Offensive linemen Eugene Amano, left, and Jake Scott work against each other.
Running back Chris Johnson was part of things. He said his contract isn’t on his mind right now and declared that he expects rookie quarterback Jake Locker to start right out of the gate. Here’s the news story.
Locker had some nice moments and some that were not so good. About what you’d expect. He certainly threw the ball better than Brett Ratliff. And he didn’t go the Joe Cool route like Ratliff and Rusty Smith, who practiced in sunglasses.
The host school’s football staff ran the individual position drills, which had to be a cool thing for most of them. From the stretch through some team work, players seemed to strike just the right measure of laughs with work.
Safety Michael Griffin said the defense just worked through basic coverages. Players expect the new defense, coordinated by Jerry Gray will touch on them all. They thought running through basics rather than trying to learn and execute anything new was the smart approach.
Without their own receivers, the Titans benefited from the presence of three quality outsiders: Derrick Mason of the Ravens, Golden Tate of the Seahawks and Patrick Turner of the Jets. Mason started his career with Tennessee and still has an area home while Tate and Turner are both from Nashville. Tate went to Father Ryan arch rival Pope John Paul II, and wore his purple Ryan shirt inside out.
Linebacker Gerald McRath coaches up second-round pick Akeem Ayers.
Several players who are not under contract for 2011 participated: defensive end Dave Ball, guard Leroy Harris, linebacker Tim Shaw and safety Donnie Nickey. Nickey had a big, early collision in seven-on-seven work with Marc Mariani as both went up for a pass from Ratliff that put the receiver at risk. It was the only obvious injury scare of the day. Both bounced up.
Plays of note: Mariani dropped a well-thrown deep ball from Locker after slipping behind multiple defenders. Corner Jason McCourty dropped a pick of a pass that bounced off Jared Cook; Ratliff threw an incredibly bad, incomplete pass down the deep middle, a duck that wobbled more than a lot of punts do.
Among the guys I saw doing a great deal of leading of young guys were Scott, Ball, defensive back Vincent Fuller and linebacker Gerald McRath.