City Paper Camp Confidential (Wednesday a.m. - Titans/Rams)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 12:39pm


Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008

OFFENSIVE PLAY OF THE DAY: The Titans quarterbacks, led by Vince Young, had a solid day, thanks in part to a number of standout catches from the wide receivers. After a few early drops, there were several nice grabs by Lavelle Hawkins, Paul Williams and Dwayne Blakley. However, none was more impressive than the diving catch made by Roydell Williams against Darius Vinnett and Sebastien Sejean. Williams ran a skinny post route and got himself under the ball from Young making the catch about 40 yards downfield.

“I was just trying to get on top of the guy and draw the safety. I looked up and the ball was thrown to me. I had to hustle to get to it,” Williams said. “Each day I feel a little better and gaining more confidence. Being out so long, it’s just hard to go out and be where I left off.”

Williams returned earlier this week from a broken ankle in January that required surgery.

DEFENSIVE PLAY OF THE DAY: Vincent Fuller said he has a history against Brock Berlin dating back to when Fuller was at Virginia Tech and Berlin was a quarterback at Miami.

Fuller put that experience to good use in Wednesday’s work, intercepting Berlin twice in the morning practice. Fuller’s first interception would have been returned for a touchdown.

“It was a corner blitz, and on a corner blitz, a lot of times the wide receiver tries to stop short for the throw,” Fuller said of the first pick. “I saw the receiver stop, so I just went out there and tried to get my hands on it.”

TOPIC OF CONVERSATION: What else, but the multiple skirmishes that occurred in practice between the Titans defense and the Rams offense? While the Titans offense and Rams defense played nice on the farthest field, Tennessee’s defenders and St. Louis’ offense mixed it up four different times in the morning practice in full pads.

The first fight occurred between Cortland Finnegan and Rams receiver Reche Caldwell. Once they were done, Finnegan got up from the ground without a helmet.

Shortly after that, Michael Griffin slammed Rams receiver Dane Looker to the ground, and after the play was over, Keith Bulluck shoved Caldwell, setting off another fracas.

Not to be outdone, Kyle Vanden Bosch, whose non-stop practice efforts can sometimes cause sparks to fly, was involved in a battle with Adam Goldberg, whom he had pinned to the ground while Vanden Bosch delivered a right-handed punch.

On the very next play, Titans defensive end Sean Conover and Rams tackle Mark LeVoir were involved in a battle.

“I didn’t really know what to expect,” Bulluck said. “We’ve had teams in in the past and had perfect practices and nothing really going on. But for whatever reason, it got a little chippy out there today. We handled our business accordingly. We’ve got to get our business down and concentrate a little more on football.”

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth mostly stayed out of the fray, but said such actions can easily occur with a defense like the Titans with its aggressive style.

“You know this defense. We’re a tough, rough defense. We don’t back down from anybody, and that’s how we’ve always played,” Haynesworth said. “Ever since that day that Lance Schulters gave us that nickname the Tennessee Tyrants, that’s what we’ve been trying to live up to.”

Like Bulluck, Haynesworth said the focus needs to stay between the whistles.

“We need to focus a little bit more and stop worrying about kicking people’s butts and stuff and actually do it between the whistles,” Haynesworth. “I think we got a little more focused on the brawls after [the play] instead of the actual play. We let some get by us.”

Even tight end Alge Crumpler said he wished he had been down on the other end of the field.

“Man, I wanted to watch the other field. I wanted to go over there so bad,” Crumpler said.

WORTH NOTING: The homecoming was complete at the end of practice when fans along the fence watching the proceedings, began yelling, “Dreeeewww! Dreeeeewww!” for former Titans receiver Drew Bennett, back for the first time at Baptist Sports Park.

“I have a lot of good memories here. It’s a great facility and a great organization,” Bennett said. “It’s nice to come back and see some old faces. It’s a different situation, coming across the field and seeing all the guys that you used to play with.”

Bennett had a nice catch in the end zone during one portion of practice.

As well, guard Jacob Bell was back for the first time since departing for the Rams as a free agent.

“It’s a little different to come back in the other color jersey, but it’s good to come back, though,” Bell said.

INJURIES: The Titans held four players out of practice, plus kicker Rob Bironas and punter Josh Miller, who continue to be sidelined with groin injuries.

Those missing practice were running back LenDale White (back), defensive end Jevon Kearse (knee), receiver Justin McCareins (hamstring) and cornerback Cary Williams (quad).

Rob Bironas and Josh Miller continue to miss time as they rehab groin injuries.

KEEP AN EYE ON: Rookie receiver Lavelle Hawkins had a drop early in practice, but later made a couple of dazzling catches. But just so Hawkins can be reminded that one good play does not mean the heat is off, he incurred the wrath of offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger. After a diving catch on the sideline, Hawkins got up, and Heimerdinger screamed at him to run and complete the rep, saying, “Finish, finish.”

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