Right now Taylor Lewan is our left tackle and we’re proud that he is our left tackle

NFL, Tennessee Titans

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Scottsdale, Ariz. native Taylor Lewan is on his way back to the Grand Canyon State Wednesday, but the convenient overlap with Super Sunday takes a back seat to the real purpose for the homecoming.

The Titans selected Lewan 11th overall in last year’s NFL Draft. The next day Lewan flew to Nashville for his introductory press conference at Saint Thomas Sports Park. He then flew back to Arizona for only a day to gather his things before settling into his new home in the south.

This is the first time the Super Bowl has been in Glendale since 2008 – the game better known for David Tyree’s helmet catch to help the Giants beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Lewan remembers the game — he was a junior in high school — but he didn’t go to that Super Bowl either, despite being just 20 miles away in Scottsdale.

Lewan said he has no plans to be in attendance at any Super Bowl until he’s running out of the tunnel as a participant.

Jacksonville, however, opted for offense and selected Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles from the third overall spot. The selection of Bortles occurs three years after the Jaguars drafted QB Blaine Gabbert from the 10th overall spot in 2011. Jacksonville traded Gabbert to San Francisco this offseason.

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Lewan was one of 30 top prospects invited to attend the first night of the draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and became a Titan when Tennessee selected him with the 11th overall pick. Lewan flew to Nashville Friday so he could be introduced during a press conference. Prior to that session, Lewan quickly worked in individual interviews with television stations. He left Saint Thomas Sports Park shortly after hoisting the jersey for a quick trip to his home in Arizona. The offensive tackle is schedule to return to Nashville next week. Nike Titans #77 Taylor Lewan Light Blue Team Color Youth Stitched NFL Vapor Untouchable Limited Jersey

“I want to welcome Taylor Lewan to Music City. We’re excited to have him,” Webster said. “As we stated last night, we feel we were very fortunate that we were able to pick him. We’ve had several conversations over the past few months, and I’m looking forward to what he can be for us in the future.”

Tennessee drafted Lewan as the heir apparent to the decade-long staple at left tackle Michael Roos. The team’s left tackle of the future joined the starting lineup earlier than expected when Roos went down with a season ending knee-injury in Week 5 against the Browns.

“I think in the end we are going to try and Tennessee Titans jersey china put our best five up there that give us a chance to win football games. Right now Taylor Lewan is our left tackle and we’re proud that he is our left tackle.”

One of the illegal use of hands calls against Lewan was declined because the Bills recorded a sack on the play. “We ended up getting 1st and 10s off those penalties, but it is still no excuse,’’ he said. “Everyone needs to be responsible for his actions, and as a leader on this team I cannot have those penalties.

“Since I have been in the NFL for 10 seasons, an offensive lineman has always been a leader,’’ Walker said. “I think he sees himself in that role. He plays like it. He plays tough every play. And that’s what you want. I always say this: Offensive linemen need to be dogs. I like them dirty, nasty, and he fits that role. And I think that is why we get along so well, because I have that mindset.

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The Titans acquired the 6-foot-8, 321-pound Kelly in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles back in August for receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Kelly played in the team’s first nine games, including three starts when the team lined up with an extra tight end to start games. In previous games, he’s stepped in to play some tackle, and played a big role on special teams.

And then on Sunday he found himself entering the game on the team’s third offensive play after Lewan was ejected. Kelly stepped in at left tackle, and the Titans didn’t skip a beat on offense. What Titans tackle Taylor Lewan and Bills guard Richie Incognito are: best of friends. And they’re living it up together here at the Pro Bowl.

Mild-mannered on a phone line, Taylor Lewan is expected to be anything but on the line of scrimmage.

And they’re not afraid to stir things up with a physical style of play that oftentimes rubs players on other teams the wrong way. “I think we are kind of kindred spirits,’’ Incognito said after Friday’s practice. “We are both hard-working guys, both tough guys, and we both play at a high level and I think we just hit it off because we enjoy working out so hard. We both push each other all offseason. We’ve spent a lot of time together. Now, we’re best of friends.”

After wrapping up practice on Wednesday, and admitting “I don’t know what the hell is going on yet,” Lewan said he’s determined to make it to the Pro Bowl again. He said he wants to make it to the playoffs as well, a goal the 9-7 Titans fell just short of in 2016.

Austin Johnson’s defensive line has a lot of diversity

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The defensive lineman hopes to follow a similar path to success with the Titans.

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Austin Johnson learned patience in college, and the experience helped him during his first NFL season. ust prior to the start of training camp, Titans rookie defensive lineman Austin Johnson had breakfast with Bob Shoop, his former defensive coordinator at Penn State.

