Here’s Titans head coach Mike Munchak’s transcript from practice on Sunday.
The Titans practice today at 3:30 p.m against the Atlanta Falcons in Dalton, Ga.
The Titans will then take Tuesday off.
Coach Munchak’s Sunday Camp Report
(on Kendall Wright going down at practice)
He is okay. He went out and finished practice and thatís how this is for all these guys. It seems like three or four times a practice, hold your breath, there is a fall or a collision or something like that. So the good thing is he got up and he finished up practice. That was early in the practice, so I was real happy nothing happened to him.
(on Tommie Campbellís hit on Kendall Wright)
Actually, I didnít see. I was watching the quarterback. He fell on his back, so I donít think it was anything deliberate. It was just something that happened.
(on if two-minute work is a normal camp procedure)
No, not really. I just think that you realize how many games are decided in those last couple minutes of the half or at the end of the game. Last year, we were very good, at halftime, putting points on the board and getting good chances. And then obviously a few times at the end of games to win. We did it a couple times when we made plays. I think itís just something you keeping working at so they realize the importance of it. Itís a great competitive period. These guys are used to all the things that have come up in the situations that happen in those periods. Itís a good way to start practice with the tempo. It gets guys really competing and working hard. So, itís a mix up. Not any more than last year. We did quite a lot of it last year.
(on going lighter in practice in preparation for Georgia)
We just did at the end. We took the shoulder pads off for the last two periods. We had them on for about 60-70 percent of the practice. We missed some things yesterday that we wanted the young guys to get, which we did. We competed in the two-minute and we got a good run period with the shoulder pads off to teach some things. Weíve had pads on for the last four days and we are traveling tomorrow and we want to get a little fresher for our time in Dalton.
(on how he and Mike Smith planned their combined practice)
I think we are more like-minded than weíre not. We coach the same type of team, so itís going to be two practices going on at the same time. He will run the field with his offense and Iíll do the same with ours. So, Iím sure there a lot of similarities. The periods and stuff, weíll deal with, but the way we compete is very similar. So the only thing that should be different for these guys is a different venue and different players.
(on warning players not to retaliate)
Well, thatís something thatís not live. We are not going to be tackling or cutting. That was a different line coach. I think that irritated our defensive line coach at the time. They are very different people. They are gone now. I think this practice will seem like ours here. Itís going to be competitive obviously. You may have some pushing and shoving, but the goal is to get better on both sides and stay away from those types of things. I think we will do a good job of coaching football and making sure that the players realize that.
(on splitting the first teamís repetitions between the quarterbacks in Georgia)
We will do it like we are here. It will be no different for us. Probably the first or second group will do the majority of the work though, and the younger guys might not get as much from a practice like this because thatís the thing. One of the points of this thing is to have an opportunity to have your ones against the other teamís ones and twos versus twos. Unlike in preseason, when you really maybe limit that. This is a chance for us to do it for a whole practice, so I think we want to take advantage of the work and the fact that weíre not hitting the quarterbacks in the pocket and things like that. So, hopefully we can cover a lot of situations [like] the different schemes that we have seen lately the last two weeks. So it will be good for everyone to adjust to what they are seeing.
(on week one)
I think the good thing is itís a week of everything [being] reinstalled. Weíve had a month off, so weíve had a chance, in the past seven or eight days, to really cover every situation that can happen in a game, from the two-minute, the four-minute, the red zone, to all different things they see offensive-defensive scheme wise, to blitzes. So, weíve had a lot in the last 10 days. A lot of this, theyíve had before so thatís the good thing. I think itís been good. Obviously, the biggest concern at the time is injuries. They have competed real well. The energy has been real good. I am looking forward to kind of getting into the second week. I thought the trip to the stadium yesterday worked out for a lot of good reasons because it was really good for us. And then the Atlanta thing and feeling like we have a game on Monday kind of deal because itís something new. Then, we start the preseason and we will go on to the next phase.
(on what kind of player is Chris Morris)
He is a guy we just signed yesterday. He has played in the league with a couple of teams. He has experience and is confident in himself. He has been here four to five hours today and already had 10-15 snaps at practice. Again he can only compete in the non-padded part of the practice, so he canít practice tomorrow. Today he practiced when we took the pads off. It gives us a swing guy, you can put him at center. He can play both positions. If Fernando Velasco is starting or if he is competing with other guys for a spot, we need a guy who can play all three positions. For a game we can only suit up seven offensive linemen. If that other one is a tackle then the other players need to be versatile. We will have to start looking for what the best fit is for us.
(on what does Fernando Velasco do well)
For me I always thought he was a very confident kid. He played in the SEC at Georgia, my daughters went to Georgia, so I have a soft spot for Georgia but I think he has come in and handled it very well. Even as an un-drafted player he has always had confidence in himself. He is a strong guy and very durable since he has been here. He makes good calls during the game. The fact that he has confidence in himself gives the other players confidence in him, and we have seen that through the other years. Like I said, he has been here a long time, he understands the system and the calls. I think this is the opportunity he has been waiting on and here it is.
