NASHVILLE — Corner Elijah Molden emerged as a steady slot option for the Tennessee Titans in his rookie year. Heading into Season No. 2, the former third-round pick is preparing for his next challenge.
Tampa Bay comes to Tennessee on Wednesday and Thursday for joint training camp practices.
“I went back and watched those Tampa practices (from 2021), and I was terrible,” Molden said on Sunday. “I was awful, but I think that’s just part of being a rookie a lot of the time. I think I came a long way, and I think the secondary has come a long way as well.”
The young defensive back practiced for the first time on Saturday since leaving the Titans indoor bubble practice with a left leg injury two weeks prior. Molden and the rest of Tennessee’s defense will be facing the Buccaneers’ back-up quarterbacks this summer, however, after getting to square off against Tom Brady in joint work last year.
The emphasis for the young defenders will be the same.
Molden looking to build upon strong rookie year
While the Titans waited for 2021 first-round corner Caleb Farley to work through all manner of maladies, Molden got thrown into action right from the jump.
The Washington product got 41 plays (59%) on defense when Tennessee opened at home with a 38-13 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. After Week 1, Molden largely faded from the line-up last September. The rookie re-emerged with a forced fumble in a Week 5 win at Jacksonville, and would not play less than 50% of the Titans defensive snaps for the remainder of the year.
Molden’s been anxious to get back to work and improve.
“Two weeks (missed) in training camp feels like two months,” said Molden. “The days go by so slow. It’s good to be back out here, kind of working through my technique and fundamentals and what my body allows me to do.”
Titans secondary shows promise
Molden admitted he was still working through pain after Sunday’s practice, but was full-go again on Monday before Tennessee’s off day.
Rookie Roger McCreary and safety Amani Hooker have also recently returned to the field after some down time. Farley continues to make clear and obvious strides and got good work in to start the week. While Molden has been shelved, the competition in the Titans secondary is greatest simply for playing time.
Tennessee’s primary slot corner who played the 14th-most snaps there last season allowed just a 47.4% completion rate against him. He is ready to get back in the mix.
“We’re going into our second (preseason) game, and I think there’s a lot to clean up. First and foremost, we need to get communication right. We all need to be on the same page. That’s when it start to gets fun.”
Molden is well-equipped to do just that for Tennessee’s defense again.
Featured Image: USA TODAY Sports.