The toughest part of the Tennessee Titans’ rookie minicamp for cornerback Caleb Farley is the fact that he’s not on the field.
Tennessee’s first-round selection in last month’s NFL Draft is still recovering and rehabbing from back surgery that took place earlier this year in March, his second in a little more than a year. As a result, he is unable to take part in on-field sessions over the three-day camp (Friday-Sunday), which has only fueled his desire to get back to full health.
“I’m dying to get back on the football field,” Farley said on Saturday. “That is why I am waking up every day and putting everything I have to invest in getting back healthy.”
Instead of on-field drills, Farley’s minicamp days consist of meetings, studying the playbook and focusing on getting to 100 percent in time for the season, something that he is dead-set on achieving.
“I’m working with [Director of Sports Medicine] Todd [Toriscelli], just rehabbing my butt off,” Farley said. “I am trying to get in the best shape I can possibly get in and getting ready to get back out there.”
For Farley, playing football again is a reality that he is eager to reach. The night he was drafted, he told reporters that he “couldn’t wait” to have the playbook in his hands.
Now, at minicamp, the Virginia Tech product spends as much time studying the playbook as possible.
“The reason I said that is because I am so eager to get back on the field and play football. Just having something to look at, and study, and move forward towards a certain goal is extremely exciting. That’s this whole camp so far. It’s been just that,” Farley said.
Even though Farley has been unable to work with the rest of the defense and show how much he has learned to this point, coach Mike Vrabel has found no issue with the rookie’s work ethic.
“He’s doing everything that we ask him to do. He’s studying. He’s been conscientious. He’s answered the questions that I have had for him in our team meetings as it relates to his assignments. He’s answered them with [defensive coordinator] Shane [Bowen], and he’s tried to stay focused with [secondary coach] Anthony Midget,” Vrabel said. “All the reports that I’ve gotten from Todd is that he’s working hard and doing everything that they are asking him to do.”
Farley knows the only thing that will get him back on the football field is hard work and time. And he’s willing to make the effort and to wait. He believes it all will be worth it for the team that selected him 22nd overall because – based on what he knows at this point – he expects to fit seamlessly into the secondary.
“Learning the playbook, I love it,” Farley said. “I feel like it fits my skillset well. I think that is why they picked me, because of the scheme that I can fit in.”
He may not be on the field physically, just yet, but his mind is clearly ready to play.