Maximizing Marcus Mariota a priority for Titans in training camp

How Marcus Mariota responds to the coaching of new coordinator Matt LaFleur will have a huge impact on Tennessee's fortunes this season. Christopher Hanewinckel/USA Today Sports

The Tennessee Titans open training camp practices on July 26 at Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, Tennessee. Here's a closer look at the Titans' camp:

Top storyline: Marcus Mariota's continued footwork development and progress within new coordinator Matt LaFleur's modernized scheme is the top story. Mariota spent much of the six-week break trying to get the playbook down. We'll see if the offense moves faster and becomes more productive in training camp than it was in the spring. Mariota is entering a huge Year 4, and he'll have to play much better than he did in 2017. Another key storyline will be what new coach Mike Vrabel plans to do different to get this team to the next level.

QB depth chart: Mariota is the unquestioned starter, but the backup quarterback situation is something worth watching. Mariota has missed at least one game in each of his three seasons, so history tells us that at some point Tennessee will need its backup to play an important role. Blaine Gabbert is the No. 2 and has plenty of experience, but can he win a game when the Titans need it? Rookie Luke Falk is likely to make the roster as a developmental No. 3 and could become Mariota's long-term backup.

Bubble watch: Titans' 2016 second round pick Kevin Dodd saw his bubble burst Tuesday, being released after failing to report to training camp. Tight end Phillip Supernaw is the next player who could be on the bubble. The Titans re-signed veteran Luke Stocker and signed undrafted free agent Ethan Wolf as worthy competitors for his third tight end spot. Supernaw was a favorite of former head coach Mike Mularkey, making the team in each of the past three seasons, but there is a new regime in charge that could de-emphasize heavy tight end sets.

This rookie could start: Rashaan Evans was drafted in the first round to be the Titans' present and future at inside linebacker. He has flashed some of his versatility and willingness to learn, but Vrabel gave an honest -- yet cautious -- assessment of his performance during spring workouts: "He's not where he needs to be to start for our defense, and that's OK." Free-agent signee Will Compton has taken many of the first-team inside linebacker reps opposite Wesley Woodyard, but it would certainly be a disappointment if Evans didn't win that role by Week 1.

Receiver void: On paper, the Titans' biggest concern is whether they have enough reliable talent at receiver. They are counting on Corey Davis to be their No. 1 option. He has shown plenty of potential, but he has been limited by injuries thus far in his career. Rishard Matthews is a strong No. 2 who led the wide receivers with 795 yards last season, but the other options are unproven. It's a position the Titans might try to address during training camp by adding a veteran free agent. Big-name options like Dez Bryant and Jeremy Maclin are still available. Titans GM Jon Robinson could also examine the trade market.

DB paradise: There's something special cooking in the secondary, and they appear ready to reach the next level with many of their top players ascending and the addition of cornerback Malcolm Butler. Kevin Byard is coming off an All-Pro season that saw him tie for the NFL lead in interceptions. Logan Ryan brings leadership and Super Bowl-champion pedigree. Butler does, too. Adoree' Jackson might have the most potential of the entire unit. This group believes it can be the NFL's best kept secret and is excited to prove that to the rest of the NFL.

For daily updates at camp, check out the Tennessee Titans clubhouse page.