In Red Zone, And Then Unscripted Titans Will Levis Elevated His Game

Will LevisNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The tight quarters of the red zone on Monday favored his quick release. 

Will Levis did well making quick reads and found success on a day where the Titans focused on plays inside the 20-yard line. 

The second-round quarterback followed that up with another strong performance Tuesday, as the Titans were unscripted, playing from a mini-playbook they were given the evening before and reacting to situations and play calls in the moment – a different sort of practice experience for a rookie.

Levis led a long touchdown drive and threw a second short-field scoring pass, and looked smooth, efficient and in command.

“His demeanor has been pretty good,” Mike Vrabel said. “As far as maybe some negative plays or things that have come up, I’ve seen him be able to process and just kind of transition to the next play and listening to Tim (Kelly) and what Tim has going on. So I think that has been pretty good. So we just need to continue that and make sure not too high, not too low.

“I would agree that he was able to kind of transition and get the call and get guys in and out of the huddle and that’s certainly a great start.”

Levis’ two TDs came late in practice when the first team had been pulled and was conditioning and winding down on another field. He worked with some higher-ranking players than usual, seemingly jumping to the second team.

Reggie Roberson caught a long pass on the long drive and then also pulled in the scoring throw. The offense restarted at closer range and Mason Kinsey pulled in a ball at the right pylon. There was some question about whether he possessed it long enough to be a TD, but the sideline observer consensus was that he did.

“These are the most game-like type practices,” Levis said. “We even had some live contact, inadvertently. It was a good day. I’m proud of how the offense has prepared and has gotten ready for all these practices but this has been the most important one yet, and Coach Vrabes harped on that in the meetings.

He did go through a bit of an adjustment as he was surrounded by some less familiar people.

“I’ve thrown to most of these guys but not a lot and not all in team settings,” he said. “So it’s cool to build that chemistry. Even in situations where it’s not there, those are probably the ones you can learn from the most. I was talking to a couple of guys today, not being on the same page, the spots that we are expecting each other to be in, this is the time for those mistakes to happen and we’ve got to communicate that.”

“I want as good of a repertoire as I can have with all the receivers and all the skill guys and all the linemen on this team, so I’ve just got to take advantage of the reps when I can get them.”


💥 Pre-practice I was up close to Harold Landry, who was working with his position coach, Ryan Crow. Landry worked on a tackling dummy who is ter on a tire flat on the ground with two bent arms. He was working hard on using his hands, with swims and chops. 

Nearby, Denico Autry and Arden Key were taking turns wrapping a green elastic band around each other's waist and holding each other back as they crouched into their stance and worked on their get-off from the line of scrimmage. Eventually, they joined Landry as the three took high-speed turns on the dummy.

💥 Jamarco Jones and Jeffery Simmons each got tossed out of practice by Mike Vrabel after a small skirmish near the line of scrimmage which included some swipes at facemasks. Both wound up working out in the sandpit. Vrabel was not interested in talking about it.

💥 Azeez Al-Shaair had the biggest hit of camp, and I thought it was too much. The play before he was called for a horsecollar on Treylon Burks and a taunt and he clearly remained fired up. (Vrabel later called it "the old two-for-one.") He burst up the middle and smacked Tyjae Spears, spinning him around and forcing a fumble that Aaron Brewer recovered.

Vrabel constantly talks about the Titans practicing safely and protecting each other, and that didn't seem like a hit that protected Spears to me.

💥 Kristian Fulton has been very solid. There was a brief scare when he tracked a deep ball up the left side with DeAndre Hopkins and came away with a limp. He returned to action on special teams field goal work shortly after. But if anything crops up Thursday we'll know where it originated.

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