“He told me to keep a level head and absorb everything I can,’’ Johnson said of Shoop, who’s now defensive coordinator at the University of Tennessee. “We’ve always had a good connection. I could talk to him about anything when I was in college. And he is one of the smartest guys I have ever been around. He wants what is best for me. He was always pushing me to get better.”

“Blackson should move over there, and we’re going to need to get Austin Johnson up and crank him up and he needs to play at a high level,’’ Mularkey said. “I’d like just a little more nastiness in (Austin’s) play, a little more violence in his play, and I think he’ll be fine.”

Penn State defensive lineman Austin Johnson jersey spent some time with Titans defensive line coach Nick Eason at the NFL Combine, and got good vibes. Later, during the pre-draft process, he made a visit to Tennessee, and talked to defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

“We’ve targeted Austin for a while there,’’ Titans general manager Jon Robinson said. “He can play nose, he can play five technique, he can play three technique. “There is a lot of versatility along the defensive line with him. He’s got some quickness — he’s actually got some ability to shoot gaps and win on third down situations too as a sub rush.”

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The winnowing process began with the offseason program from April through June. It continues when players report following a six-week break, and then there are only two weeks from the initial training camp practice to Aug. 13, when the Titans host the San Diego Chargers in the first of four preseason games. The preseason itinerary also includes a Saturday afternoon home game against the Carolina Panthers on Aug. 20, a nationally-televised visit to the Oakland Raiders on Aug. 27 and the final tuneup at the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 1. Nike Texans #15 Will Fuller V Black Men's Stitched NFL Limited 2016 Salute to Service Jersey

Although he is a 40-year-old, first-year general manager, Robinson is a seasoned evaluator of football talent. The Southeast Missouri State graduate spent the last two seasons as director of player personnel for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following a 12-year stint in the scouting department of the New England Patriots, including five seasons (2009–2013) as director of college scouting for the Patriots.

“Delanie, he is one of the guys most people would compare me to,’’ Smith said. “We have the same similar build, carry the same skill-set. But Delanie Walker is Delanie Walker, and I am Jonnu Smith at the end of the day. At the end of the day nobody can bring what I can bring to the table and nobody can bring what he can bring. Everybody is their own player.”

“I hope we can find someone as productive as Delanie,” Mularkey said when discussing Smith. “I think Jonnu is a guy we feel can compete and play not just an F, we are going to see if he is going to be a point player, point blocker. Certainly with his speed and his ability in the passing game, we hope that translates to what Delanie has done for us since he has been here.”

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The Titans also added Western Kentucky receiver Taywan Taylor in the third round. Taylor hauled in 253 passes for 4,234 yards and 41 touchdowns for the Hilltoppers.
Titans tight end Delanie Walker traveled on the Titans Caravan this week. During a stop, he discussed his USO Tour, new tight end Jonnu Smith, and weapons for the offense.

“All those guys bring a different aspect to the game,’’ said Byard, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft. “Corey Davis, he’s a guy who can play on the outside, and he can take a top off a defense. Taywan Taylor can catch screens and do whatever from the slot. And Jonnu Smith is going to be able to come in and learn from Delanie Walker and be able soak up the game from him and still be a threat when he comes in. So it just brings a different dynamic to the game and teams are going to have to game plan against that.”

In the NFL Draft, the Titans added two receivers early, beginning with Davis, who caught 97 balls for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. His 5,278 career receiving yards is an FBS record, and he ranks second in NCAA history in career receiving touchdowns with 52.

Titans linebacker Kevin Dodd is rarin’ to go

NFL, Tennessee Titans

Step by step, Titans linebacker Kevin Dodd is getting closer to playing in his first NFL game.

Outside linebacker Kevin Dodd had foot surgery on Thursday morning.

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“It is preventative,’’ Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. “It’s not major. He is going to miss the OTAs and the veteran minicamp (next month) but he should be back for training camp. I think it was smart on all of our sides to get it done now.”

Dodd, the team’s second-round pick out of Clemson, had some soreness out of the rookie minicamp earlier this month. The Titans did additional tests on his right foot, and decided to take care of the injury now to be safe. Dodd was on the practice field on Tuesday.

“He’ll miss some initial days here because he’ll be on crutches,’’ Mularkey said of Dodd. “But as soon as he can support his weight he’ll be out here and at least get some visual work with it. But obviously any time you are out it puts you behind.”

Titans rookie linebacker Kevin Dodd saw his snap count triple on Sunday compared to the previous week, and Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford saw him up close.

Dodd recorded his first career sack in Sunday’s 16-15 win over the Lions, and he was also credited with a quarterback hit and six tackles.

