Titans start camp without Warmack, 3 on PUP list
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Titans are starting training camp with their top draft pick still unsigned. Coach Mike Munchak hopes a deal with Chance Warmack is done quickly because Tennessee has big plans for him.
The Titans reported Wednesday, and Munchak said there’s no reason to think Warmack — the 10th selection overall — isn’t the best right guard on the team if the former Alabama lineman doesn’t miss much practice time. Warmack could be one of three new starters on the line after the Titans signed left guard Andy Levitre in free agency and drafted center Brian Schwenke.
“That’s the subject that I hoped we wouldn’t have to talk about,” Munchak said of Warmack’s contract status.
“As a coach, you want everybody here. Hopefully, that’s going to happen here soon. I mean that’s all I can hope for. Definitely want him here, need him here. He’s a big part, we feel, of our offensive line so that’s important to us. So we’ll just have to kind of see how that plays out, and hope that’s it’s something we see him real soon.”
Warmack is a handful of players taken in the first round yet to sign. His agent, Roosevelt Barnes, did not immediately return an email message from The Associated Press.
The right guard wrote on Twitter, “Patience is an essence and a virtue. #norush.”
The Titans and Munchak certainly are in a hurry. This franchise is trying to rebound from a 6-10 season after signing 17 free agents and drafting eight players, and the offensive line got the most attention during the offseason. Of the 16 players who wound up on injured reserve in 2012, four were starting offensive linemen.
Levitre was limited to individual work late this offseason recovering from offseason knee surgery. Left tackle Michael Roos was limited too by a sore back, and right tackle David Stewart was recovering from surgery to repair his broken right leg. So training camp will be the first time for all the starting linemen to work together and begin building their chemistry once Warmack is signed.
Munchak said they feel comfortable with what Warmack did during the offseason program.
“He still has a lot of work ahead of him,” Munchak said. “We all know that, but it will all depend. If for some reason he misses an extreme amount of time that changes the equation. So we’ll wait and see. I assume that’s not going to be a discussion we’re going to have to have.”
The Titans also will put three players on the physically-unable-to-perform list.
Tight end Delanie Walker, one of those new free agents, had arthroscopic surgery following the offseason program to repair soreness in his knee. Munchak said Walker will play at some point this preseason.
Receiver Kevin Walter, another new free agent, is more questionable after surgery last week to repair a disc in his back. Munchak said Walter’s recovery may take up to four or five weeks, which could put Walter’s job at risk with Tennessee having a handful of talented receivers. Munchak said the Titans know what to expect from the veteran once he’s healthy.
Safety Robert Johnson is the third player still dealing with a foot injury that kept him out all offseason.
This is Munchak’s third training camp, and he has everyone, including coaches, staying in a hotel near the Titans’ headquarters for the first two weeks. Munchak said that will keep everyone focused on football to pick up where they left off five weeks ago.
“We’re not happy with the way things happened last year so this is our time now we can finally start doing something about it and see where we’re at,” Munchak said.
His Titans are ready too.
“Guys are hungry,” defensive end Derrick Morgan said. “I know I am. We’re tired of losing. Last year was a miserable season for me. I know it was for a lot of people. I know we don’t want to feel that way in January, so we’re going to do whatever it takes to be playing playoff time and be in New York for the Super Bowl. That’s my goal. I know as a team we have collectively the same goals. We’re going to work toward them.”
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