NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Titans held a joint practice with the New England Patriots for a second straight day on Thursday. The two teams worked out for about two hours at St. Thomas Sports Park. The two teams are set to meet Saturday night in a preseason game at Nissan Stadium.
There was a funny moment before practice when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady presented his former teammate (Titans Head Coach)) Mike Vrabel with a special gift; a small trophy with the score from last year's Titans win over the Pats (34 to 10).
Vrabel joked after practice that he already can't remember where he put Brady's gift.
Speaking of Brady, the 42 year old six time Superbowl winner impressed the Titans defense, especially in the two minute drill. Brady hit some pinpoint passes and quickly and efficiently moved his team down the field.
Titans safety Kenny Vaccaro told me after practice that going up against Brady is a lot like pitching to baseball great Barry Bonds in his prime, you can't fool him. "You can't fool him," Vaccaro said. "It's not like (you can throw him) a curve ball or a slider, he's seen every defense. It's great to go up against a player like that, it'll only make us better."
Another player who stood out in practice was Titans tight end Delanie Walker. Walker sat out Wednesday's practice as he continues to recover from an ankle injury that sidelined him most of last season. Walker was very active in the Titans version of the two minute drill, catching several passes from quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Walker said after practice that working in the "hurry up offense" allows him to get more conditioning in and he's starting to get back to his old form. After sitting last week's preseason opener in Philadelphia, Walker says he expects to play Saturday night against New England.
A couple of Titans players addressed some of the national reports of a quarterback controversy between Mariota and backup Ryan Tannehill. "That's for (the media) to talk about," said Walker. "(The media) need(s) a story to write about." Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan added: "That's something for (General Manager) Jon Robinson and (Head Coach) Mike Vrabel to decide, I'm just a left tackle, and a suspended one at that." (Lewan was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's performance enhancing drug policy.) Lewan also said that the team has not lost any confidence in Mariota.
As for Saturday's preseason game, Vrabel says he "probably" has an idea as to how long the starters will play, but did not wish to share his plan publicly. Thursday marked the final practice that was open to fans, Vrabel says the Titans will officially break camp on Friday, meaning the players will no longer be confined to a hotel when practice resumes next week.