“Not going where you expected to go, it will push you. You are going to have a little chip on your shoulder or what not. I am still going to work. I am still going to do what Kevin Dodd has been doing. I have been grinding since day one.”

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Titans linebacker Kevin Dodd is rarin’ to go. Dodd is expected to bolster the team’s pass rush as a rookie, and in years to come.

On the first day of training camp on Saturday, Dodd was in uniform like the rest of his teammates. But instead of practicing, he worked on his own, and then stood on a fence line to sign autographs for fans afterward. Dodd was placed on the team’s Physically Unable to Perform list because of a foot injury that required surgery during the offseason. “It is real difficult just to not be able to be out there and be a part of this team,’’ Dodd said. “But the smartest thing for me now is to not be out there.

The wait is over for Titans rookie linebacker Kevin Dodd.
On Wednesday, the team officially activated Dodd from the Physically Unable to Perform list, a day after Titans coach Mike Mularkey talked with optimism about him returning to the field.

The Titans drafted linebacker Kevin Dodd in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Clemson, but he only made a small contribution during his rookie season because of a lingering foot injury.

In his final collegiate game, Kevin Dodd made a splash – the Clemson pass rusher racked up three sacks in the national title game against Alabama, and looked dominant doing so.

In Clemson outside linebacker Kevin Dodd, they believe they’ve found a player who can help. “Not going where you expected to go, it will push you. You are going to have a little chip on your shoulder or what not. I am still going to work. I am still going to do what Kevin Dodd jersey has been doing. I have been grinding since day one.”

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Dodd was placed on Injured Reserved at the end of the season.

Dodd, who had foot surgery during the offseason and has dealt with lingering issues with the injury, was inactive this past Sunday against the Colts. Nike Titans #8 Marcus Mariota Black Men's Stitched NFL Limited Gold Salute To Service Jersey

In the third round of Friday night’s NFL Draft, the Titans moved up to select Western Kentucky receiver Taywan Taylor.

A 6-foot-1, 195-pounder, Taylor was a playmaker for the Hilltoppers, and he’ll look to do the same for the Titans.

“I can’t even put it into words,” Taylor said. “I am still trying to soak it all in. I feel so blessed and so grateful to be a part of the Titans organization, great fans, great city, great everything. I am just ready to go to work.

Titans safety Kevin Byard is very familiar with three of the team’s first four draft picks – Western Michigan’s Corey Davis, Western Kentucky’s Taywan Taylor and FIU’s Jonnu Smith. Byard faced all three in college while playing at MTSU.

“All those guys bring a different aspect to the game,’’ said Byard, a third-round pick in the 2016 draft. “Corey Davis, he’s a guy who can play on the outside, and he can take a top off a defense. Taywan Taylor can catch screens and do whatever from the slot. And Jonnu Smith is going to be able to come in and learn from Delanie Walker and be able soak up the game from him and still be a threat when he comes in. So it just brings a different dynamic to the game and teams are going to have to game plan against that.”

In the NFL Draft, the Titans added two receivers early, beginning with Davis, who caught 97 balls for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. His 5,278 career receiving yards is an FBS record, and he ranks second in NCAA history in career receiving touchdowns with 52.

Corey Davis hoped the Titans would pick him in the NFL Draft

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The Titans have promoted defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad from the practice squad to the team’s 53-man roster.

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Abdesmad (6-6, 284) was signed by the Titans as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College. He appeared in 39 career games at Boston College, and recorded 98 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for a loss, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

The Titans waived defensive lineman Mehdi Abdesmad on Sunday to make room for Amaro on the 53-man roster. Amaro, waived by the Jets on Saturday, caught 38 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games during the 2014 season after a stellar college career at Texas Tech, where he was a first team All-America performer. Amaro (6-5, 265) caught 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns during his final season at Texas Tech.

Amaro, selected 49th overall by the Jets in 2014, missed all of 2015 with a torn shoulder labrum. Amaro suffered a groin injury during this year’s preseason, which caused him to miss a game. He’s paid his dues since, working on the team’s practice squad. On Wednesday, the Titans promoted Woods to the 53-man roster.

A four-year starter at Southern California, Woods (6-1, 318) signed with the Tennessee Titans jersey cheap as an undrafted free agent this year following the draft. He totaled 113 career tackles, eight sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss at USC. To make room for Woods on the roster, the Titans placed defensive end Mehdi Abdesmadon injured reserve. Abdesmad suffered an ankle injury in Saturday’s loss to the Jaguars.

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Based on the timetable, Mularkey said he thinks Mariota could be back for some of the organized team activities in May or June. Mariota should be ready for the start of training camp in July.

