Tennessee Titans: Early Rookie Progress Reports

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Tennessee Titans: Early Rookie Progress Reports
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans returned to Baptist Sports Park on Monday for the first of three practices this week. The team had three practices last week, as well.

Players have talked about the rapid implementation of new schemes on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball with positivity, according to Craig Peters of Titans Online:

'It’s going to keep coming at us and as long as we can keep taking it, I think the coaches are going to keep throwing it at us,' tight end Delanie Walker said. 'I’m picking up it pretty well.'

Safety Bernard Pollard, who is entering his second season with the franchise, shared Walker's sentiments of organized team activities (OTAs) to date: 

'We’re putting in a lot, but our job is to stop those 84 plays,' Pollard said. '... but this time right now is for us to be able to understand the shifts, the motions, the different things we’re going to see during the year and I think we have done an excellent job because to go from a 4-3 to a 3-4 you have pretty much the same guys there, (but) now you’re moving them, you’re standing some guys up, you’re doing different things.'

While the Titans' veteran players work to master the new coaching regime's playbook as quickly as possible, the team's rookie class is doing everything the vets are along with getting acclimated to life in the NFL.

First-round draft pick Taylor Lewan has been moved around quite a bit since joining the team, playing both offensive tackle positions as well as being shifted inside on occasion.

Lewan said Monday had been his best practice with the team so far, expressing improvement in his comfort level and consistency, per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

He will likely spend the entire offseason competing with veteran tackles Michael Roos and Michael Oher for a starting role this season.

Rookie running back Bishop Sankey, who will be counted on to be the main cog replacing Chris Johnson, won't be with the team until its final two OTAs due to the University of Washington's school year not being over.

With Shonn Greene still recovering from knee surgery, undrafted free agents Antonio Andrews and Waymon James have received a few more opportunities than they otherwise would have.

DaQuan Jones and Marqueston Huff haven't done anything of note so far, but that is very normal at this stage of the offseason. As defensive players, now is the time to run around without any of the physicality that is so vital to the sport.

Avery Williamson can be thrown into that group as well, but he also has the best opportunity to make an early impact defensively.

With the Titans making the transition to defensive coordinator Ray Horton's hybrid 3-4 defense, there is a lot of competition for the two starting inside linebacker roles. 

Wesley Woodyard is likely one of the starters, but there is no clear front-runner for the other position.

Zach Mettenberger has impressed with his arm strength and deep-ball accuracy during rookie minicamp, according to ESPN's Paul Kuharsky:

'I did a lot of good things,' Mettenberger said. 'I'm still not moving as fluidly as I have in the past, but I am working every day to get back there.' 

With it still being so early in the offseason, it would be tough for any player to really stand out, especially while learning a new playbook. 

The biggest concern here is the absence of Sankey and his importance to the offense this upcoming season. His ability to learn the playbook while remaining in school is important to him making an early impact this season.

The other Titans rookies aren't likely to play major roles but should help the team in rotational or special teams roles.

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