The Tennessee Titans’ first-year defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was reportedly very vocal last week as he corrected members of his D-unit during a walk-through period.
And while that might have made some people wince during ‘fan days’ some players were glad to hear the coach stretch those vocal chords. After all, the Titans coach was once a Sports Illustrated ‘coverboy’ who posed under the headline, ‘Is Chuck Cecil too vicious for the NFL?’
By most accounts, Friday’s mouth flapping was the first such outburst since he replaced Jim Schwartz, now the head coach of the Detroit Lions. And Jevon Kearse, for one, looks forward to more of those types of verbal cues.
While the defensive lineman conceded that pre-game head butts are probably not a good idea [“We need him to have a clear head,” Kearse said], he did say that some of the younger players in particular could benefit from Cecil’s normal attitude.
“We need him to be that way,” Kearse said. “He needs to let these young guys know that, ‘Hey, I’m Cecil and I’m here to do my job. That’s it.’ ”
Coach Jeff Fisher said during the next few weeks the players’ work will be limited to conditioning and individual drills, so that likely will keep Cecil relatively quiet.
Critical time for rookies
Fisher said the next few weeks, when the players’ work will be limited to conditioning and individual drills, will be critical for the rookies.
“We will learn a lot about them when they come back for the June OTAs to see who has gotten in the books and who didn’t,” he said. “We threw a lot at them because they knew coming in that by the time the June OTAs are over that everything is going to be in and they will have experienced everything that they are going to experience at training camp.”
Friday’s session was the last of the month.
Fisher said he expects every player to be healthy and ready to participate in the team’s next round of offseason workouts, which begin in about three weeks.
Keeping up with Jones
One of the more productive players in the final workout of the month was Mark Jones, signed as a free agent to replace Chris Carr as Tennessee’s return specialist.
Jones, a University of Tennessee product, caught a number of balls at wide receiver and showed he has the potential to provide meaningful depth on offense, much the way Carr did last fall for the defense when injuries late in the season forced him into action.
“He’s an experienced returner, an effective returner (but) he’s not just a returner,” Fisher said. “He’s learning the offense and he made some plays (Friday), and that’s good to see.”
Jones has two career receptions over the course of his five-year NFL career, which has included stints with three different teams.
Getting kinda chatty
Players for both the offense and defense were getting particularly chatty as they worked against each other. But it was the performance of Keith Bulluck and Chris Johnson that shined on Friday.
One of the better moments of OTAs happened when linebacker Bulluck lined up against running back Johnson and said, “How are you going to be NFL MVP if I’m going to be NFL MVP?”
Johnson has publicly stated his desire to earn the league’s top individual award.