recently. ”We have educated guesses, but there is nothing legit to pinpoint anything.”
Kelly was hospitalized last month with the illness. Kelly said he didn’t want to go into specifics of his illness because of so many unknowns. Kelly said he’s been feeling better in recent days, and the plan now is to be as careful as possible.
He said in the locker room on Thursday he wanted to “move the blood around” in returning to practice.
Titans quarterback Blaine Gabbert practiced again on Thursday and has been cleared from the concussion protocol. Gabbert was inactive on Sunday vs. the Eagles.
Linebacker Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (elbow) did not practice again on Thursday.