“I have total respect (for him),’’ Mularkey said of Mariota. “I love the player, love the man. I love everything he stands for, everything he does. I am very disappointed he got injured. He had a lot of good things ahead of him and he still does. But I am sorry to see it end his season this way, very sorry.”

But like Titans first-round pick Corey Davis, Titans receiver Rishard Matthews faced doubters heading into the NFL from those who questioned his college competition. Matthews, who played at Nevada, thinks the team’s fifth overall pick from Western Michigan will fit in just fine. Nike Titans #84 Corey Davis Navy Blue Name & Number Pullover NFL Hoodie

Corey Davis hoped the Titans would pick him in the NFL Draft.

“All of that doesn’t matter when you get to this level,” Matthews said on Tuesday during a stop on the Titans Caravan in Spring Hill. “In some areas it does matter, but I know he is going to come into the league with a chip on his shoulder like I did, and he is going to show that he belongs.

New Titans draft picks Corey Davis and Adoree’ Jackson met with reporters during a press conference on Friday at Saint Thomas Sports Park. After playing against Western Michigan’s Corey Davis in the 2015 Popeyes Bahamas Bowl during his final season at MTSU, Byard knew big things were ahead for the big receiver. “He lit us up,’’ Byard said of Davis, the team’s fifth overall pick of the NFL Draft, on Thursday. Davis had eight catches for 183 yards and an 80-yard touchdown vs. MTSU.

“After the game I knew that he was going to go first round. I didn’t know when he was going to go in the first round, but I knew he was first-round talent. It is a blessing to have him on the team because he is a big-time receiver and he is going to be a big-time receiver for years.”

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On Monday, Mariota said he’s looking forward to working with Davis, the team’s first-round pick out of Western Michigan, as well.

“I am excited,” Mariota said during a Titans Caravan stop at the Fort Campbell PX. “I am excited for our entire draft class. I think we brought in a lot of really good players, and it will be fun getting to know them and build relationships that will hopefully allow us to have some success on the field.”

He was able to congratulate new Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson in person last month at the NFL Draft in Philadelphia. Casey made the rounds on the Titans Caravan last week, when he discussed several topics, including Jackson, the team’s new free agents, and his spot among the top players in the NFL. The Titans snagged Jackson to bring some action. At USC, he was the 2016 Jim Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s top cornerback. He finished the season with 55 tackles, five interceptions and 11 passes defensed while totaling 1,230 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns.

After adding several players to the secondary in free agency, the Titans drafted cornerback Adoree’ Jackson with the 18th overall pick. Titans secondary coach Deshea Townsend discussed Jackson, and the group, at a recent Caravan stop.

I love the way Dennis Kelly played for this football team today

NFL, Tennessee Titans

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The Titans and Eagles have agreed to a trade involving receiver Dorial Green-Beckham and versatile offensive lineman Dennis Kelly.

Green-Beckham, heading into his second NFL season, heads to Philadelphia in exchange for Kelly, who’s set to begin his fifth year in the league.

“I love the way Dennis Kellyplayed for this football team today,’’ Mularkey said. “They’ve got some guys outside that are a threat and I thought he did an unbelievable job stepping in there. (General Manager) Jon Robinson getting him here with that trade was as big a trade as we had this year. He played well.”

The Titans acquired the 6-foot-8, 321-pound Kelly in a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles back in August for receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. Kelly played in the team’s first nine games, including three starts when the Tennessee Titans jersey authentic team lined up with an extra tight end to start games. In previous games, he’s stepped in to play some tackle, and played a big role on special teams.

In Lewan’s absence, Kelly emerged as one of the unsung heroes in Tennessee’s 47-25 win over the Packers.

“I love the way Dennis Kellyplayed for this football team today,’’ Mularkey said. “They’ve got some guys outside that are a threat and I thought he did an unbelievable job stepping in there. (General Manager) Jon Robinson getting him here with that trade was as big a trade as we had this year. He played well.”

I love the way Dennis Kelly played for this football team today. Again, they’ve got some guys outside that are a threat and I thought he did an unbelievable job stepping in there. Jon (Robinson) getting him here with that trade was as big a trade as we had this year. He played well.

The Titans have added depth – and competition – in the middle of their offensive line with the addition of Tim Lelito.

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The Titans and Lelito agreed to terms on a deal Wednesday, when the former Saints guard visited Saint Thomas Sports Park.

Hey Randy. Well, a lot to be determined here. Keep in mind veteran Tim Lelito, signed last month after playing previously with the Saints, has experience at center. So does veteran Josh Kline. But I expect more guys will be added to the fold, possibly in both free agency and the draft.

