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Titans' Camp: News on Saahdiq Charles, Treylon Burks and Rashad Weaver

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Saahdiq Charles felt wanted by one of the best coaches in the business.

“It was amazing,” he said. “Playing for Washington for four years. I played with Brandon Sheriff, and Morgan Moses, a lot of guys (Bill Callahan) had in Washington. And I talked to them, ‘I’m going to go over there with Bill.” Everybody was like, ‘Just go. No brainer. Just go.’”

Offensive lineman Saahdiq Charles (53) runs drills during Tennessee Titans practice at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, May 21, 2024.
Saahdiq Charles/ © Denny Simmons / The Tennessean / USA TODAY

Charles signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with $250,000 guaranteed. He’s already worked a great deal next to the Titans prized offensive line free-agent acquisition, Lloyd Cushenberry, with whom he was teammates at LSU and who he calls one of his best friends. And if he winds up there permanently, he’d give the Titans an extra 22 pounds at the position.

Charles is listed at 6-foot-4, 322 while last year’s starter, Daniel Brunskill, is 6-5, 300. The other contender, Dillon Radunz, is 6-6, 301.

Strength is the top item that works in Charles’ favor.

“You see Saahdiq’s strength and power, those things do show up, his athleticism,” Brian Callahan said. “He’s learned a lot of new techniques as well. So that’s been fun to see him grow, you see him starting to take the next step kind of as the days have gone by here. It’s been good to see from him. There is a lot to like about Saahdiq and he’s got some experience playing, so you hope he’s another guy who can really ascend as he learns more and more.”

He said he doesn’t feel like injuries have hindered him too much, though he’s missed 10 games the last two seasons with a concussion and a calf injury. He’s optimistic about putting together a full season in 2024.

Charles would benefit playing next to Cushenberry, but on the other side it will be a while before there is much certainty.

Nicholas Petit-Frere is out rehabilitating, Jaelyn Duncan just returned to play and second-year man John Ojukwu appears to outrank Leroy Watson, acquired in a trade from Cleveland for a seventh-round pick.

At this stage, he’s oozing excitement over the opportunity he’s got and the coaching he’s getting.

“A lot of things that coach (Bill) Callahan has been teaching all of us or is asking some of us to do, previous coaches haven’t asked me to do,” he said. “Just learning and getting better over time has been great. …I love working with coach Bill. He’s an amazing teacher, he’s an amazing coach and he’s an amazing leader for us.”

Here is what Bill Callahan said about Charles back on May 9: “Had a really good career in Washington I felt. Some of the things I identified on film were positive, could play into our scheme and could add into what we are doing here. It was a little bit of a no-brainer to acquire him. I think we’re going to put him in the best position he can play, we’re going to put the best five out there who’s to say that he can’t play center as well? We have to train everybody, cross-train them across the board.” 

Burks the gunner: The reviews of Treylon Burks recently have been great, with DeAndre HBopkins and Calvin Ridley really pumping up the 2022 first-round pick's athleticism.

But the fact is he's four in the pecking order right now, and the No. 4 receiver on a team has to be more than a receiver. Burks was one of nine players who worked as a gunner during a punt period during Tuesday's minicamp practice.

"You only get so many hats on game day and if he's one of those guys on gameday we're going to have to find a place for him, Brian Callahan said. "Guys like him should be great special teams players on top of it just because of his size and speed. So the gunner thing is something I think he's very capable of doing. There might be some more roles for him in the other phases as well.

"But anytime you're not the full-time starter you're going to have to contribute somewhere on game day and Tre's attitude and approach to special teams has been fantastic and so I'm excited to see what he can do for us. I think he's an asset on special teams."

Weaver's opportunity: The Titans haven't talked much about Rasah Weaver as they've discussed their edge options, though obviously he's in line as their third option behind Harold Landry and Arden Key,

Weaver said he's not been conscious of that.

"It's a different room, it's a different team, I think there will be plenty of opportunity, it's all about what I do with it," he said. "I'm not really worried about anything of that. If I do what I need to do, it'll be taken advantage of and if it's not, that will be on me."

As he's worked this offseason, he noticed at one point in his get-off that both his feet are off the ground, "which is good to build that jump out and that explosion." 

Weaver likes the energy Dennard Wilson has brought the defense, and while the coordinator is hard on players, there is also a positive that means a lot to Weaver and is different that what he felt in the past.

Denico Autry's departure creates some room for Weaver. and he's fully conscious of that.

Setting the edge has been a big conversation point with Weaver, but he thinks it's overblown and he will be reliable in that department.

"Sometimes you get told to do multiple different things, you just kind of get in a whirlwind of things and sometimes it looks worse than it is," he said. "I get told all the time by my coaches that when I run my track and do it, I'm one of the best in the league and on the team at setting the edge.

"I'm a big guy with long arms, so that will just be trusting my technique and doing it over and over. It's not something that's new or hard. it's knowing that's your job and making sure you're worried about that and not trying to do too much."

Weaver had a PFF run defense grade of 48.9, second worst on the team among players with significant snaps to Tre Avery.

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