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  • Titans rookie linebacker Rashaan Evans has gotten an up-close view of how Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel works on the practice field.

     

    ”It’s intense I would say that Tremaine Edmunds Bills Jersey ,” Evans said Saturday after a rookie minicamp session. ”But I think that’s the good part about playing linebacker for Vrabel. He’s very specific about things that he wants, and I feel that’s what makes great linebackers. And once again, I’m just honored to be able to be coached by him and looking forward to continue to be coached by him.”

    The Titans brought their four-man draft class along with 22 undrafted rookies and 21 players here on a tryout basis to Nashville on Thursday for minicamp that wraps up Sunday. Only the four draft picks spoke to reporters Saturday.

    Vrabel spent part of the individual period working with the linebackers, a position he played 14 years in the NFL before going into coaching. The first-year Titans coach has said he plans to spend time with linebackers, but he had a specific reason for being with the group. Vrabel wanted to show the linebackers a specific coverage being installed.

    ”But I try to get around to all the groups,” Vrabel said. ”I try to see what everybody’s doing, just like I try to get in the meeting rooms and see what’s going on and help coach this team and help our assistant coaches reach their guys.”

    Evans is the Titans’ top draft pick this year at No. 22 overall out of Alabama , a player Tennessee traded up three spots to grab. The smallest draft class in franchise history also includes outside linebacker Harold Landry taken at No. 41 overall in the second round, fifth-round pick defensive back Dane Cruikshank and quarterback Luke Falk taken in the sixth round.

    When the rookies arrived, the Titans handed them a playbook and an iPad with meetings Thursday night before hitting the field Friday. Vrabel wants to see which players can execute what they’ve learned without making the same mistake twice. For some rookies, the playbook is a lot to take in.

    ”The playbook is very big,” said Cruikshank who played at Arizona. ”That’s not a lie. The playbook is very big J'Mon Moore Jersey Elite , so it’s been an adjustment. But I’m looking forward to it. I love football. This is what I do. This is my profession, and I’m putting everything into it.”

    Falk is among the players being asked to do something very different from college at Washington State. The Titans are putting him under center taking snaps after playing predominantly shotgun at Washington State where the former walk-on set school and Pc-12 Conference career records including 14,486 yards passing and 119 touchdown passes.

    Asked how many snaps he took under center in college, Falk said 35.

    ”It’s just a different system,” Falk said. ”I think with repetition and perfect repetition and keep pounding at it every day, eventually I’m going to get it.”

    Landry, the Boston College linebacker who had been predicted to be drafted in the first round, said the small rookie class has bonded quickly. He’s looking forward to Monday when the rookies can start working with the veterans in the team’s offseason program.

    ”I’m here happy to get coached by Coach Vrabel, Coach (Shane) Bowen,” Landry said.

    WHAT’S IN A NAME

    When former Titans quarterback Vince Young announced Landry as Tennessee’s second round pick at the draft, Young misspoke and called him ”Honor” Landry. Asked about that again, Landry said he definitely received a bunch of texts calling him ”Honor.” ”I’m here Youth Geron Christian Jersey , you know it all worked out, so it is what it is,” Landry said. ”It was a fun moment. But I’m here. It’s all good.”

    Dwane Casey lost his job in Toronto because the Raptors wanted to advance further in the playoffs.

    In Detroit, it would be an accomplishment if Casey can simply get the Pistons into the playoffs.

    The Pistons hired the NBA coach of the year finalist Monday, hoping he can help the three-time NBA championship franchise regularly reach the postseason and eventually compete again for titles.

    ”Dwane is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in our league,” Pistons owner Tom Gores said. ”He’s a great communicator and a leader who will connect with our players and accelerate their growth. Having spent many hours with Dwane over the last few weeks, I’m confident he is the right person to get us to the next level.”

    A month after being fired by the Raptors , Casey agreed to a five-year deal to become head coach of the Pistons, two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the team had not announced the move, which was first reported by ESPN.

    Casey led Toronto to a team-record 59 wins this year and helped the franchise earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference for the first time, a performance that won him coach of the year honors from his peers at the National Basketball Coaches Association. He had one year remaining on a three-year, $18 million dollar extension when he was fired shortly after Toronto was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was 320-238 in seven seasons and is Toronto’s winningest coach.

    The Pistons said Casey has already started work Authentic Mark Andrews Jersey , including meetings with players, and will be introduced at a news conference next week.

    Detroit had been looking for a coach for more than month since firing Stan Van Gundy , who was also its president of basketball operations. Michigan coach John Beilein was a finalist for the job before withdrawing his name from consideration last week and San Antonio Spurs assistant Ime Udoka also was a candidate.

    ”I’m confident that this team has the pieces in place to compete at a very high level,” Casey said. ”There is a lot of talent, a solid core and some exciting young players eager to get better. We’re getting to work right away on the things that will make us all successful.”

    Casey certainly has work to do.

    The Pistons have made the playoffs only once in nine years after advancing at least to the Eastern Conference finals six straight years, winning the 2004 NBA title and falling a victory short of repeating as champions in 2005. They do not appear to have much flexibility to make significant changes this offseason.

    Detroit acquired Blake Griffin in a blockbuster trade this past season and that wasn’t enough to push Detroit into the playoffs. An injury to point guard Reggie Jackson derailed what looked like a promising season. If healthy, the Pistons do potentially have an intriguing nucleus with Griffin, Jackson and Andre Drummond.

    ”In our meetings he displayed great insight into what this roster can accomplish, and great passion about our city and the team’s role in bringing people together,” Gores said. ”He’s an outstanding man with impressive character. He embodies our culture and will be a great representative for our franchise.”

    The 61-year-old Casey is getting his third shot to lead an NBA team.

    He coached the Minnesota Timberwolves for a little more than one season, going 53-69. He also has experience in the league as an assistant with Dallas and Seattle.

    Casey, who is from Morganfield Adidas Tuukka Rask Jersey , Kentucky, played for the Wildcats and helped them win the 1978 NCAA title and began his coaching career the next year as a graduate assistant under Joe B. Hall. He later back to campus to work as an assistant for Eddie Sutton. He has five years of coaching experience in Japan and has spent time around the game in Europe.

    Under Casey, the Raptors won four Atlantic Division titles and advanced to the playoffs in five consecutive seasons. But Toronto couldn’t get past Cleveland, losing to LeBron James and the Cavs in each of the past three playoffs, getting swept this year and last year.

    Detroit moved into a new downtown arena last season, but with the exception of some brief success after trading for Griffin, the team didn’t create much buzz. The Pistons are still looking to hire someone to head basketball operation. They did bring in Ed Stefanski as a senior executive.

    AP Sports Writer Noah Trister contributed to this report.

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