When confused, Titans rookies urged to stop a play in practice

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- An uncertain rookie breaking the huddle without knowing what to do can ruin an entire play.

That’s why, when Titans rookies arrived here last week, coach Mike Mularkey asked them not to be the first piece of that bad equation.

“I respect a guy who, when a play is called and he doesn’t know what to do, stop,” Mularkey said. “Don’t go to the line of scrimmage. Say, ‘Hey, I’ve drawn a blank, please tell me.’ What frustrates you is when they go to the line, they don’t know what to do and the whole play gets blown up, and you’ve wasted a play.

“This is about teaching, especially guys who just got here. We’re trying to put them in a spot to be successful and not put them in position to fail and not show what they are capable of doing in a short amount of time.”

That sounds like a smart approach. Surely, as the team moves into Phase 3 of the offseason and organized team activities practices next week, the hope will be that guys have learned enough that they won’t be saying stop very often.

But with everyone eager to make a good impression early, they have to measure the dent to their ego that may come with asking for a reset.

“It’s not even an ego thing, it’s kind of embarrassing a little bit,” sixth-round guard Sebastian Tretola said. ‘You’re stopping everything to be like ‘Hey, coach, what do I got?’ Obviously he wants us to do that because he doesn’t want us to go out and look ridiculous on the play. We’ve got to come along and learn how to do that.”

Said third-round safety Kevin Byard: “Everybody wants to be successful, they want to do good. For you to go out there and not know the play, it’s embarrassing a little big. But you’ve just got to be honest with yourself and ask for help. We’ve all got to talk to each other.”

Seventh-round linebacker Aaron Wallace said stopping a play one time won’t be too hard. Avoiding a second or third time that turns it into a trend is the goal.

“I know everybody wants to be right every single play and show that to the coaches,” Wallace said. “But I think him giving us that option and that freedom, that helps us out. It’s a lot of information to take in in a short period.”