NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans just wrapped up practice on Thursday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
On Saturday, the team will face the New England Patriots in the playoffs, at Gillette Stadium.
Three quick hits:
Playing GronkTitans practice squad tight end Tim Semisch is listed as No.85 on the team’s roster, but he rarely wears it during practices.
Why? Because Semisch regularly plays on the scout team wearing the uniform number of the tight end the team will face. This week he’s been wearing No.87 — he’s Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“He’s done a good job, he has, he’s done a really good job,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey said of Semisch. “He’s done a really good job all year. We’ve faced some tight ends, and he’s giving us a good picture.”
Semisch, signed as a free agent out of Northern Illinois, has worked on the practice squad all season.
Semisch is 6-foot-8, 275 pounds, so he has the size. Gronkowski, who leads the Patriots with 69 catches for 1,084 receiving yards this season, is listed at 6-6, 265.
A week ago, Semisch worked against the Titans defense mimicking Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
“I’m just trying to give these guys the best look I can, trying to mirror his play,” Semisch said of Gronkowski. “The defense has done a good job of defending me. I have a lot of respect for (Gronkowsk), the overall player he is.”
Titans safety Kevin Byard said Semisch has done a nice job.
“I think Tim has been one of our better, if not our best, practice squad guys all year,” Byard said. “Just the looks he has been giving us week in and week out, whether it is playing Gronkowski or whoever, he has been great. He has been saying, “Hey, do you want me to push off a little more or be more physical here?’ He’s done a great job.”
Semisch said he didn’t try out the Gronk spike during practice.
“I didn’t want to rub anybody the wrong way, or starts any rifts at practice,” Semisch said. “So I haven’t done any Gronk spikes.”
London gameThe NFL announced the Titans will play the Los Angeles Chargers in London during the 2018 season, so naturally Mularkey was asked about it today after practice.
But Mularkey wasn’t interested in talking about next season, not with what’s at stake on Saturday. A win, and the Titans would head to the AFC Championship Game for the first time since the 2002 season.
“Not unless it has anything to do with New England, I probably won’t give you (comments) much more than that,” Mularkey said. “This is a really important game here. Whatever (the London game) does for us in the future, we’ll see. But my total focus is on New England.”
Titans guard Quinton Spain returned to practice on Thursday after missing the previous two days with a lower back.
Spain was a full-go in practice, and is ready to go.
Running back DeMarco Murray (knee) is the only player who has been ruled out for Saturday’s game.