One of the objectives of the 2014 Tennessee Titans was to bring a higher intensity and more sustained effort to the field. They are certainly doing that, and today it reached a new high for this camp.
Bernard Pollard and Nate Washington have been the catalysts for the new level early in camp, and both sides have been responding.
Following a bad day by the offense on Monday, it seemed as if that unit reached a new level on Tuesday in an attempt to atone for the bad day.
After some big offensive plays early, the defense appeared to change gears and the level of talking across the lone of scrimmage and between the two sides seemed to increase dramatically.
When tight end Chase Coffman and linebacker David Gilbert tangled following a pass play where Gilbert was in man coverage on Coffman, the intensity boiled over. Coffman was slung to the turf by Gilbert, and when he reached his feet to retaliate multiple players from both units joined the scrum.
Center Brian Schwenke became involved as did safety Bernard Pollard. Pollard and Eric Olsen began to battle around the pile and had to be separated by receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and tight end Delanie Walker.
Pollard spoke following the practice about the increased intensity and the fact that other players on the defensive side are stepping up as leaders for this team.
"Oh defintely man, that's a lot of fun, that's growth from this team man," said Pollard. "I think we all kind of got a chip on our shoulder because of the way we played."
"We can't be complacent with what happened Saturday," continued Pollard. "So guys who did things well, or guys who didn't do as well, we have to be a team and we have to learn how to continue to get better."
There is something slightly different about the level of intensity in this camp from the previous few years, and that fact is not lost on the players.
"Overall I feel like this intensity level, this competition level has been at a really high level," added Derrick Morgan. "Today especially, since the offense got called out yesterday and they did a good job of responding, but we were still out there doing what we need to do as a defense. It was a good day overall."
Jurrell Casey, who is laid back, intelligent and calm personality in the locker room. echoed Morgan.
"I would say so you know," agreed Casey. "Everybody is fighting, everybody is competing with this new staff, the new defense and everybody is trying to prove themselves at this point."
Pollard perhaps summed it up best with his final comment.
"That's what it's about, you know," said Pollard. "That's how I try to set things up. The first week to try to get through the exhaustion I talk, I talk to annoy people, to get at people, whatever. That's my first week. Second week we have to concentrate and get ready for competition to get an opportunity to get in the game and let it loose."