Pads bring new attitude to Tennessee Titans training camp day 3


It’s one thing to watch NFL football players running around in shorts, going through the motions of pretending to run plays during OTA’s and the start of training camp, it’s another all together to see them in pads. The Tennessee Titans got down to business on Sunday and went to work with the pads and a new attitude.

More at Titan Sized: Marcus Mariota helps team off the field.

The stigma of a 2-14 season is a little like trying to get dog poop off your shoes, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt has set the bar pretty high as the 2015 season gets underway.

He is taking no prisoners, he is accepting no excuses, and is demanding perfection from all coaches, staff and players in attempt to get rid of that 2014 smell on his shoes.

The only job that appears secure as we go forward is that of rookie quarterback, Marcus Mariota. Everyone else, including those of general manager Ruston Webster, and Whisenhunt himself are on the hot-seat, and will pay the price for another sub-par season.

After the day three session at Saint Thomas Sports Park with the pads on for the first time this year, some good stories have emerged.

John Glennon from the Tennessean is reporting that coach Whisenhunt was irked with dropped passes, especially those dropped as the session got into the later stages when players were getting tired.

"Three players — Delanie Walker, Justin Hunter andDorial Green-Beckham — dropped catchable Marcus Mariota passes, and there were other drops on throws from the other quarterbacks.“I think some of that happens because you’re working with a bunch of different receivers,” Whisenhunt said. “(But) you don’t like it. We’ve made it very clear with our receivers that we have to make those catches. So you continue to harp on that and get better with it.”"

Whisenhunt’s major concern is Dorial Green-Beckham dropping passes after he gets tired. He pressed the point that players are tired in the fourth quarter and can’t afford to drop that touchdown pass with the game on the line.

It’s a valid concern, as that is a huge contributing factor to a 2-14 season, and that smelly stuff on your shoes.

Green-Beckham, a second-round pick this year, wound up with a couple of drops.

"“He looks good and makes plays early in the practice,” Whisenhunt said. “Then you could see him get tired, you could see his concentration go, and then he had a couple of drops at the end of practice. So that’s what this is all about. We’re working through those things.”"

The good news coming out of training camp in Music City is a report from Titansonline Senior Editor, Jim Wyatt concerning Marcus Mariota’s ability to take care of the football.

Three days after over 60 attempts and no interceptions is good news from any training camp, especially from Titans camp.

In fact, tight end Delanie Walker told Wyatt that one of the major focuses in training camp was “no turnovers”.

There should be no concern with Mariota and turn overs. He had only 4 interceptions with 42 touchdowns at Oregon in 2014, and for his collegiate career, his ratio was 105 touchdown passes to only 14 interceptions.

The Titans had 20 interceptions in 2014(more than Mariota’s entire collegiate career) with Zach Mettenberger throwing seven in an eight game stretch.

More of that smelly stuff!

Mariota’s college interception percentage was 1.20% (14 of 1,167 attempts).  That would have broken Billy Volek’s NCAA FBS record (1.28%, min. 600 attempts) if not for Bryce Petty finishing 2014 with a percentage of 1.18%

Along with the pads, the presence of Marcus Mariota and his work ethic is a huge contributing factor to the attitude of this team as the season gets underway.

Paul Kuharsky from ESPN reported on Sunday that the Titans coaching staff had pointed out a problem with Mariota’s hand-off technique to the running backs, and was told that they would work on it during training camp.

Mariota fixed the problem on his own time, and it is no longer a problem. He addressed the problem during the off-time, another testament to his desire to become the franchise player this team needs.

Hard work, not luck can set the tone for this team in 2015 and that will go a long way in preserving jobs in Music City, and will help get rid of that smell!

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