Whiz, staff to finally see Titans in pads

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While camp opened Saturday, it really opens this morning.

The Titans are about the take the field in pads, and Ken Whisenhunt and his staff will see the team hitting in a way they’ve only seen before on film.

“I hope it is a challenge, we need challenges,” Whisenhunt said. “I think the first day in pads, they’ll be fired up for that. ... I think it’s the day where we get to learn a little bit more. I’m hesitant to say that we’re going to be enlightened about our whole team. I think we’ll find out a little bit about some guys.

“But the games are different speed. A week and a half from now, when everybody’s sore and banged up and guys are missing reps and somebody has to shoulder all that, it’s a process. Make no mistake about it, pads are an important part of that.”

Or as defensive coordinator Ray Horton put it: "That’s what football is. If it was in shorts, it’d be basketball.”

While things get more physical for skill players, the biggest difference comes for the linemen.

“We see everyone play full speed for the first time, and this group has never had that as a team,” center Brian Schwenke said. “You get sick of the D-linemen hitting you on pass and you just absorbing it. Now there is no excuse. You can do what you need to do to stop them.”

There will not be any goal line work today, but Whisenhunt said the Titans will get to some this week before they practice with the Falcons in Flowery Branch, Georgia.