The Tennessee Titans are full-go for training camp. Well, almost full-go.
When the Titans open training camp Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., every player is expected to participate in the workout except for center Kevin Mawae and possibly first-round pick Kenny Britt.
Mawae is still recovering from the triceps tendon he tore against Pittsburgh at the end of the regular season last year, and might be placed on the physically unable to perform list (PUP) to start camp while Leroy Harris subs as the starting center.
Britt’s agent Todd France was still involved in negotiations with Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt and senior director of football administration Vin Marino. Negotiations were believed to be on-going.
"We haven't gotten anything done yet, but we're still talking to them and working through things," France told The City Paper Thursday evening.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher sounded optimistic that Britt's deal might be done in time for him to make Friday's first practice.
“You know I talked to Mike and Vin they’re working and communicating and getting closer,” Fisher said in his pre-draft press conference on Thursday. “So what that means, from a time-table I can’t tell you, but they are getting closer. Some of the guys are starting to get slotted around. When I hear getting closer, things are good.”
Britt's conditioning might also be an issue because of a hamstring injury that plagued him in OTAs. It is something that is a concern to Fisher, who wants Britt on the field and contributing to the Titans’ revamped wide receiver corps sooner rather than later.
“Kenny had some difficulties finishing the practice sessions at the OTAs with the hamstring,” Fisher said. “So he’s been gone. We’ve been told he’s been working. But we know how that is. So you know he could come in and be behind. We’re prepared to have him step in and go 100 hundred percent, but we’re also prepared to back down and bring him along so we don’t set him back.
“It’s important that he’s in. The more time he misses, the further he’s going to fall behind, both physically, and intellectually… and emotionally… it’s a big change for him and for rookies to go from a training camp at that level to this level.”
Fisher is far less concerned about Mawae, who is entering his 16th NFL season and has dealt with injuries many times before in his career.
“I mean I’m not concerned about Kevin. Kevin knows his body. He’s been there. He’s done it forever,” Fisher said, adding that there is no timetable for Mawae other than the Sept. 10 regular-season opener at Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, preseason takes on a different flavor for the Titans this year because they will be involved in the first preseason game of the year on Aug. 9 at the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio against the Buffalo Bills. The Titans will don the old Houston Oilers uniforms from their inaugural 1960 season as part of the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the American Football League.
Such an early start has the Titans already preparing to play a game from the outset of training camp. The Titans have only 11 practices before the game to get ready.
“We will play a lot of players in this week. This is an honor to be a part of,” Fisher said. “This game in Canton, a week from Sunday, it is a privilege to play in this game, particularly as it relates to Mr. [Bud] Adams and what Mr. Adams has done and what Mr. Adams has accomplished and this being the 50th anniversary of his franchise.
“So, we are going to go up there and approach this in such, a way. We will showcase our good players. We want play them as long as possible. We want to play this game to win this game. I will then in Week 2, which in essence will become Week 1 for us and we will get back on our normal schedule.”
As camp opens, the schedule will still be plenty flexible, including one tweak already. Fisher has decided that the Tuesday night practice that was set for LP Field and closed to the public will instead take place under the lights at Baptist Sports Park and be open to the public.