Camp observations: To glove or not to glove

A show of hands reveals a difference of opinion among Tennessee Titans quarterbacks.

Two of the four in training camp, Charlie Whitehurst and Zach Mettenberger, wear a glove on their left (non-throwing) hands. The other two, Jake Locker and Tyler Wilson, do not.

“I like feeling the football with my hands so I never have tried it,” Locker said. “Maybe I should but I’ve never tried it out.”

Whitehurst and Mettenberger only tried it recently.

In fact, Mettenberger said he has done it since he’s been in the NFL. That means it has been fewer than three months given that he was the Titans’ sixth-round pick in this year’s draft.

“I don’t think there is a right way or a wrong way,” he said. “It’s just whatever you’re comfortable with or not. It’s something I started when I got here and kind of liked it. So I’m going to keep rolling with it.”

Mettenberger (pictured) said it was his former LSU teammate Stephen Rivers, now a Vanderbilt quarterback, who first recommended he try it. Rivers, of course, is the younger brother of San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers.

Coincidentally, the elder Rivers and Whitehurst were teammates with the Chargers last season, when Whitehurst decided to go to the glove.

“Why do I do it? For grip,” Whitehurst said. “I don’t know if it makes a big difference. I’ve experimented with a throwing one on my right hand. … You put one on your right hand to experiment and you think, ‘I might as well put one on the left hand too just for the hell of it.’

“If I can get a little extra grip on the snap, holding the ball in the pocket, anything, why would I take the one on the left hand off?”

With the snap: One thing that has been noticeable through the first four days of workouts is the limited number of players jumping offside on either side of the ball.

Offensive linemen and receivers are waiting for the snap much more often than not. Those on the defense don’t try to anticipate the snap as much as expected at this time of year.

It will be worth watching whether or not it continues in the coming days. It is one thing to be dialed in and focused in the first few days of camp. It is another thing to continue in that manner as the mental and physical fatigue mount.

• Good news/bad news: The good news is that linebackers and defensive backs seem to have gotten their hands on more passes than has been the norm. The bad news is that they have not held on to enough of them.

Too often the defensive players are jumping up and down in a mix of celebration over a successful play and frustration over a missed opportunity for an interception.

The Titans intercepted 13 passes in 2013. Only nine teams had fewer.

Quote of note: “You can ask for it all you want, but it’s really the competitiveness of the players that’s going to drive that. We’ve been clear about what our expectations are. It’s a competitive business, and the only way you get better is to push each other and to compete in practice. I like it. It’s been good. It’s been good give and take on both sides. I’ve liked it since we first got here.” – coach Ken Whisenhunt on the level of competition during workouts.

Briefly: Safety Bernard Pollard and linebacker Wesley Woodyard don’t like to stand still. Several times during practices, when they are not involved in the action, the two do a quick up and back from sideline to sideline of an adjacent field. It will be interesting to see when/if others join in at some point. … It’s easy to see why Shaun Phillips has put up the sack numbers he has throughout his career. He might not win every rep but it’s rare that any blocker squares him up and stops him in his tracks. … Tight end Dorin Dickerson, a fourth-year pro who has played with Houston, Buffalo and Detroit, is definitely not the fastest guy on the team. Some members of the defense had fun with him Tuesday when he caught a pass and tried to accelerate in the open field.