4 observations from Tennessee Titans practice, including QB Will Levis' shaky day

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Tuesday was the first mandatory day of offseason minicamp for the Tennessee Titans, providing the fullest glimpse yet into coach Brian Callahan's roster and how it's developing.

Callahan says every player was present, though several were either absent from or limited in practice. Defensive tackles Jeffery Simmons and T'Vondre Sweat and offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere were among the most prominent players not spotted at practice. Offseason acquisition cornerbacks L'Jarius Sneed and Chidobe Awuzie and linebacker Kenneth Murray were part of the crew that participated only in select drills, or in Sneed's case, dressed out to do only a small amount of individual work.

Here are four more observations from Tuesday's session.

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Will Levis' up-and-down passing day

Tuesday wasn't Will Levis' crispest day. He finished the 7-on-7 period having completed six of his 10 attempts, thought it can be argued two of his incompletions were on dropped passes. That said, he appeared to be a little late finding open receivers, particularly on two deeper routes targeted to veteran Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. The first ball got to Westbrook-Ikhine a split second behind schedule, allowing cornerback Roger McCreary to bat it away. The second was behind Westbrook-Ikhine, leading to an open-field drop.

Levis also led Calvin Ridley a bit too far on a deep out route, leading Ridley to have to lunge for a ball that could've been caught but would've required a great play. Ridley came up a bit slow after going to the ground on this rep, but quickly returned and finished practice.

Levis had one other pass batted away, a fade route thrown deep to DeAndre Hopkins that was broken up by undrafted rookie Gabe Jeudy-Lally. A few plays later, Levis made up for the failure in single coverage down the sideline by finding rookie Jha'Quan Jackson in tight coverage from McCreary for a nice sideline completion. He also connected with Hopkins on an impressively placed crossing route on a rep that could've led to big yardage after catch.

Neither of Levis' backups were particularly impressive, either. Mason Rudolph was 3-for-5, failing to connect with receiver Treylon Burks for what would've been a touchdown on a go route, overthrowing Mason Kinsey on an out route and having a pass broken up in traffic over the middle. Malik Willis was also 3-for-5 with a pass broken up in the middle of the defense.

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Rookie linebackers James Williams and Cedric Gray came away with the pass breakups on the Rudolph and Willis passes over the middle. Callahan said Tuesday that he believes Williams still has a ways to go in learning to play linebacker (he was a safety in college), but Williams' teammates were particularly encouraging after his big stop.

Gray's pass breakup came on the third play of Willis' five-rep session, taking away a ball targeted at undrafted rookie tight end Steven Stilianos. Tight end Chig Okonkwo came in for the next play and caught a pass against Gray in coverage. As defensive teammates were cheering "get the ball, get the ball!" to encourage Gray to make a second straight play, Okonkwo retorted "you can't have this ball" as he made the catch.

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More colorful conversations

As has come to be expected, defensive end Arden Key was the most vocal player. The Titans finished the day with a 10-minute walk-through period, simulating how the offense should react against heavy pass-pressure situations. Whether on the field or the sideline, Key was chirping at the offensive players and the coaches about plays that would've ended in sacks.

Callahan joked after practice that he thought none would have ended in sacks. He and Key clearly disagreed on that point once when after Key cheered what he thought was a sack, Callahan responded: "But who was covering the running back?"

That quieted Key for a moment to consider if the defense actually would've given up a big play.

Some good news on special teams

Kicker Nick Folk took a few field goal reps, all from between 30 and 40 yards out. But the most notable development was that punter Ryan Stonehouse knelt as the holder for those kicks. Stonehouse tore his ACL in December and has not been seen punting at minicamp, but he isn't wearing a brace on his surgically repaired leg and Tuesday was the first indication that he's slowly returning to football activities.

Nick Suss is the Titans beat writer for The Tennessean. Contact Nick at nsuss@gannett.com. Follow Nick on X, the platform formerly called Twitter, @nicksuss.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Will Levis' shaky day among observations from Tennessee Titans minicamp