Titans' Report: Peter Skoronski's Progress, DeAndre Hopkins' Optimism and Absences

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Peter Skoronski looks thicker and stronger, but while he said after Tuesday’s OTA practice that he has made gains he downplayed that they are big strides.

Rather, he is completely back in form after the appendectomy after Week 1 of his rookie season that dropped his weight when he pretty much didn’t eat for a week and never got back to himself as he played out the year. Now the No. 11 pick in the 2023 draft has a new comfort level working under Bill Callahan.

Peter Skoronski

“He’ll get on us,” Skoronski said. “We grind out there as you guys saw today. There is definitely an intensity to it. There is definitely a way he wants things done. So everyone is kind of adjusting to that, learning that. His results speak for themselves so I think we’re all kind of bought in on it too. …There is a rhyme and a reason to everything.”

With the perspective of a year in the league and a year at guard, he said his comfort level is night and day from 2023. He also has better surroundings with cerebral, veteran center Lloyd Cushenberry on his right and a bigger more physical tackle in LC Latham on his left.

Skoronski has been more intentional about pass protection so far this offseason, concerning his hands and posture.

“I feel like that’s something that kind of got away from me toward the end of the year,” he said. “So I’ve definitely been trying to focus in a little more on that. Having Bill here, he’s been big on that too. We spend a lot of time doing that too, especially hands.”

First impression from Boyd: Tyler Boyd broke down nicely as a target for Will Levis in drills.

Then he talked about how the Titans' receivers can be a complementary group for the second-year quarterback.

“As long as we can all feed off each other and just complement each other, I think that’s what’s going to take us to that level,” he said. “We all can play. It’s how do we complement each other, how do we do things, off of each other, how can I help (Calvin) Ridley, drag the nickel down and free him up to get open?? 

DeAndre Hopkins said he’s got a very good feeling about the Titans receivers that start with him, Calvin Ridley and Boyd.

“I think this is one of the best receiver groups that I’ve had the chance to play with, on paper,” he said. “Obviously I can come up here and say a bunch but we haven’t played a game yet. So we’ll see how it goes once we hit the field.”

Hopkins said he was excited too, that there was a double move included on the first day of install, the sort of intricacy that usually doesn’t arrive so quickly. He’s a fan of Ja’Marr Higgins and Tee Higgins and overall he thinks Tennessee’s passing offense will be able to replicate the Bengals' passing game success. 

Just how deep the Titans are at receiver will depend on how well current No. 4 Treylon Burks performs. Hopkins was very enthusiastic about him.

Missing: Among players who were not on the field for practice were Jeffery Simmons, Harold Landry, L’Jarius Sneed, T’Vondre Sweat, Nicholas Petit-Frere and Jaelyn Duncan.

Brian Callahan said some were in the building rehabbing and he wouldn’t differentiate those from any who might be absent.

I think it's a mistake to keep everyone who's out of sight in one basket. Fans don't do a good job of giving guys the benefit of the doubt and if they incorrectly presume a guy is not in the building he suffers unfairly for it.

If guys are here, the Titans should say they are here. If guys are here and the team isn't saying so, they'd do well for themselves to get a selfy out on social media -- post a pic in the locker room or the hot tub or the parking lot or something.

In the course of further conversation, Callahan did reveal that Petite-Frere and Sweat were rehabilitating.

Additionally, Elijah Molden, Jarvis Brownlee and Kenneth Murray worked on a side field. Molden and Brownlee joined drills near the end of the session.

The absence of NPF and Duncan made room for a deep entry on the depth chart at right tackle. I leave you to the process of elimination since I’m not supposed to say, but it was not anyone who qualifies as a guard.

Punt returns: rookie Jha’Quan Jackson, Mason Kinsey, Kyle Philips, Kearis Jackson, Eric Garror and Sam Schnee fielded punts early on. I saw Jackson drop one.

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Model of New Nissan Stadium Makes Titans House Worthwhile

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- If you're undecided about visiting Titans House when your turn comes around or about getting on the waiting list, I suggest you go.

The centerpiece of the new Nissan Stadium experience center in Germantown is a six-foot by eight-foot model of the venue that's beyond what the team displayed at the groundbreaking ceremony, and it alone makes a visit worthwhile.

Titans House
Titans House/ Courtesy Tennessee Titans

You can see the stadium in the most detail yet, following the 63,000 square feet of patio and seeing the 50,000 square feet of scoreboards. You host can aim a laser pointer right on the seats you're considering.

