TAMPA, Fla. – The Tennessee Titans took the field for their first of two joint practices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Wednesday morning.

Here’s a look at the five biggest things that stood out.

1. Rogers Continues to Shine

Throughout the entirety of Training Camp, Titans WR Chester Rogers has looked really impressive. It seems like he shows up with a big play every single day and never has a dry spell.

The pattern continued on Wednesday in Tampa.

Toward the end of practice, the Titans’ and Buccaneers’ entire rosters gathered at one field for a final period of 11-on-11. When the Titans took over on offense, QB Ryan Tannehill threw three straight passes.

The result of those three straight passes? Three straight completions to Rogers.

Rogers is no longer fighting for a roster spot. Rather, he’s fighting for playing time.

He is firmly entrenched as the Titans’ primary punt returner, and he continues to improve his standing on offense with the strong performances he’s delivering every day in practice.

2. Vrabel Stays Alert

Coaching joint practices can be difficult for a head coach since there are essentially two scrimmages going on simultaneously and it’s impossible to watch them both.

Titans head coach Mike Vrabel certainly tries, though.

During an early one-on-one period during which the Titans’ receivers faced off against the Buccaneers’ defensive backs and vice versa, Vrabel was on the field with his offense.

While Vrabel was with the offense, the Titans’ defense made a mistake on the other field. Vrabel not only had enough awareness to notice the mistake, but he managed to work his way over to give the defense some coaching points on how to correct the error.

It’s moments like those that illustrate some of Vrabel’s best qualities as a coach. He is very good at making sure everyone is accounted for, and he’s very alert.

There’s no question as to who’s in charge when he’s on the field.

3. Missing Wide Receivers

Receivers Julio Jones and A.J. Brown were both absent for the Titans on Wednesday.

Neither Jones nor Brown has practiced in at least a week and, while it’s still probably too early to get concerned, that time is quickly approaching.

Vrabel said on Monday that he wasn’t sure whether Jones would be able to participate in joint practices with the Buccaneers, so it seems like his status could be day-to-day at this point.

Brown’s status, however, is completely unclear.

4. Strong Day for Fulton, Brown

In what was a strong day for the Titans’ defense as a whole, CB Kristian Fulton and LB Jayon Brown shined very brightly.

Brown spent a lot of his day in coverage against Rob Gronkowski, and he did a nice job of keeping the future Hall-of-Fame tight end in check.

During a red zone period, Tom Brady tried to hit Gronkowski on a fade route to the back of the end zone, but Brown was in perfect position and broke up the pass. Brown a couple of other nice plays while covering Gronkowski, too.

It’s a good sign for Brown, who missed a vast majority of the 2020 season with a severe elbow injury. He looks primed to return to his pre-injury form in 2021.

Fulton, who continues to improve and have a nice overall camp, also made some good plays against Tampa Bay’s offense.

He broke up a Brady pass intended for Pro Bowl WR Mike Evans on the sideline, beating Evans with physical coverage. He also performed well during the one-on-one period.

5. Defense Confuses Brady

The Titans’ defense stole the show in practice No. 1 against Tampa Bay, intercepting Brady three times.

CB Elijah Molden, CB Jackrabbit Jenkins and safety Amani Hooker all got in on the action, taking the ball away from the Buccaneers’ offense.

One of the factors that led to such a turnover-heavy performance by the defense was their ability to disguise coverages, which Brady said can lead to confusion for an offense.

“They try to confuse you in the secondary, and they did a really good job of that today,” Brady said.

“They challenge you to think, and we’ve got to be much more on top of things tomorrow.”

While it is just practice, it’s a great sign that the Titans’ defense is in sync to the point that they can throw off the most accomplished quarterback to ever put on a football helmet.

Cover images: George Walker IV/The Tennessean