Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak wasn't kidding when he said on Friday he would alternate first-team reps between quarterbacks Matt Hasselbeck and Jake Locker.
At Saturday's first practice, both quarterbacks worked with the first team, sometimes switching up within the same period of practice.
“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.”
Locker spoke for the first time in camp and said he understands why the coaches are handling the open competitions the way they are. Tennessee also has camp battles at right guard between Leroy Harris and Fernando Velasco and at center between Eugene Amano and Fernando Velasco.
“They told us it would be a little different,” Locker said. “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 isn't exactly sure what the Titans coaches are looking for as they make their decision on a starting quarterback. But he is sure of 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 is to show them 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.”
Teammates say they are fine with quarterbacks switching in and out as the Titans determine their starter.
“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.”
No progress for Wright
Kendall Wright remains one of only two unsigned first-round picks after Ryan Tannehill reached a deal with Miami on Saturday.
The Titans and Wright still have not had any progress in their contract talks, according to sources. Jacksonville's Justin Blackmon is the only other first-round pick unsigned.
The Titans are also without Kenny Britt, who is on the PUP list to start camp and could be facing a suspension from the league for a DUI in Kentucky last week. Britt did not make an appearance on the practice field or in the locker room.
Munchak hopes Wright will be in camp as soon as possible.
“You want everyone here,” he said. “We know Kendall is going to be a big part of this offense. We feel he is, from what we saw last month. We know at some point that he’ll be here. The sooner the better, so we leave it at that and hope we see him real soon.”
C.J. backs Jones-Drew
Maurice Jones-Drew has a supporter in Nashville regarding his holdout from the Jacksonville Jaguars training camp.
Chris Johnson says if the Jaguars know what's good for them, they will rework the running back's contract and get him into camp. Jones-Drew is currently staying away because he wants to redo a contract that has two years left to run at around $9.4 million.
“I feel like he's worth a new deal,” Johnson said. “You look at Jacksonville. He's basically their whole offense. I feel like it wouldn't be smart for their organization not to pay him. But if they don't they'll be doing us a favor.”
Johnson should know; he held out of camp last year, finally getting a five-year, $53 million extension, although he suffered through the worst season of his career last year with just 1,047 yards.
C.J. says he is ready to go and that he feels much better entering this season with a full off-season of work and a full training camp ahead.
“I can say that I feel much better on my first day of camp than I did on my first game last year,” Johnson said.
Undrafted rookie receiver Devin Aguilar did not practice on Saturday because of a mild hamstring pull. Also, receiver O.J. Murdoch has not yet reported to camp because of a personal issue.