This week the Tennessee Titans will hold their first Organized Team Activities (OTA's) with both their new rookie draft picks and undrafted free-agents will join the veterans for their first joint on-field workouts.
The media will have access to the team's practices at St. Thomas Sports Park on both Tuesday and Thursday and already the anticipation is high among fans who are excited to find out who will begin with the first team in multiple positions.
Rookie tackle Jack Conklin and the Titans agreed to terms on his rookie deal on Monday and he will be the focus of much attention this week as he begins the learning process to become an NFL starter at one of the two tackles positions for the Titans. He will most likely begin as the right tackle while Taylor Lewan returns to the left tackle spot, though Conklin did see reps at left tackle during the recently concluded rookie mini-camp. Still it seems most likely that the first round pick will begin on the right side.
There is also the question of who will fill the left guard position opposite Chance Warmack.
Three players appear to be in the mix to fill this spot as second year pros Jeremiah Poutasi and Quinton Spain along with rookie sixth round pick Sebastian Tretola appear to the top contenders. Byron Bell who spent time there last season could also be part of the equation, though general manager Jon Robinson stated that Bell was a tackle which would seem to remove him from this group.
Second year guard Josue Matias, who spent last season on the Titans practice squad after signing with the team as an undrafted free-agent out of Florida State in 2015 could also find his way into this position battle.
Other positions on the team seem more clear cut as to who are the starters. The bigger question will be who will be fighting for their lives to earn a spot on the final 53 man roster for opening day.
Players like Dexter McCluster, Ropati Pitoitua and Harry Douglas along with fellow wide receiver Justin Hunter are all players who could find themselves fighting for a place on this roster as the Titans have created competition at every position that will begin this week. There are some who feel tight end Anthony Fasano could find himself on this list of veterans who could see their time with the Titans come to an end before the start, though I disagree with that sentiment.
There are other players returning from last season who are in a battle to retain their roster spots as well, and short of a few easily identifiable players, the rest of the roster is up for grabs for any one who will step up and win a spot.
This training camp is without doubt going to be the most competitive one in recent history and should lend itself to being an exciting and interesting time as the team looks to reinvigorate themselves and the fan base with this new regime at the helm and a new attitude and approach with the new mean and nasty, physical mentality.
This weeks OTA's most likely won't signal the end for any players on the bubble, but it is the first step in the process and while it might not get anyone released, it can certainly set the tone and put an individual on the good list as opposed to the bad list heading into the all important training camp.
Let the fun begin.