NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Coach Mike Munchak knows from personal experience how tough practicing three straight days can be, so he decided to give his Tennessee Titans a break.
He decided at the beginning of the workouts that he would hold a two-day minicamp, which ended their offseason program Wednesday.
Munchak broke the news to his Titans on Tuesday as they started their mandatory minicamp. The rookies have to stick around on Thursday, but the veterans are free until the team reports back July 24 for the start of training camp.
"I felt they came out and did exactly what we asked them to do, so I thought there was no reason to do it three days in a row," Munchak said. "I feel we're in a good spot. I don't know that one more day could've put us any better."
Munchak already had changed up the format of his minicamp with his coordinators not scripting the practices and Jake Locker and the other quarterbacks calling plays in the huddle. Instead, they treated both days as a game with officials calling penalties and the Titans working through everything from goal line to 2-minute and 4-minute situations, pumping up the tempo to more of a preseason game pace.
"We got a lot of great work done," running back Chris Johnson said. "A lot of in-game tempo and just work just to see how it goes in game and stuff like that instead of scripted plays."
The rookies must stick around for another day before the draft picks head to the NFL rookie symposium.
Receiver Kenny Britt said the players appreciate Munchak trying to take care of their bodies and avoid overworking them. Getting a day off is very welcome.
"We're definitely excited about that, but everybody brung a different level to the game this OTAs," Britt said. "Everybody had a passion when they stepped on the field. There were no days where we came into the weight room and nobody wanted to lift. There were no guys who had their heads down. Most of the guys out there they were running hard, working hard and looking enthusiastic."
Munchak also swapped out the final day of the organized team activities last week by taking his players and coaches to the movies to see "World War Z." On Wednesday, they threw a family picnic after the final practice, something that they traditionally hold closer to the start of the regular season. Munchak said with 25 new players, many of the players may not know each other fully yet while their wives still may just be getting to town.
"Part of camaraderie is not just us going to the movie and the guys doing something together," Munchak said. "It's nice to have the family together too to realize we're all in this together. If we don't play well, it affects everyone over in that tent over there. You become more of a family and togetherness, these are things I think we need to do more of."
Both Munchak and the Titans take a five-week break before training camp feeling they've done everything possible to rebound from a 6-10 season last year. The Titans spent nearly $110 million bringing in a handful of veterans, and Munchak also switched up his coaching staff.
"We know they'll all be ready so we feel good," Munchak said. "We're going to be able to come back in July and get ready to go."