The Titans made their return to Baptist Sports Park Thursday after practicing Wednesday evening at LP Field. The night practice was scheduled to give players a break from the extreme heat, while helping them gain familiarity at the stadium they will soon be starting the season in.
On Thursday, the players went through a two-hour practice, going through plays and executing assignments in their last full-team practice before Saturday’s 7 p.m. match-up with the Washington Redskins.
While head coach Jeff Fisher is looking forward to evaluating his players against a formidable NFL opponent, he is not interested in a high-scoring blowout.
“As a coach, the last thing I would like to have happen is for us to go out and win 42 to nothing and have the perfect ball game. You don’t want that to happen.” Fisher said. “You have to learn from mistakes because you don’t want to put yourself in a position where you are forced to learn from mistakes during the regular season.”
And though it is just a preseason game, Fisher said, “Preseason is a learning experience, while at the same time, you also want to teach them how to win. We are going out there to try and win this ball game as well.”
The Titans will conduct a short walk-through practice Friday night in final preparations for Saturday’s opener.
TEAM IS COMING TOGETHER:
Some would argue that talent on a football team is just as valuable as the cohesiveness and chemistry that a team has. With one of the youngest teams in the NFL heading into 2007, that chemistry will be important as ever as the team attempts to build on its magical 8-8 season from 2006.
Fisher believes the Titans have the right mix of players that are beginning to gel. “They’re practicing well, they’re having fun, they’re enjoying it and their pushing each other,” he said. “So, the personality is good… there is a lot of carryover from last year.”
FINNEGAN MAKING A MOVE:
Second-year cornerback Courtland Finnegan made an impact as a rookie in Tennessee’s secondary in 2006. He saw a considerable amount of time as the nickel defensive back, was on the receiving end of numerous big plays, including a 92- yard fumble return for a TD, and played a big role in the team’s special teams success. During training camp, Finnegan has frequently been around the football, looked crisp, and has been more relaxed – all attributes of having a full NFL season under his belt.
Finnegan will be battling with new secondary additions and 2007 draft picks for playing time this season, a battle Fisher believes Finnegan is ready for.
“He’s making a move,” Fisher said. “He was slowed with a hamstring injury through the off-season and he missed out on a lot of valuable time, but he’s caught up now and you can see he’s starting to make some plays.”
HENRY: IT’S THE ANGLES:
Most believe that the biggest adjustment from the college level to the professional level is the speed of the game. Though correct in some ways, rookie running back Chris Henry had this to say as he prepares for his first NFL game: “I would say it’s (NFL) a lot more intense and a lot more precise. You can’t do a lot of the rounded turns and rounded cuts that you are able to get away with in high school and college because people are taking sharp angles in the NFL. Everybody takes away the rounding and they are going straight at angles.”
CROWDS STILL COMING:
Despite a new school year approaching and the hot temperatures remaining steady throughout Nashville, that still hasn’t been a deterrent for fans coming out to Baptist Sports Park to watch training camp. Since camp opened on July 27th, each day, hundreds of fans flock to team headquarters to get a sneak peak at what the 2007 Titans will look like.
One Titans fan (Brandon) said he wouldn’t want to be any place else.
“I get off work just in time for the afternoon practices,” he said. “I like the Titans and I like autographs, so where else would I rather be?”
Story Courtesy: The Tennessee Titans
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