The temperatures outside have been extremely hot, and when thunderstorms forced the Titans to move their scheduled Wednesday night practice from L.P. Field inside the practice “bubble” at Baptist Sports Parks, you would have thought temperatures would have been cooler.
Maybe not !
During a very spirited and physical practice it was the final play that showed just hot hot things became during this practice.
On the final play of practice, rookie running back LeGarrette Blount, who had his helmet knocked off multiple times by hard hits from the Titans defense became involved in an altercation with defensive end Eric Bakhtiari.
Blount was running a sweep right when his helmet was pulled off by Bakhtiari, several other defensive players then shoved him. When Bakhtiari got in his face, Blount punched him in his helmet that was incredible similar to last year’s now famous punch of a Boise St. player after Oregon lost to the Broncos on national television.
After practice Blount was immediately apologetic.
“I promised to him it was behind me and that was in my past and it just came up again,” a visibly upset Blount said. “I got into a situation where the defense pushed me too far.”
Blount when speaking with reporters after practice said “Two plays in a row they pulled my helmet off intentionally, and then they did it again,” Blount said. “They almost do it every day. They grab you by the back of the head and pull your helmet off. They know that automatically calls the play dead. They kept egging on and provoking ’til it got to a certain point. They did it to everybody.”
Coach Jeff Fisher defended Blount for this latest incident after the rookie missed both Monday and Tuesdays practices while attending a family funeral.
“I am not disappointed whatsoever,” Fisher said. “His past is his past. Is that the first punch you’ve seen at camp this year? No. OK. I am not disappointed whatsoever. I have great confidence in the young man that he has learned from his mistake and is very competitive.”
Teammate Ahmard Hall also defended his fellow running back.
“If anybody else was to get mad it wouldn’t be a question, it would just be a guy getting mad. But because it’s LeGarrette Blount, everybody wants to bring up his past. Guys pushed him and he reacted, but it has nothing to do with what happened to him in the past.”
Bakhtiari had “no comment” when asked about the incident.
Injured running back Stafon Johnson, who was waived on Tuesday, cleared waivers and was placed on injured reserve.
Receiver Justin Gage (thumb), linebacker Stanford Keglar (hamstring), defensive ends William Hayes (knee) and Dave Ball (soreness), cornerbacks Ryan Mouton (groin) and Cortland Finnegan (groin) and defensive tackle Tony Brown (knee) did not practice Wednesday night.
Tackle David Stewart suffered a cut above his left eye when his helmet was knocked off during a collision with defensive end Jason Babin. It took seven stitches to close the cut, but Stewart said he expected to practice on Thursday.
Today. 3:30 p.m.
Friday. 8:30 a.m.
Aug. 25. *3:30 p.m.
Aug. 26. **3:30 p.m.
Today. Steven Pfahler, Derrick Morgan, Leroy Harris, Gerald McRath.
Friday. Robert Johnson, Kerry Collins, Stanford Keglar, David Stewart, Justin Gage.
The Titans next contest will be on Monday Night Football on August 23rd, when the Arizona Cardinals pay a visit to L.P. Field for a 7 p.m preseason match-up.
Aug. 23. Preseason game vs. Arizona, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25. Practice with Arizona
Aug. 26. Training camp ends
Aug. 28. Preseason game at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Aug. 31. Roster cut to 75
Sept. 2. Preseason game vs. New Orleans, 7 p.m.
Sept. 4. Roster cut to 53
Sept. 12. Regular-season opener vs. Oakland, noon