Lightning in the area cut short the Tennessee Titans workout outside for fans approximately 30 minutes into Tuesday evening’s practice.
Titans coach Jeff Fisher explained to the crowd that a front containing lightning was about 6-12 miles away and would arrive in approximately 15 minutes to Baptist Sports Park, forcing the team inside and fans to leave.
Fisher apologized for the inconvenience, and shortly after the Titans resumed work inside their practice bubble, a thunderstorm erupted outside.
“We were looking forward to the event outside, the practice session, but you have to deal with the weather and put the players and fans safety first and foremost,” Fisher said. “It looks like we got in just in the nick of time.”
Players, too, expressed a bit of disappointment that the work outdoors had to be scuttled.
“I feel really bad for the fans who came out here and then we had to go inside, because some of them came long distances,” linebacker Ryan Fowler said. “It’s too bad for them, but even for us, it was such a perfect night outside, and that’s sort of what you play football for, perfect weather, under the lights and the atmosphere.”
The outdoors portion of the practice ended on a good note as Vince Young completed a strong throw to Jared Cook on a deep post pattern in 7-on-7 drills.
When the work shifted inside, a little spat of words between linebacker Keith Bulluck and center Kevin Mawae proved to be the entertainment highlight of the evening.
Bulluck came off the field after his reps, unhappy that the officials present at practice did not call a holding call against center Leroy Harris.
As he shouted to the offense about the perceived infraction, Mawae answered back, and both men shouted at each other, with Bulluck saying Mawae shouldn’t talk since he hasn’t practice because of a triceps injury.
“It’s part of practice and at the end of the day, we’re all teammates. Some days are more competitive than others,” Bulluck said. “I was for real. They thought I was playing. If we had been staying in there consistently, I probably would have taken my shot somewhere.
Bulluck reiterated his stance about Mawae, but punctuated it with a smile.
“He’s not practicing. We shouldn’t even be hearing his mouth. I don’t care how many years he’s got,” Bulluck said. “But it’s all in fun, though. We’re a team.”
Mawae, entering his 16th NFL season, said he reserves the right to talk trash back, practice or not.
“I would think so, but if that’s as exciting as things got tonight, then I thought we did pretty good,” Mawae said.
As for action on the field, Kerry Collins was given an early night of it, and Young ran the first team offense in two-minute drills, looking sharp in finding his receivers and moving his team in position to score.
“He had a good day today. That was a good period for him, and he made some good throws,” Fisher said.
Hall tour planned
While the Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are going on Saturday evening in Canton, Ohio, the Titans will take advantage and take part in a private tour of the Hall of Fame itself before heading to their hotel for final preparation for Sunday evening’s game against Buffalo.
“Our plan is we’re going to fly into Canton late Saturday afternoon, and during the ceremonies, the Hall of Fame is closed to the public, so we’ll take advantage of that time to tour it as a team and an organization,” Fisher said.
Out of action
Several Titans players did not take part in the night practice because of injuries. Those included safety Nick Schommer (hamstring), defensive end Jacob Ford (hamstring), linebacker Colin Allred (ankle), receiver Mark Jones (hamstring), defensive end Jevon Kearse (rest after taking part in morning practice) as well as Mawae (elbow) and Kenny Britt (hamstring), both of whom are on PUP.
Fisher indicated that only Mawae, Allred and Ford will definitely be out of the Hall of Fame Game. All the others, including Britt, have yet to be completely ruled out, but will have to improve later in the week to play Sunday.
Britt, Fisher said, would have to practice before he plays.