Rookie WR Kendall Wright impressed his Tennessee Titans teammates and the coaching staff throughout the offseason program with his vast knowledge of the playbook, his ability to improvise when a play broke down and his humility on and off the field.
“I don't think anyone ever left practice thinking that he was lost,” offensive coordinator Chris Palmer said.
Wright will confront his next challenge later this week after he agreed to terms on a four-year deal with the Titans on Tuesday. Coach Mike Munchak doesn't think Wright will be encumbered by missing the first four practices of training camp.
“He's too smart a kid, he caught on so quickly in our OTAs, so I think it'll end up working out fine,” Munchak said.
The Titans have an off day Wednesday, but Wright is expected to meet with several coaches and complete a conditioning test. The No. 20 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft cannot practice fully with the Titans until Saturday, in accordance with new rules set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Wright is also expected to participate fully in Monday's joint practice with the Falcons in Dalton, Ga.
Wright spent the majority of the offseason program the past two months learning the X or split-end position. In the upcoming season, though, Palmer plans on spreading him throughout the offense. Several receivers have produced eye-popping statistics under Palmer in their rookie seasons. Former Patriots WR Terry Glenn completed the 1996 season with 90 receptions -- the third most by any rookie in NFL history. When Palmer coached Andre Johnson six seasons later, the Texans rookie finished 24 yards short of a 1,000-yard season. Only three rookies in league history have gained more than 1,300 yards in their first season.
Palmer indicated that Wright has the competitive fire to produce a similar type of season. The Baylor rookie left practice on June 14 after suffering a sprained shoulder. Wright wanted to return to the field but was held out for precautionary reasons. Several hours later, Wright made an appearance at Munchak's Strike to Stop Diabetes charity event in Nashville.
“He was over there bowling left-handed,” Palmer said. “How many guys would do that?”
Britt resumes outdoor running: Kenny Britt completed a series of running drills on one of the Titans' outdoor practice fields moments after Tuesday's practice ended. It was Britt's first public appearance at Titans' training camp. Britt will remain on PUP until he passes a physical.
“He's been running, he's been in the bubble,” Munchak said. “With certain things you want to make sure he's not on the hard turf. We want to get him on the grass and get some work in. He's progressing the way that he should.”
Munchak expects Britt to meet with commissioner Roger Goodell regarding the receiver's arrest on July 20 for suspicion of DUI. A date for the meeting hasn't been scheduled, Munchak added.
Casey draws comparisons with Sapp: Pass-rushing specialist Keith Millard has been encouraged by Jurrell Casey's ability to rush the passer early in training camp. The second-year defensive tackle had a strong rookie season, but was regarded more for stopping the run.
Millard coached Warren Sapp in Oakland in 2006 and compared Casey favorably with the former All-Pro DT.
“Sapp knew all the little tricks of the game, he almost knew what a blocker would do before a blocker knew,” Millard said. “With Casey it's the same thing, when he starts rushing a guy and a guy takes away a move he can feel that immediately. He can line up the next time, give you the same look and get into something else.”