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Through eight games, Conklin hasn’t allowed a sack. The Titans love his demeanor, and dependability.

But Conklin, the eighth overall pick of the NFL Draft, hardly feels like he’s arrived. On Wednesday, he was asked if feels like a veteran after six months on the job.

“It’s pretty crazy,’’ Conklin said late Friday afternoon. “I was switching my phone over today and found out later in the day. I got a bunch of texts from people. I was pretty excited. I think it is sort of starting to kick in now more than before. It’s a lot to take in. To have the rookie year turn out like like that, I’m pretty happy about it.”

General manager Jon Robinson was among the first to contact Conklin. It was Robinson who pegged Conklin in the draft, and moved up to get him. Offensive line coach Russ Grimm also reached out to congratulate Conklin, along with many of his teammates.

Conklin became the first Titan to be named first-team All-Pro by the Associated Press since running back Chris Johnson in 2009. He’s the first Titans rookie since defensive end Jevon Kearse in 1999 to be named to the team.

Titans linebacker Avery Williamson went Hollywood this past week

NFL, Tennessee Titans

Titans linebacker Avery Williamson went Hollywood this past week.

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Williamson attended an Oscars-related event in Los Angeles, and made the rounds at ESPN Sports Nation, Fox Sports and the Red Bull studio. At each location, he got a behind-the-scenes look at life behind the cameras.

He was able to spread knowledge about the Titans. The Oscars event was a red carpet affair put on by PwC, which oversees the voting process. He met Michelle Beadle, Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley at ESPN Sports Nation.

“It was nice,’’ said Williamson, who has started 27 games over his first two NFL seasons.

In Los Angeles, Williamson faced some questions himself. There’s a chance he could appear as an on-air guest at some of the national shows later in the offseason.

“They asked me how I feel about the hires (at head coach and GM), and who we would take with the No.1 pick in the draft,’’ Williamson said. “A lot of people were asking me about Marcus (Mariota), and how I am going to improve myself for next season.

“It was positive. And I feel like the steps coach (Mike) Mularkey will take, and has taken, I really do feel like we are headed in the right direction. I feel like we have the right people to get some more wins.”

Earlier this week, Williamson began working at Pro Edge in Chandler, Arizona, which was recommended to him by former Bears linebacker Lance Briggs.

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Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard never shared a locker room with Tim Shaw. But he’s familiar with his journey, and the strength the former Titans linebacker has shown while battling ALS.

“I know what kind of guy he is,’’ Woodyard said of Shaw. “And I know he left a good positive vibe in the locker room with the guys that did know him. I have a lot of respect for him. And I know what he’s going through, because it hits close to home.”

Woodyard, set to begin his third season with the Titans and Tennessee Titans jerseys ninth year in the NFL, had a chance to talk to Shaw last week when the team signed him to a contract before placing him on the Reserve/Retired list, making him a “Titan for Life.”

Woodyard heard Shaw’s emotional speech to the team a few days earlier. He also witnessed his struggles to walk, and speak clearly. Shaw said himself his condition has deteriorated to the point he has a hard time doing daily tasks like brushing his teeth and tying his own shoes.Nike Titans #28 Chris Johnson White With 15th Season Patch Youth Stitched NFL Elite Jersey

Inside linebacker Wesley Woodyard was credited with his first sack of the season (16.5 in his career), forcing Browns quarterback Cody Kessler out of bounds for no gain in the first quarter.

As a teenager, Woodyard saw his beloved aunt, Caroline Drake, deal with the same issues after being diagnosed with ALS leading up to her death. It’s a painful memory. Woodyard said his wife’s aunt also had ALS, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Jones is ready to give back to the Nashville community – and the Ronald McDonald House – by hosting the first annual Ben Jones Celebrity Clay Shoot on May 12 at the Nashville Gun Club. Spots still remain for those 18 years or older, including a number of team slots.

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Titans center Ben Jones began a pregame ritual of walking barefoot on the field back when he was in high school.

Jones will be tested when he strolls on the field at Arrowhead Stadium several hours before Sunday’s Titans-Chiefs game. The early morning temperature is expected to dip to around zero, and the forecast calls for single digits in pregame, and at kickoff at noon.

“Marcus is a tough guy, and he is one of our leaders in the huddle,’’ Jones said. “(Him taking that hit) is just showing everyone has to step their stuff up. If you have a leader like that who is going to lay it on the line for us, we have to protect him at all times.”

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said Mariota sent an unintentional message by rising to his feet. The Titans finished that drive with a field goal, and the first team offense scored on its first four possessions.

