Tennessee Titans: Mini Camp Brings Excitement To Music City


As Tennessee Titans rookies begin to show up in Music City for rookie mini-camp which gets underway on Friday, the drafting of Oregon Quarterback Marcus Mariota has already added a much-needed buzz to players and fans alike.

Players, coaches and fans can’t wait to get a look at the Heisman Trophy winner on the field

Players, coaches and fans can’t wait to get a look at the Heisman Trophy winner on the field, and will wait with anticipation each day for reports on Mariota, and the rest of the 2015 rookie crop as the team looks forward to the new season.

It appears everyone, including Assistant Head Coach/Defense Dick LeBeau are committed to the common goal of having Marcus Mariota ready to face Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 13th.

In an article from Jim Wyatt at the Tennessean, the veteran coach of 56 years says he is excited to give Mariota a dose of NFL defenses and looks to get him ready for what he is going to see on the field in the NFL when game day arrives.

"“I am going to do my best to show him what an NFL defense is going to look like,” LeBeau said with a smile on Tuesday. “I was glad we drafted him where I won’t have to face him. I hope we can’t stop him on the practice field. But we’re going to try to.”The coaching staff and veterans are equally eager to provide second-year quarterback Zach Mettenberger with the same training in hopes of improving his chances of either starting in 2015, or becoming the solid backup quarterback the team desperately needs.While veterans haven’t been on the field with Mariota, those made available to talk to reporters on Tuesday said their plan is to get him — and second-year quarterbackZach Mettenberger — prepared for the season with some tough love.“He is still a rookie quarterback, so I think our job is to give him as many looks as we possibly can in practice to prepare him for the game,” cornerback Jason McCourty said. “As a defense, the more we can try and beat up on those guys and intercept as many passes and just try and confuse them as much as possible throughout training camp and throughout the OTAs, I think the better we are going to be as a team and the better he and Zach are going to be as players.”"

Veteran pass rusher, Derrick Morgan cautioned that although they want to break Mariota in and introduce him to the NFL, they don’t want to steal what confidence he brings to camp.

"Said linebacker Derrick Morgan: “You have to break him in, but you don’t want to steal all of his confidence. I think it is a great defense for him to go against, being our defense is pretty complicated in the looks and the schemes that we give.”"

Veteran wide receiver, Harry Douglas who was signed in free agency from the Atlanta Falcons appears to be quickly becoming a leader in the locker room. Douglas was drafted by the Falcons the same year they drafted Matt Ryan, and should be a valuable source of information for the young quarterback during his developmental period.

"“I am open if he wants to ask me anything,” he said. “I am going to try and talk to him a lot and try and pick his brain, help him be as efficient as possible.”"

With colleges playing more and more spread offenses, it appears many NFL teams will need to make changes to accommodate new talent like Mariota, and it also clear that old-timers like Ken Whisenhunt will have to change with the times as well.

The RGIII experiment in Washington worked the first year when the Baylor standout won a Rookie of the Year award. It was successful for two reasons.

Then Head Coach, Mike Shanahan installed an offense that took advantage of RGIII’s running ability, and a strong running game from Alfred Morris.

It bought one year for Griffin to learn how to play from the pocket, which he didn’t do before the defensive minds around the NFL learned how to stop the Duo.

It is going to be an interesting year at LP Field, and like most fans, I can’t wait to get started on the season.

Whether it will result in a better year than the dismal 2-14 season fans endured in 2014 or not is yet to be seen, but the one thing we have today is a buzz of excitement surrounding not only fans, but the team as well.

Harry Douglas and Jason McCourty summed it up perfectly in Jim Wyatt’s article:

"“To have him in the building, in the city, a lot of people are extremely excited with good reason I think,” McCourty said. “… Guys are really excited about what he can do and to have him a part of the team.”Said Douglas: “We love the excitement. It is always good when you can have a lot of media attention, a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz around the program and organization. “We want to channel that and embrace it in the right way.”"

Next: Tennessee Titans Position Breakdown: Left Tackle

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