Gerald McCoy is the latest cautionary tale for the Titans.
Last year I was annoyed at how frequently Mike Vrabel used rest days for key veterans because the Tennessee Titans had a new offensive coordinator and free agents that needed to be caught up to speed.
Now, I can see exactly why Mike Vrabel was so patient despite his hardnosed background and the identity that he wants to create and sustain for this team.
It happens every year, but today it looks like the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Gerald McCoy may have suffered a season-ending injury.
While at first it was thought to be an ACL tear, it appears to be a “ruptured quad tendon” which I can’t recall hearing before but it sounds very bad.
The Dallas Cowboys didn’t do anything wrong here, injuries can happen anywhere and any time and with pads on things tend to get more intense. However, Mike Vrabel’s approach to this seems to be to try to limit the exposure of players who already have a starting spot locked up.
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Today, Titans fans saw Ryan Tannehill sit out presumably because it was a rest day. That makes sense because I doubt that the Titans are going to see Cole McDonald do so many amazing things in one practice, that it makes him the starter.
It is also good to set the precedent that just because a player isn’t at practice, it doesn’t mean that they are hurt. Last year, Tannehill took some snaps away from Mariota because the starter was allowed to rest and ultimately it meant nothing. However, it was a huge story last year even though a switch didn’t happen until two months later.
Now if Dennis Kelly needs a day to rest, resting him shouldn’t be seen as an excuse from the Titans to see Isaiah Wilson as the starting right tackle.
This is a conservative strategy that probably doesn’t optimize snaps and it doesn’t fit the mentality of cramming as much information as possible into training camp, but the Titans don’t need to rush in.
I can tell you 19 of the 22 starters right now with the only questions being right tackle, slot cornerback and starting EDGE opposite Harold Landry. In fact, I would even say that two of those spots are penciled in with Dennis Kelly and Kamalei Correa (though he hasn’t been practicing).
With very little turnover, you can take your time and gameplan for the Denver Broncos now without forcing your veterans to take too many unnecessary snaps and hits.