NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- South Florida weather can cause fatigue to set in earlier than usual, especially for visiting teams. As the Tennessee Titans get ready for their season opener in Miami (1 p.m. ET, Fox), the heat and humidity are a big part of their preparation.
"The biggest thing is to make sure we are prepared for that heat. We have to control the way our body temperature is going to be," Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey said. "It's important to keep ourselves cool. Mentally, it's big -- you will get a little more fatigued faster, but you have to push yourself through it."
The forecast calls for an 88-degree high with 73 percent humidity on Sunday, and Tennessee's training staff has been continually reminding the players to stay hydrated this week. They are proactively taking in more fluids during practice. Some have even taken their own measures to prepare for Miami.
"I developed some good habits when I played with Chip [former Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly]," right tackle Dennis Kelly said. "The whole philosophy of how many ounces of water you're supposed to drink a day and how much water your body can handle as opposed to Gatorade or Pedialyte."
Safety Kenny Vaccaro is hydrating himself by using a hydrogen-infused water product. He said he was introduced to it at a training event hosted by the Seattle Seahawks' Earl Thomas during the offseason. Vaccaro likes how pure the water tastes and says it's the only water he drinks.
Keeping enough fluids in their body isn't the only thing the Titans have to worry about. The Dolphins will have starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill again after a knee injury caused him to miss the 2017 season. He was playing the most efficient football of his career in 2016 with career highs in passer rating (93.4), completion percentage (67.1) and average yards per attempt (7.70). After Tannehill suffered a torn ACL in August 2017, the offense never really recovered.
Tannehill allows coach Adam Gase to run an up-tempo scheme, which takes advantage of defenses that become fatigued in the humid weather.
Veteran defensive back Logan Ryan expects the Tennessee defense to be tested by the Dolphins.
"They are going to 'tempo' us in that heat and see who quits first," he said. "We are going to keep attacking. That's why we have to work on conditioning and getting ready for that heat."
Teams usually rotate their defensive linemen to keep them fresh, and the tempo offense makes it harder to substitute. Playing with a high motor has been Casey's calling card, and he is confident the pace of play and humidity won't change that on Sunday.
"It comes down to how much conditioning you do this week," he said. "They are an up-tempo type of team, so you have to be able to play more downs before you can get a sub."
Veteran linebacker Will Compton has seen several up-tempo attacks and says communication is crucial.
"There are a couple of different types of tempos," he said. "There's tempo when they get on the ball and go through the cadence and call a new offensive play like Eli Manning. There's tempo when they get on the ball and [are] snapping it fast to get a play moving. You have to understand what you are going to get in different situations. We have to do a good job of communicating and knowing what our job is.
"It's humid, it's hot. That's going to wear on you. We have to play team defense and stay disciplined."
It won't be an easy task for the Titans as they try to get the Mike Vrabel era off to a good start in the muggy South Florida conditions.