TitansOnline.com Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt offers his quick hits – and observations – from Day 10 of Titans training camp practice.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Titans just wrapped up practice on Wednesday at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
Here’s a look at what stood out …
-Receiver Rishard Matthews and cornerback Antwon Blake had some pretty good battles in one-on-one drills. Matthews got open for a catch early in the drill, but on the next matchup Blake made a nice breakup on a deep ball.
• Cornerback Jason McCourty continues to shine in practices. He locked down receiver Dorial Green-Beckman on an early drill, and later had a really nice breakup.
• Receiver Ben Robertsmade an impressive catch over cornerback Kalan Reed on a deep ball thrown by quarterback Marcus Mariota.
• The receivers won a best-of-three competition against the defensive backs when Andrew Turzilli beat cornerback LeShaun Sims deep. Earlier, Harry Douglas made a catch while working against Perrish Cox after McCourty kept Tajae Sharpe from making a catch in their competition.
• Receiver Andre Johnson had the catch of the day, a juggling grab on the sideline on a pass from quarterback Matt Cassel.
• Tight end Delanie Walker made a tough, contested catch on the goal-line.
• Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson was around the football on several occasions. He knocked two balls down, but kicked himself for not coming up with an interception.
Third-round pick Kevin Byard, who starred at MTSU, is working his way up the ladder with the Titans.
Byard has worked with the second team of late, a reward for his consistent play, coach Mike Mularkey said.
“Kevin is going to be a special player, I think,’’ Mularkey said. “He has a lot of confidence in his play – he’s really confident. I love the way he’s not afraid to talk. He has a little strut when he makes a play. That’s like a receiver who says, ‘You can’t cover me.’ He has that kind of mentality that you can’t beat me at a safety, and he’s shown it.
“The one thing I think about him is we’re going to get a core special teams player as well. We’re going to get a lot out of Kevin.”
Byard said he’s getting more comfortable each day.
“I definitely feel like I am on the right path,’’ Byard said after practice. “I have to keep stacking good days on top of good days, and try to be better than I was the day before.”
The Titans placed safety Josh Aubrey on the Reserve/Retired list on Wednesday. Aubrey played in one game with the Titans last season, and worked with the team throughout the offseason and in training camp.
“He retired,’’ Mularkey said. “He decided his heart wasn’t in it. I respect him – that’s a big decision he had to make. … I told him to go home yesterday … and talk to his family and do all the pluses and minuses of both.
“He looked at he was at ease with his decision this morning to retire.”
Mularkey said Aubrey, who played at Stephen F. Austin and played in games for the Browns (2013) and Texans (2014), was having a good camp.
Byard worked alongside Aubrey in practices.
“He’s a real good dude,’’ Byard said. “I wish him all the best. He was great to me while I was here. … It’s crazy to think about this league – one day you see somebody, and 30 minutes later his locker is cleaned out and he is gone. I am still adjusting to it.”
Linebacker Nate Palmer(ribs) returned to practice on Wednesday.
Receiver Kendall Wright(hamstring), cornerback Cody Riggs (head), linebacker Aaron Wallace(ankle), cornerback Brice McCain (hamstring) and linebacker Kevin Dodd(foot) did not practice and running back Dexter McCluster was excused again for personal reasons.
Former Titans offensive coordinator Les Steckel, with the team on its run to Super Bowl XXXIV, was at practice. Luke Steckel, his son, is an offensive assistant with the Titans.
Da’Norris Searcy was back working with the first-team on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Daimion Stafford worked with the 1s at safety.
Mularkey said he’s not sure how much the starters will play in Saturday’s preseason opener against the Chargers. He’s planning to meet with his coaches on the topic soon.
Workers scaled the outside of the new bubble at Saint Thomas Sports Park on Wednesday morning.