Titans coach Mike Munchak mixing it up
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak promised Friday that he would mix things up regarding practice reps in positions where there's open competition.
Munchak was true to his word Saturday in the first practice session as players rotated in and out with different combinations, even alternating quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker between the first and second units, sometimes even within the a series.
"We think that's the best way to do it, for them to compete that way, to avoid a lot of things," Munchak said. "Avoid looking at the script beforehand, knowing what plays you are going to get, knowing who you are working with.
"That way coaches can make more of the decisions on what they want to see them doing, who they want to see them with. Like I mentioned, we will do that with the quarterback position. We did it with the offensive line. We'll do it with some defensive positions throughout camp and try to find the right mixture as a group."
On the offensive line, centers Eugene Amano and Kevin Matthews are competing for a starting job, while Leroy Harris and Fernando Velasco are alternating at right guard.
At quarterback, Locker, who spoke for the first time in camp, said he understands the meaning behind the coaching method being applied.
"They told us it would be a little different. Just how we shuffled through practice was a little different. The goal is to get each of us the same amount of snaps with the different groups and evaluate it from there," Locker said.
Locker said he still isn't exactly sure what he needs to show the coaching staff to win the starting quarterback job in camp, but he knows what he wants them to see from him.
"Exactly what I need to show them, I don't really know," Locker said.
"But my goal to show them is that I'm comfortable within this offense, that I'm confident in myself and my abilities in this offense, and that it wouldn't be too big for me."
The other players on offense say the switching back and forth at quarterback won't be a problem in practices.
"Both of them have the ability to put the ball where it needs to be," tight end Jared Cook said. "Both of them are good players, and they can get the job done. And that's what we have to get used to in practice."
Something else the Titans will have to get used to is being without two of their top receivers. Kenny Britt is on the physically-unable-to-perform list to start camp, and is also could be disciplined by the NFL for a drunken driving arrest last week in Kentucky. Britt wasn't seen on the practice field or in the locker room Saturday.
Meanwhile, first-round pick Kendall Wright remains unsigned, one of two first-round picks in the NFL still out of camp after Ryan Tannehill agreed to terms with Miami on Saturday. The Titans and Wright remain apart over guaranteed money in the fourth year of his contract and offset language the team wants to include. Munchak said he would like to have Wright in camp as soon as possible.
"You want everyone here. We know Kendall is going to be a big part of this offense," Munchak said. "We feel he is, from what we saw last month. We know at some point that he'll be here. You know, `the sooner the better,' so we leave it at that and hope we see him real soon."
NOTES: Rookie undrafted receiver Devin Aguilar didn't practice Saturday because of a mild hamstring pull. ... Receiver O.J. Murdoch hasn't reported to camp because of a personal issue.