At around 8:40 a.m., on Tuesday, Tennessee Titans guard Jake Scott walked into the team's practice facility at Baptist Sports Park with the NFL lockout having been lifted.
Scott's stay lasted only for 10 to 15 minutes before he was headed back out, wondering exactly what the next step will be after Judge Susan Richard Nelson's ruling on Monday.
Wearing workout gear, Scott said he was told that players would be allowed in the building, but wouldn't find an accommodating staff ready to help them with anything.
When he got inside, he was greeted by senior executive vice president Steve Underwood. Scott did not get to talk to any coaches or grab a playbook from new offensive coordinator Chris Palmer in the process.
“We were told, and I talked to Steve Underwood (that) we're allowed in the building. They'll let us in the building,” Scott said. “I think the club is in a weird position. They don't really know what to do. They're being told by the league that we're not supposed to be working out, we're not supposed to be doing that.
“Basically, we're told if we go in the building nobody is going to interact with us. Or if you go in, you're on your own. They're not going to stop us from walking around the building, but they're not going to interact with us if we do go in the building. For the time being, if the stay gets issued from the appellate court or not, we're probably better off just continuing the routine that we have.”
For Scott and some of the offensive line, that has meant working out at Vanderbilt. Another group, organized by cornerback Cortland Finnegan, has been working out at Father Ryan High School.
“I was going to try and get a little bit of the offense, since we were allowed to show up. But the coaches were busy getting stuff ready for the draft, so they were not even available to see anybody,” Smith said. “I do not have a playbook. It is somewhat frustrating. They did answer questions for us. I got to go and get something out of my locker, which was nice, and if I want to, I can go and use the bubble. But other than that, it's more or less like the lockout is still in place without it actually being in place.”
The players realize that they and the Titans are in a precarious situation with the lockout lifted and the matter on appeal to the Eight District Court of Appeals.
“You can't make the strength coach show up, and the training staff show up and the equipment guys. Technically, I guess the building is available to us, I guess that none of the other aspects are,” Scott said. “You know, I think talking to Steve Underwood, they're in kind of a precarious position too. They really don't know where we stand and we don't either. So we'll just kind of wait and find out over the next few days.”
The situation wasn't volatile. The gates on the eastern entrance remained chained shut and security was patrolling who entered and exited at the other gate.
“There wasn't anything intense or any type of drama or anything like that. They basically just let us know they aren't really prepared for this situation, which I don't think anybody is. It's uncharted territory,” said Curran, who had hoped to meet with the new defensive coaches, such as coordinator Jerry Gray and his position coach Frank Bush.
Instead, Curran was told that coaches were unavailable due to day-long draft meetings.
“(I wanted) to come in and get a workout and hopefully, meet the coaches and get a playbook and get started on getting ready for this season,” he said. “Guys like me who are are early in their careers, we need this jump. ... We didn't get to meet a single coach, which is understandable. The draft is in a couple of days. Like I said, we'll just have to wait and see what happens.”
The next move may well be what happens on appeal, and Scott likes the position the players are in after Monday afternoon's ruling in their favor.
“You'd rather defend a victory in an appeal than try to get a loss overturned. So I think we're in a position of strength right now,” Scott said.
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