The ending of the 2016 season was a painful one for Eric Weems

NFL, Tennessee Titans

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The Titans have agreed to terms with tight end Phillip Supernaw on a multi-year deal, pending a physical.

Supernaw, who joined the Titans prior to the 2015 season, has developed into one of the team’s top special teams performers. He’s also seen an expanded role in the offense during his career.

I grew up in Katy, Texas, about 25 miles from Houston. I played quarterback in high school, but I wasn’t recruited by colleges. I didn’t have a single Division I offer. When signing day came, Ouchita Baptist was the only place that said I could come play, so I did.

The Texans drafted him when I was in junior high, so I grew up watching him play. He had no idea what my name was. But I always had this really awesome jersey from when he played at Miami. The orange one… you know, real authentic. I had that thing in my locker for three weeks, and then one day I finally was like, “OK, I’m doing it.”

I walked over to his locker with his No. 5 University of Miami jersey. I had it in a box, folded perfectly, pen ready to go. I was like, “Andre, do you think you can sign this for me, man?” When he signed it, he said, “Where did you get that jersey? It’s sweet.” That jersey is framed and has even more meaning now that we’re teammates again in Tennessee.

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The ending of the 2016 season was a painful one for Eric Weems.

As a member of the Atlanta Falcons, Weems watched in disappointment as the New England Patriots celebrated a world championship after his team lost a big lead in Super Bowl 51.

“It took me some time to get over that loss — I’m not even going to lie,’’ Weems said on Monday. “I think I was in a dark place for two to three weeks, man. My mind was cloudy. It was like a gut punch.

Eric Weems has made a career out of returning punts and kicks, earning Pro Bowl honors and praise from his coaches along the way.

I don’t have a pride issue telling you that story. You’ll hear guys in NFL locker rooms say things like, “I’m never going to get a jersey signed by another grown man.” To that, I say big deal. When you’ve bounced around the league like I have, I think it’s a cool opportunity. It’s a reminder of where you’ve been and who you’ve played with along the way.

Hurst spent the past three seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he played in 32 games over the past three seasons. The 5-foot-10, 191-pound Hurst played in 10 games last season, with one start. He’s started four games in his NFL career.

“Demontre has been a competitive player for Chicago the last few years, having played outside corner, nickel and been a contributor in the kicking game,” Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said. “He has good toughness, is a willing tackler and has shown quickness to match as a coverage player. He has been a durable and wholesale Titans jerseys dependable player in his time in the league and he’ll add competition to that position group defensively and work on special teams as well.”

In three NFL seasons, Hurst has totaled 58 tackles and a pair of interceptions, including one in 2016. Hurst’s most productive season came in 2014 when he played in 15 games totaling 39 tackles and one interception.

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The Titans have promoted quarterback Alex Tanney from the practice squad to the team’s 53-man roster.

Riggs, who played in 11 games for the Titans last season, initially joined the team as an undrafted free agent in May 2015. Riggs had six tackles and two passes defensed in 2015, along with a forced fumble and fumble recovery on special teams.

To make room for Riggs, the Titans waived quarterback Alex Tanney, who was inactive for Sunday’s season opener against the Vikings.Nike Titans #93 Kevin Dodd Navy Blue Alternate Men's Stitched NFL Limited Tank Top Jersey

“I told them to keep their head up high. I am very proud of them, they have a lot to be proud of and have done a lot of good things that the record may not reflect it. I just thought today was a good description of how they have been all year. They played all the way to the last whistle and played the last play to see if we had a chance to win the game and they have a lot to be proud of regardless of what the record was.”

In the final game of the season, the Titans lost 30-24 to the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, as quarterback Alex Tanney finished the year behind center.

The Titans played with back-up quarterbacks Zach Mettenberger and Alex Tanney, but the team showed some imagination on offense. There was the designed QB run by Mettenberger that went for a touchdown, along with a “Statue of Liberty” play designed for tight end Delanie Walker, a play that went for 36 yards.

Receiver Tre McBride was called up to the team’s 53-man roster on Tuesday

NFL, Tennessee Titans

Receiver Tre McBride was called up to the team’s 53-man roster on Tuesday.

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“I have been here before, so I am not going to act like I haven’t,’’ said McBride, a seventh-round pick by the Titans in 2015 who played in seven games last season. “I know that I can help right now and I know that I can play. So I am just going to have to wait for the opportunity and when it presents itself I am going to have to make something happen.”

McBride, who caught a touchdown pass at the end of last season, was one of the stars of the offseason for the Titans. He led the team with 10 catches for 95 yards in the preseason. He didn’t make the roster after camp, and spent the first eight weeks of the season on the team’s practice squad.

