The Titans are set to wrap up their 2015 mini-camp on Wednesday, with the final of three mandatory practice sessions in an eventful week.
On Tuesday the team released running back Shonn Greene, who was due to make $3.25 million this season. The move was not done as a cost saving measure alone as Greene had not lived up the what the Titans had hoped for when they signed him originally.
The team has battled the intense heat and humidity during the first two days of mini-camp, as temperatures have been unseasonably hot for this time if year. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt saw that as a positive in that the players were getting adjusted to how things will be when the team opens training camp with the first practice session scheduled for July 31.
”We don’t have pads on so, but we wouldn’t be practicing at this time if it was training camp but it’s good,” said Whisenhunt. “The message at the end is this is the kind of heat, so we’ve got to work in it and it’s not bad.”
While the heat has been tough, some of the players feel that it is helping them not only to get used to what August will bring, but to also help them with conditioning. Tackle Taylor Lewan shared as much when asked about the heat.
”It’s been intense both days, especially today (Wednesday) when me and several others guys had to take IV’s after practice,” said Lewan. “It’s taking a lot out of us.”
Fellow offensive lineman Chance Warmack also needed the IV to replenish fluids after Wednesday’s practice.
I’m beat, “ said Warmack. “Us big guys who sweat a lot hate days like this, and I’m from Georgia and played at Alabama, so I’m used to it, but still it’s tough.”
Following Thursday’s final mini-camp practice, the players will be away from the team and facility until July 30, when they report for training camp. Until then, they will be free to vacation and enjoy the off time before the grind of the long season begins.
However, during their free time, players, especially the rookies must spend some time studying the playbook and learning as much as they can between now and then. Of course all players will be expected to workout and be in shape and at their proper weight upon return.
Rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota spoke about the downtime and his plans on learning the playbook while he is away.
”It will be good to get some time off, but the competitor in me wants to keep rolling,” said Mariota. “You’ve got to find that balance to be able to recuperate and rejuvenate for the long hall while keeping yourself focused about football.”
”Getting my head in the playbook, going over film from over the past month or so of what we’ve been able to do, and then just kind of relaxing,” continued Mariota. “You know it’s been a long six-seven months for me since the end of my college season and even before, leading up to that. So I’m just going to get ready for training camp.
Mariota admitted that he will spend sometime in Hawaii during the break, but he also plans to be in Nashville to work with his receivers on timing and routes.
As for the media, we too will take advantage of the break before the grind begins. A vacation is certainly in short order as the season is a long grind for everyone who goes through the daily life of the NFL.