Fisher warns Titans of pitfalls now that they are on own
Posted: Tuesday, July 1, 2008 2:07 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — The Tennessee Titans’ off-season program pleased coach Jeff Fisher enough that on Friday’s final day, he cut practice short by about half an hour.
It concluded the team’s 14-week off-season program and marked the final time the Titans will be gathered as a team until training camp opens July 25.
“We had a great off-season and they’ve worked, and they’ve done everything we’ve asked,” Fisher said. “I felt like they deserved a little treat. They had three or four periods left and it’s all something we can pick up in July. They’ve earned a break.”
Though players will be on their own for the next month, football activities won’t be totally shut down, as the players will work out individually and in unsupervised groups readying for camp.
“I would hope and I believe our guys will go home and stay in shape, mentally and physically,” 14-year veteran center Kevin Mawae said. “You can’t just stay completely away from everything and just shut it down because you lose everything you’ve built up over the 14 weeks, from the weight room perspective and conditioning and also from the mental football part of it.
“You want to check out partially, but every now and then, even myself after all these years, I’m thinking pass protections and run schemes so I’m sharp on my calls and know what call to make.”
Receiver Mike Williams, still trying to improve his endurance and conditioning, will be back at Baptist Sports Park on his own after taking vacation next week.
“I’ll be back here on (July 7). It’s easier that way,” Williams said. “I’m right at the target weight they want me to be, and right now it’s about improving the endurance and conditioning.”
Quarterback Vince Young is taking matters into his own hands, inviting the club’s wide receivers to his Houston home for informal workouts next week.
“I’m trying to get receivers to try and come down before the July 4 weekend,” Young said. “I’m trying to find out what they’re doing that week and getting them to work out, and do a couple of things and let my mom cook for them and get that chemistry down as well while we’re taking this break.”
Young just informed his teammates on Friday of his plans, but even with short notice, some are ready to take him up on the offer.
“Any time you can get some extra work in like that on your time off, it’s an advantage, so I’m definitely going to try to make it down there,” Justin Gage said.
Justin McCareins said, “I’ve got to ask my wife first, but yeah, I’ll try.”
Rookie Lavelle Hawkins is eager to get to Houston with work with Young in hopes of getting a little bit of extra time with the quarterback before camp opens.
“I can’t wait. I think it’s a great thing because this is a time where no one is telling us to work out, and we’re going to take off of our free time to work out,” Hawkins said.
The off-season will allow several Titans players to heal some nagging injuries.
Those who have missed time in the off-season but should be back for training camp include cornerback Cortland Finnegan (hamstring), tackle Daniel Loper (calf), receiver Roydell Williams (ankle), guard Leroy Harris (knee) and guard Fernando Velasco (knee). Rookie undrafted safety Rocky Schwartz (calf) might not be ready for the start of training camp, Fisher said.
• In other team news, the Titans have signed starting right tackle David Stewart to a multiyear contract extension.
Stewart has started 30 games at tackle during his three-year career, including all 16 games last season.
Contract details were not released by the Titans when they announced the signing Monday. He had signed a one-year tender earlier this offseason as a restricted free agent.
He is the Titans’ second starting offensive lineman to sign since April. Left tackle Michael Roos agreed to a multiyear deal earlier.
Stewart, a native of Moulton, Ala., was a fourth-round draft pick out of Mississippi State in 2005.