Titans receiver Tre McBride was understandably disappointed when he didn’t make the team’s 53-man roster to start the season.

Instead, as a member of the team’s 10-man practice squad, McBride has put on the uniform number of receivers like Amari Cooper, DeAndre Hopkins and Jarvis Landry each week in practices, and done his best impression. McBride’s teammates – and head coach — have praised him for getting them prepared for Sundays.

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The Titans have promoted receiver Tre McBride from the practice squad to the team’s 53-man roster.

McBride fills the spot vacated by veteran Andre Johnson, who was officially placed on the team’s Reserve/Retired list today.

“Demontre has been a competitive player for Chicago the last few years, having played outside corner, nickel and been a contributor in the kicking game,” Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said. “He has good toughness, is a willing tackler and has shown quickness to match as a coverage player. He has been a durable and dependable player in his time in the league and he’ll add competition to that position group defensively and work on special teams as well.”

In three NFL seasons, Hurst has totaled 58 tackles and a pair of interceptions, including one in 2016. Hurst’s most productive season came in 2014 when he played in 15 games totaling 39 tackles and one interception.

In his career, which includes stops in Houston, Baltimore and Kansas City, Supernaw has 10 catches for 124 yards in 40 games.

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In addition to Supernaw, the Titans currently have Pro Bowler Delanie Walker on the roster, along with tight ends Jace Amaro, Jerome Cunningham and Tim Semisch.

“Because of Tim, that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t change my number because he wore No.59,’’ Woodyard said. “I thought about changing it, but once Tim came around I thought, ‘There’s a reason why I’m in (No. 59).’ I kind of wanted to honor him any way I can because ALS hits really close to home.Nike Titans #78 Jack Conklin Black Men's Stitched NFL Limited 2016 Salute To Service Jersey

“I will definitely be playing in spirit for Tim. His name will live on through that 59. That’s one thing about the game of football, and cheap Titans jerseys Tim even said it to us—the names on the back of the jerseys change, but the numbers stay the same. I’ll be up lifting him up in spirit throughout my play this year.”

On Friday, Clay Tweel’s documentary Gleason hits theaters in Nashville. It charts the journey of former New Orleans Saints safety Steve Gleason as he copes with ALS.

“It was devastating to my family to find out when my aunt had it,’’ Woodyard said. “They didn’t know anything about the disease, and they had no cure for it. And still there’s not a cure for it today.

The Titans on Sunday signed nine players to their 10-man practice squad, including cornerback Kalan Reed.

Also signed to the practice squad: nose tackle Antwaun Woods, tight end Jerome Cunningham, linebacker Justin Staples, tackle Tyler Marz, center/guard Ronald Patrick, running back David Fluellen, defensive back Curtis Riley, and receiver Ben Roberts.

Reed, a former Southern Mississippi star who was the final player picked in the 2016 NFL Draft, had a solid training camp and preseason for the Titans.

Douglas was with the Falcons, playing under Mularkey, those four seasons

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Veteran receiver Harry Douglas joined the Titans in March for a number of reasons, but make no mistake, the biggest one was Mike Mularkey.

Mularkey served as offensive coordinator for four seasons with the Falcons at a time when the team amassed a 43-21 record. In three of the four seasons, the Atlanta offense produced a 1,000-yard rusher, a 1,000-yard receiver and a 3,000-yard passer in the same campaign.

Douglas was with the Falcons, playing under Mularkey, those four seasons.

As the Titans begin their search for the next head coach, Douglas is among those hoping Mularkey ends up being the guy.

“He is a good get, and I think he deserves it,’’ Douglas said of Mularkey. “When things were spiraling down this season, he made the spiraling down stop. He gave us that burst, and energy we needed as a team. I was with him in Atlanta and he has done some great things in this league and I feel like he can lead us where we need to be.

This offseason, the Titans traded for running back DeMarco Murray and drafted Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry. The team also has running backs Dexter McCluster, Antonio Andrews, Bishop Sankey and David Fluellen.

Cobb, who ran for 2,829 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Minnesota, has just eight carries for 28 yards in the preseason.

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When receiver Rishard Matthews joined the Titans as a free agent back in March, he knew plenty of teammates, coaches and fans would be curious about him.

Matthews went out with a bang. He led the team with nine receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown in the season-finale against the Texans. It was his third 100-yard receiving game in six weeks to close out the season.

Matthews, who played his first four NFL seasons with the Dolphins, became the first Titans player with nine touchdown catches in a season since Kenny Britt had nine in 2010. Prior to 2016 season, Matthews tallied eight touchdowns in four seasons in Miami.NFL Tennessee Titans #77 Taylor Lewan Snapback Adjustable Stitched Player Hat - Navy White

It’s why the Titans signed the veteran receiver this offseason.