(on the transition from guard to center for Fernando Velasco)
He has been making the calls, he has been out here for the last couple of years. He practices a lot and has been getting a lot of reps at guard. But you canít replace the fact that he has only started two, three games. It is still different from practice and a real game. He is a guy we have confidence in, the game is not going to be too big for him and he has already proven that so itís a matter of him getting reps in preseason and his vision will get better and he will be quicker at making decisions. I think that is the only thing that takes a while, is getting used to seeing things quicker, making decisions and living with them knowing you are going to make mistakes.
(on if Kenny Britt is still on schedule)
Yes, he has been doing everything we ask of him. As far as treatment and working every day and getting up to 90 percent speed. Now it is working on cutting and seeing how his knees respond to all that. So far, so good
(on if he is happy with quarterbacks this week)
Yes, I think we have put a lot on them. I think there is a lot going on. We are asking them to check plays and protection. Itís like we are out here playing a game. We are asking them to do a lot of things. There are not sure what they are going to face or what they are going to be in for. They are handling it well and working together. Once we start Atlanta we will cut back and not do as much tomorrow. So I think it will be easier for them once we get into games when the whole playbook is in. I think it will get easier, and the game plan is now to compete against other teams.
(on any idea on when you will hear something on Kenny Brittís situation from the commissionerís office)
No we do not, we assume at some point we will. He is pretty busy, Iím sure. I figure in the next few weeks we will probably hear something. Usually these things get visited before the season starts. We will have to wait and see.
River Cats Overpower Sounds In Series Opener, 8-3
WEST SACRAMENTO, Calif. Ė Shane Peterson belted a pair of home runs to highlight a 12-hit attack ins 8-3 victory over the Nashville Sounds on Sunday evening at Raley Field in the opener of a four-game series.
Nashville got off to a quick start against rehabbing Sacramento starter Brett Anderson, plating three runs in the top of the first inning.
Caleb Gindl put the Sounds on the board with a one-out solo homer to right, his ninth roundtripper of the year. The blast extended the outfielder’s hitting streak to a season-best eight games. Khris Davis followed with a single and scored the second Nashville run of the inning on Sean Halton’s two-out RBI double to center. Jordan Brown concluded the scoring by plating Halton with a single to right.
Sacramento rallied to even the contest at 3-3 with three two-out runs off Sounds starter Wily Peralta in the third.
Jermaine Mitchell led off the inning with a triple and scored the home team’s first run on Colin Cowgill’s subsequent groundout. Later in the frame, a pair of walks came around to score against Peralta when Daric Barton and Anthony Recker each drew a free pass before racing to the plate on Grant Green’s game-tying two-out double.
The River Cats grabbed a 5-3 lead in the fourth with a pair of runs off Peralta, who exited mid-frame due to an undisclosed injury.
Peterson led off the frame with a go-ahead solo homer to right-center, his third longball of the season. After Peralta recovered to strike out the next two batters, he issued a walk to Cowgill. Trainer Greg Barajas and pitching coach Fred Dabney made their way to the mound after the free pass to visit Peralta, who temporarily remained in the game. After the count reached 2-0 on the next batter, Barton, Barajas again visited the mound and a fiery Peralta exited the contest.
Donovan Hand took over on the Nashville hill and surrendered an RBI single to Kila Ka’ahuie.
Peralta (6-10) took the loss after he walked a season-high six batters and struck out six while allowing five runs on four hits in just 3 2/3 innings of action.
Sacramento continued to pile it on in the fifth with a pair of solo homers against Hand. Green led off with his 13th big fly of the year and Peterson belted his second roundtripper of the night later in the frame to extend the Cats’ lead to 7-3.
The River Cats added one more run in the sixth against Amaury Rivas when Recker’s one-out single to left plated Cowgill, who had opened the frame with a single of his own.
Anderson departed due to a scheduled pitch count limit for the River Cats, falling two outs shy of qualifying for the victory. The southpaw allowed three runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings, tossing 70 pitches.
After Justin Souza retired his only two batters faced, Brad Peacock (9-7) worked the final four innings in scoreless fashion for Sacramento to earn the victory. The right-hander struck out nine batters and allowed only two hits over his four dominant frames.
The teams continue the series with a 9:05 p.m. CT contest on Monday evening. Right-hander Brian Baker (2-4, 5.17) will make the start for the Sounds. Sacramento will counter with right-hander Graham Godfrey (9-1, 3.18), the PCL ERA leader.
Sounds Gain Series Split With 9-1 Finale Win In Fresno
FRESNO, Calif. Ė Veteran hurler Claudio Vargas worked seven strong innings to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 9-1 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies on Saturday evening at Chukchansi Park in the finale of a four-game series.
With the victory, Nashville (52-63) gained a split of the four-game set. It marked the Sounds’ most lopsided win since an 8-0 triumph over New Orleans on June 2.