It's such an impressive model they're probably going to add stepstools to allow people a better look through the top, where the translucent roof is missing to allow for a great view inside.

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Titans' Scouting Changes Appear to be Complete

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Indications are the Titans have completed their biggest scouting department alterations in years, growing the department more than overhauling it.

They've added AJ Highsmith as director of scouting, award-winning scout Sam Summerville as a national college scout and Keenan Agnew replaced one of the team's scouting assistants. The Titans let go of college scout Tom Roth, moving pro scout Brandon Taylor back to college scout to cover Roth's Southeast territory. The Lions hired Roth.

Neil Stratton was first to report those moves.

It's unclear where Highsmith sits in the flow chart, as Jon Salge, director of college scouting, and Brian Gardner, director of pro scouting, remain. But it seems the Titans saw an opportunity to add young talent in Highsmith, who worked with Ran Carthon in San Francisco and found a way to do so.

AJ Highsmith
AJ Highsmith/ Ben Green, Buffalo Bills
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Titans' Mailbag: Will Levis' Time, New Leadership, Edge Options

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Welcome to the first mailbag in a while. Happy you are here.

If you missed the podcast earlier in the week. you can catch that here.

And I was Braden Gall's guest on A Football Show Thursday which you can watch here.

Onto the best questions you sent my way. As always, members of the site who send questions through our private Facebook page get special consideration.

Richard Seidman How long will they give Levis to prove he’s the guy? He was drafted for the Vrabel offense not the Callahan offense, maybe he’s not a fit for the Callahan offense?

There is no big clock on Will Levis except that he’s under cheap contract for three more seasons, so you’ve got to know by the end of 2025.

I think you’re mistaken to say he was drafted for the Mike Vrabel offense (which would actually have been the Tim Kelly offense) and may not fit the Brian Callahan offense.

Drafting a quarterback to be a fit for your offensive system is really a foolish thing to do.

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Notes on the Titans' 2024 Schedule

NASHVILLE, TENN. – The lack of the Titans in primetime in the schedule released Wednesday evening shouldn't be a surprise.

While there is local excitement about what the team's done this offseason, a small-market team with an unproven quarterback, a first-year rookie coach and little star power isn't a big draw.

Tennessee is on Monday Night Football in Miami in Week Four. That game is on ESPN at 6:30 p.m. CT while Seattle will play at Detroit on ABC at 7:15 p.m. CT.

Last year on MNF in Miami on Dec. 11, the Titans recorded a record rally in the final three minutes to beat the Dolphins, 28-27.

The requirement that all teams play a Thursday night game no longer exists.

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What To Expect From Titans' Will Levis in Year Two

What To Expect From Titans' Will Levis in Year Two

By MIKE HERNDON, columnist

The Titans have spent the entirety of the 2024 offseason behaving like a franchise that believes it has a young quarterback worth building around.

Sure, they were going to spend in free agency to some degree because they had to. The big splashes for Calvin Ridley and L’Jarius Sneed, however, certainly feel like a team that thinks it’s closer to competing for a playoff spot than most national pundits would have you believe. Adding a 29-year-old Tyler Boyd on a one-year deal is another example of a “win now” type addition by Ran Carthon.

Will Levis
Will Levis/ Angie Flatt

The explanation for the divide between how the Titans view themselves – as evidenced by the aggressive offseason – and the national media’s low expectations is very simple. The two groups have very different views of second-year quarterback, Will Levis.

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AFC South May Be Good, But Titans and Foes Unlikely to Match Peak

AFC SouthNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Texans are coming off a terrific season and have implied odds of 47.6 percent of winning the division. The Jaguars are heading into Year Two under a Super Bowl-winning coach. The Colts get back a quarterback they chose fourth overall in 2023 but who only started for four games before he got hurt.

There is a lot of promise in the AFC South in 2024, a division that has been the NFL’s worst since it was created in the 2002 realignment with a regular season winning percentage of .478. 

Most of it is based on the quarterbacks. C.J. Stroud is coming off an excellent offensive rookie of the year season. Trevor Lawrence is heading into Year Four and has not living up to billing that came with being the No. 1 overall pick out of Clemson in 2019 but may be due to finally put it together. Anthony Richardson can be electric. Will Levis, while not particularly highly-regarded nationally, has tools that may be well developed by an offensive head coach on a team that’s put in work to improve weaponry and protection.

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