When Matthews first arrived in Tennessee, however, he admits he had to sell himself again.

“I knew my abilities coming in, but I don’t think the whole staff did,” Matthews said on Thursday. “Just playing time, and Tennessee Titans jerseys when we brought Andre (Johnson) in. … In the beginning I don’t think I had their trust completely.”

“I am excited,’’ Matthews said. “I am excited to see some old friends, and for a chance to take another positive step. It’s going to be fun.”

Signed by the Titans in March, Matthews played his first four seasons with the Dolphins. He caught a career-high 43 passes for 662 yards and four touchdowns last season, which attracted Tennessee’s attention.

“55 yards short of a 1,000? Oh man,’’ Matthews said at season’s end. “Oh well. I came here to do what I did. I thought I would do more actually, but I tried to take advantage of my opportunities.

“I just tried to be a guy they trusted throwing the ball to, and when they threw the ball my way I just tried to make the play. When the ball comes your way, you just try and make the play. I want them to count on me to make big plays.

Klaus is a member of the Patriots practice team during the 2014 Super Bowl tournament

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Former Vanderbilt receiver Jonathan Krause, signed to the practice squad on Tuesday, practiced with the team for the first time Wednesday.

Krause was originally signed by Cleveland as a rookie free agent out of Vanderbilt in 2014. He’s spent time with the Patriots, Eagles, Buccaneers and Chargers. Krause was a member of the Patriots practice squad during the team’s run to the Super Bowl in 2014

“I am thankful for the opportunity and I am just going to take it one day at a time and keep working hard,” said Krause, who finished his college career at Vanderbilt with 98 receptions for 1,197 yards and five touchdowns.

“I just plan to come in and work my butt off. If you want to stay in the league, you have to do anything you can.”

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The Titans also signed former Vanderbilt receiver Jonathan Krause to the team’s practice squad to take McBride’s spot. Krause worked out for the Titans today at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

McBride, a seventh-round pick by the Titans in 2015, played in seven games last season. He didn’t make the team’s 53-man roster out of training camp this season. Coach Mike Mularkey and his teammates recently praised McBride, however, for his work on the practice squad, and preparing the team each week.

“He is helping,’’ Mularkey said of McBride. “He is typically the game-wrecker receiver for the opponent, and he gives us a very good look. He is a playmaker, and he wants to make all the plays. Tre is the guy.

“Tre’s time is coming, it is. He just has to understand where we are roster wise. But his attitude has been outstanding.”

McBride, who caught a touchdown pass at the end of last season, was one of the stars of the offseason for the Titans. He led the team with 10 catches for 95 yards in the preseason, in fact.

Mariani practiced with his teammates for the first time on Monday in preparation for Sunday’s regular season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. During the course of the day he’s been reunited with old friends, and he’s already beginning to make some new ones.

“A lot of things are the same, but there’s a lot of stuff different,’’ Mariani said. “And I think it’s a lot of change for the better. I am excited to be back and excited to get rolling here with these guys.

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Sandwiched in between Marc Mariani’s two stints with the Titans: a two-year period with the Chicago Bears.

Mariani played in 22 games in 2014-15 with the Bears before being released on September 3. The Titans signed him two days later, and he’ll return to Chicago this Sunday when the team faces the Bears.

“It is one of those things where you pick up the  calendar early in the season and  Tennessee Titans jerseys and you circle it, and you get excited about it,’’ Mariani said. “You always want to show up and help your new team win and beat the guys who let you go.

Despite playing on an NFC team roughly 700 miles away from Nashville, linebacker Nate Palmer always kept his eye on the Titans, thanks to a good friend on the team.Nike Titans #82 Delanie Walker Light Blue Youth Stitched NFL Limited Rush Jersey

In fact, when Palmer had an open Sunday after playing a Thursday night game last season while with the Green Bay Packers, he traveled to Nashville to see the Titans play.

It was December 6, the day the Titans beat the Jaguars, 42-39. Quarterback Marcus Mariota put on a show that day, throwing three touchdown passes while also running for another, from 87 yards out.

“It was a heck of a game, and a heck of a run,’’ Palmer said. “I didn’t realize (Mariota) was that fast. I remember it well. The fans were fired up that day.”

Mariani totaled 22 receptions for 300 yards in 2015 with the Bears, including a six-catch, 80-yard game in the team’s season finale. He averaged 26.1 yards-per-return on kickoffs and 6.6 yards-per-return on punts.

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