Vargas (5-1) earned his fifth win of the year by holding the Grizzlies to one unearned run on seven hits over seven frames and induced three double plays in recording his fifth quality start. After allowing his lone run in the first frame, he didn’t allow a Fresno runner to reach second again until the seventh, stranding a runner on third in his final frame. Vargas helped his own cause at the dish, going 2-for-3 with an RBI single in the contest.
Shortstop Jeff Bianchi went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored, catcher Humberto Quintero went 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs, and Jordan Brown and Sean Halton each homered to lead the 14-hit Nashville offensive attack.
Fresno took a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an unearned run against Vargas. Emmanuel Burriss led off the frame with a triple to right. Two batters later, Francisco Peguero lifted a fly ball to right that Corey Patterson gloved and fired to the plate. His throw beat Burriss but the runner scored as Quintero was charged with a missed catch error on the play.
The Sounds responded immediately, grabbing a 2-1 advantage in the top of the second. Taylor Green led off with a single against Fresno starter Yusmeiro Petit and scored the tying run on Bianchi’s one-out RBI double. Quintero made up for his gaff in the previous inning by pushing Nashville into the lead with a two-out RBI single, giving the backstop seven RBIs in six games with the Sounds.
Nashville extended the lead to 4-1 in the fourth against Petit. With runners on second and third, Quintero lifted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Bianchi and Vargas helped his own cause with a two-out RBI single to center to bring in Patterson.
Petit (5-4) took the loss for the Grizzlies after giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits over five innings of work.
Brown made it a 5-1 contest in the sixth when the Nashville first baseman greeted new Fresno reliever Mitch Lively with a leadoff solo homer to center, his sixth big fly of the year.
The Sounds tacked on a run in the top of the eighth when Brown and Bianchi ripped back-to-back, two-out doubles off Lively to push the visitors’ lead to 6-1.
Nashville closed out the night’s scoring with three ninth-inning runs off Dan Runzler. Halton belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer to center off the right-hander, his 12th roundtripper of the year and second of the pinch-hit variety. Quintero preceded Halton with a double and also scored on the blast. Caleb Gindl followed the homer with a single and later scored the final Nashville tally on a Green groundout.
Donovan Hand followed Vargas with a scoreless eighth from the hill before Mitch Stetter and Jesus Sanchez combined on a scoreless ninth to close out the victory for Nashville.
Bianchi ended the game with an incredible play for the Sounds, diving behind the second base bag to snare a Todd Linden liner then, from his back, flipped the ball to Eric Farris at second to complete a game-ending double play, Nashville’s fourth twin-killing of the evening.
The Sounds travel to Sacramento tonight to continue their West Coast road trip with Sunday’s 8:05 p.m. CT opener of a four-game series against the River Cats (AAA-A’s) at Raley Field. Right-hander Wily Peralta (6-9, 4.94) will make the start for Nashville and face rehabbing Sacramento left-hander Brett Anderson (0-0, 5.63).
Sounds Drop Second Straight To Fresno, 10-5
FRESNO, Calif. Ė The Nashville Sounds were doubled up by the Fresno Grizzlies on Friday evening at Chukchansi Park, falling 10-5 in the third game of a four-game set.
Nashville grabbed a 3-0 first-inning lead against Fresno starter Andrew Kown. Eric Farris (3-for-5) led off the ballgame with a single, stole two bases, and scored the night’s first run on a Khris Davis RBI single. Later in the frame, catcher Humberto Quintero (2-for-4) delivered a two-out, two-run double.
Fresno pulled back even in the contest with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first, stemming from a two-out Sean Halton throwing error, and one more score in the second against Hiram Burgos. Eli Whiteside knotted the game at 3-3 when he plated Brock Bond with a sac fly in the second.
The Sounds reclaimed the lead in the third when Taylor Green belted his third home run of the year, a one-out solo jack to right off Kown that made it a 4-3 contest.
Nashville right fielder Jordan Brown kept the one-run cushion in place in the bottom of the inning when he made a leaping grab at the wall to rob Conor Gillaspie of a homer.
The Grizzlies pulled back in front in the fifth, when they sent 11 men to the plate against a pair of Sounds hurlers en route to a seven-run inning and a 10-4 lead. Whiteside delivered a pair of hits in the frame, including a two-run single. Ryan Lollis, Justin Christian, and Todd Linden added RBI hits in the inning while Bond drew a bases-loaded walk.
Burgos (0-1) took the loss for Nashville after being tagged for nine runs (seven earned) on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings during his second Triple-A start.
Caleb Gindl closed out the evening’s scoring in the top of the sixth when his two-out single off Fresno reliever Wilmin Rodriguez plated Jeff Bianchi to bring the score to its final 10-5 standing.
Kown (5-6) picked up the win for Fresno after allowing four runs in five innings of work.
The teams wrap up their four-game season series with a 9:05 p.m. CT finale on Saturday evening. Right-hander Claudio Vargas (4-1, 4.24) will man the bump for the Sounds to face Fresno right-hander Yusmeiro Petit (5-3, 3.17).