As much as all of us would like to state that everyone’s ‘present and accounted for’ at Tennessee Titans OTAs, that isn’t something that can be stated at the current moment. At the time of this story being written and published, it’s June 4th, and six of the more notable names have yet to be marked as present.
Two were among the more notable defensive additions during the free-agency period. Both figure to play key roles and start during the 2021-2022 campaign, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and Denico Autry. Now, while we know that Jackrabbit Jenkins was dealing with the fallout from his Rolls Royce being stolen, none of us are sure about Autry’s situation.
Tennessee’s star running back and wide receiver, Derrick Henry and A.J. Brown also have yet to report. The same can be said for tight end Geoff Swaim and guard Nate Davis. It appears that we won’t see any of these guys until the mandatory minicamp portion of team workouts begins.
The Tennessee Titans are still waiting on Jenkins and Autry among others.
While there’s no reason to panic yet and while absences at Titans OTAs by the veterans have yet to reach the levels of what we’ve seen from the Green Bay Packers (and it probably won’t), any absence by a team’s stars always raises the antenna.
Are they being careful due to the ongoing issues with COVID-19? Are they happy? Is something wrong? Might we assume that they’re working out on their own? Again, there doesn’t seem to be a reason to panic, but the first few thoughts that probably went through all of our minds probably sounded like this.
Tennessee didn’t have a defensive coordinator in 2020, and though their current DC is someone the returning veterans know thanks to the Titans promoting from within, Shane Bowen has gotten no work with Autry or Jenkins. That probably isn’t a huge concern as, again, they both are veterans, but this is a new environment and a new city for both. You’d like to see them present and taking advantage of every opportunity to get better and excel in the new scheme they’ll be running.
When you talk to the young guys or veterans who are reflecting on what these opportunities looked like for them, they always reference what they gained from the veterans who were present. Their development comes from the assistance of teammates and coaches, and it’s always good to have the input of guys who already know how to do the job.
This does present a good on-field opportunity for the young guys though. They’re getting a lot of reps, and it appears that some of the young guns are taking advantage of the opportunity. Don’t worry, the vets will be ready when they arrive, but we should all take a deep breath. There have been no major injuries, and there’s been more good news coming out of Tennessee Titans camp than bad.