5 observations from Tennessee Titans' final joint practice with Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 'It sucked'
TAMPA, Fla. – The final day of joint practices between the Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers was a spirited one, with four scuffles breaking out. But what else stood out at AdventHealth Training Center?
Here are a few observations:
Mike Vrabel: Titans' effort 'sucked'
The Bucs were the winners of Thursday's practice, making more plays on both sides of the ball.
A few things that stood out:
• In a low red zone period with the Bucs to end practice, simulating end-of-game situations, the Titans threw three interceptions: one by Ryan Tannehill, two by backup Logan Woodside.
• In 7-on-7 work, Bucs tight end Rob Gronkowski slipped behind the Titans' defense with a corner route for a touchdown. Tom Brady threw the pass.
• In 7s, Tannehill was picked off by Bucs safety Mike Edwards at midfield.
• In 7s, Titans tight end Anthony Firkser was wide open on a play and dropped the easy catch.
• Bucs Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans had two convincing wins against Titans cornerback Kristian Fulton: He went over the top of him for a catch on one rep, then beat him on a comeback route on another.
Asked how he thought his team practiced overall, Vrabel said it "sucked."
"From what I saw, we didn’t do well offensively," Vrabel added. "I don’t think we competed like we did (Wednesday). Probably a lot of reasons but just not good enough. They (Buccaneers) were clearly better today. We will see how we respond and take the coaching and play on Saturday.
"I am sure there were some good things but just not enough positive, just not getting into the flow of drives offensively, and I don’t think it was very good defensively either," he continued.
Key offensive players out (again)
Like Wednesday, several starters didn't practice – wide receivers A.J. Brown and Julio Jones, as well as offensive linemen Ben Jones and Nate Davis – and many other key contributors didn't participate in team periods, including star running back Derrick Henry and left tackle Taylor Lewan. Through 16 practices, the Titans have yet to have their projected starting offense on the field together.
Many other Titans who didn't play Wednesday also didn't participate Thursday. That group included defensive lineman Denico Autry, kicker Tucker McCann, running back Darrynton Evans, and safeties Matthias Farley and Dane Cruikshank.
Marcus Johnson, who has been the Titans' most impressive wide receiver in training camp, didn't practice, either.
Fred Brown shines
In a room where spots are up for grabs, Fred Brown was perhaps the biggest standout for the Titans on Thursday.
He had strong reps in one-on-ones, including a win against Bucs starting left cornerback Carlton Davis at the goal line for a touchdown. He beat Davis with a double move.
In a combo coverage drill, Brown also scored a touchdown at the back of the end zone.
Brown appears to be a long shot to make Tennessee's roster, but he took advantage of his opportunity Thursday.
The Titans' lone kicker for the fourth straight practice, Sam Ficken was 7-of-8 on field goals. His makes were at 33 (two), 38, 40, 42, 45 and 54 yards. He missed from 58 yards.
Monty Rice returns
Titans third-round rookie linebacker Monty Rice returned to practice. On Wednesday, he was helped off the field after a play and eventually carted off.