The education of Caleb Farley; Bud Dupree concentrating on 'above-the-neck game'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In the low red zone, two receivers lined up on one side of the field and crossed en route to the end zone, looking to create problems for the Titans' cornerbacks.

It worked well, particularly when Caleb Farley was involved. The first-round pick struggled to sort through the rub concepts and was clearly disappointed in himself.

Caleb Farley Stretching, Tennessee Titans

“Just getting your eyes in the right place, the little details and building chemistry,” he said. “Knowing what everybody is going to do. Just getting back mentally sharp and things like that.” [Unlocked]

Mike Vrabel got a bit into the drill and the strain it puts on defenders.

“That puts a lot of stress on the defense in that low red area where guys are in man coverage and obviously the offense is trying to use their rub system or whatever they are trying to do,” he said. “It is a communication thing, and it is a cat and mouse game, and the offense is pretending like they are rubbing or whatever they have, they have certain plays.

“So, the more that you can see those – a lot of these things are the same things that go on throughout the league, everybody has got everybody’s tape. So, it's two-on-two, do you pass it off, do you lock it? I thought that was a good drill. We got a lot out of it. We will teach from it and try to do it again next time we are in the red zone.”

Farley stayed with Shane Bowen, Anthony Midget, and Scott Booker as the team moved on from that to a special-teams period. The two position coaches ran the wide receiver roles in slow motion, and Farley and Kevin Byard or Jackrabbit Jenkins worked through what had to happen.

Farley seemed to come out of it in a better place.

Later, in seven-on-seven, also in the red zone, Farley made a quality play on a Logan Woodside throw for Cam Batson in the middle of the field. He broke very well on the ball and killed the play by swatting the ball with his long arm, but it seemed he almost got it with his armpit.

“I was really upset with myself; I felt like I could have caught it,” he said. “I felt like I could have got two hands on it and played through contact and caught it. I swatted it out there. I don’t know why I did that. It’s all a process. I’m confident I’ll be where I need to be when it comes time.

Asked a follow-up about how he knocked that pass down, he said: “I should have caught it. I should have caught it. I should have caught it.”

Daily wins for Farley start with having his eyes in the right place as he works on getting his feet and his brain back on the same page and works on getting the mental side of things right,” he said.

“It just takes time really trying to build my body back up to make it through (17) games and the playoffs and whatnot,” he said. “I’ve just got to get back sharp mentally and all the little things that you train yourself to do.”

He said he doesn’t feel anything back-related, but still has some strength to regain and getting everything tuned up. He was light when he was drafted and is sitting right at 200 pounds now.

Working on core strength is something that’s now a regular part of his training regimen, as that is a key to protecting his back after the two surgeries he’s had.

Coming off NFI as early as he did bodes well for his readiness for Arizona on Sept. 12. But no player is ever going to speak to that.

“That’s up to God and the team and the training room,” he said.

Said Shane Bowen on Tuesday: "Time will tell. He has got to get out here and go. We are doing drills right now and that is great, but when he has to line up across from somebody and actually cover them, we will see what it is."


The Titans' other biggest offseason addition, veteran pass rusher Bud Dupree, came off the PUP list Friday morning after passing a physical.

His work included more cornering than might have been expected for his first showing with the team in some drills with the outside linebackers. He was also on the field for a snap of seven-on-seven.

He said the communication with the Titans is completely different than what he’s used to.

“So I want to make sure my above-the-neck game is great,” he said, “and then I can go out and just fly around.”

He spoke multiple times about how much fun he’s having, which is not a word typically flung around by guys coming off a long stretch of rehab.

Dupree tore his right ACL playing for the Steelers on Dec. 2, 2020.

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