CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Vince Young showed off his legs and strong arm Friday on the first day of the Tennessee Titans’ camp.

Young arrived in Clarksville on Friday morning with a new contract that could be worth up to $58 million – about $4 million more than top draft pick Mario Williams signed for with Houston. Young didn’t miss a minute of a practice in the pouring rain and couldn’t have been happier.

“It was the whole thing on my mind,” Young said. “Like I’ve been saying … when I got (drafted), I said I wanted to be in camp.”

General manager Floyd Reese said they have dealt with distractions in recent years, which included a 20-day holdout last year by cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones, the team’s top draft pick out of West Virginia.

“Going through that I think you realize how important it is to really get them here. A day like this, we’re talking about a lot of positives instead of “Where’s so and so? Why’s he not here, and when will he get here?”‘ Reese said.

Young’s agent and the Titans had been working on the language of the contract during negotiations, and that helped speed Young’s path to the practice field. Second-round pick LenDale White, who also agreed to terms Thursday, had some paperwork delays, and the Titans expect him here by Saturday morning.

But Young is the quarterback the Titans drafted as the successor to Steve McNair, who was traded to Baltimore in June. Team officials envision a very long relationship with Young, and they didn’t want anything to hamper the intensive start to his NFL education. They guaranteed $25.7 million of Young’s deal.

“That’s why we’re blessed to have such a great owner,” Reese said of Bud Adams.

“It’s not my money. It was a big deal, and we knew that. … To have the first quarterback and someone as important to this franchise as he will be was something we felt like we maybe had to extend ourselves more than we would normally just to get him here.”

For now, Billy Volek is the starter, and Young is expected to take about 45 percent of the snaps at quarterback this preseason. The countdown to when Young takes over as starter already is under way.

Judging from his first practice since signing, Young has some room for improvement before that happens.

He completed a couple of long passes that would be touchdowns, including a nice throw down the middle to Bobby Wade. His receivers helped him out a couple times in passing drills, spinning around to catch balls a little behind them, and he overthrew another.

Defensive end Antwan Odom also batted down a pass from a couple feet away during a team drill after Young rolled out to his left.

On a day when the rain often came down sideways and had Titans losing their feet on the wet ground, Young had little problem holding onto a very wet ball that he said felt like throwing a weight. He gave himself a passing grade for the first session.

“I visualize the plays. I went to the right side. Everything was good. I just have to keep working behind the scenes,” Young said.

The Titans also have Matt Mauck and Cody Hodges on the roster. Reese said a report that Kerry Collins was coming in for a visit with the Titans was news to him and that he hadn’t talked with Collins or set up an appointment to bring him in.

Could a visit be arranged later?

“I’d be shocked right now. … We’re trying to look at these guys right now. No, we don’t have any plans to bring anybody in,” Reese said.

Notes: Safety Chris Hope, one of the Titans’ four key free-agent signings in the offseason, was not present because of a death in the family. Coach Jeff Fisher said Hope should be in by Sunday. … Running back Damien Nash, a fifth-round draft pick in 2005, also did not practice. He reported over the weight he had been told to arrive at, and Fisher said he didn’t pass the conditioning test to the coach’s satisfaction.

AP-ES-07-28-06 2021EDT


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