NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Linebacker Kamalei Correa had one crucial tip for how the Tennessee Titans can best handle the franchise’s first trip to London for a regular-season game:
Sleep as much as possible on the plane.
“That’s the biggest thing man,” said Correa, who has played in London previously while with Baltimore. “Just get some sleep on the plane because if you don’t, then you’re not going to be in a good place because as soon as we land we’re moving already. We’re going to be going to meetings and film and walk-through. If you don’t get sleep, you’re going to be far behind, so you’ve got to get some rest.”
The Titans (3-3) practiced at home Thursday before heading to the airport for the nonstop flight to London. Coach Mike Vrabel joked that the reason for the later departure was because his passport didn’t arrive until Thursday. The real reason was much more practical for a franchise that has played outside the United States only twice, both preseason games, with the last in 1994 in Mexico City when still the Houston Oilers.
“We wanted to try to keep everything as normal as possible,” Vrabel said. “We have a great facility here. Guys like to sleep in their own beds, they like to see their wives, they like to see their kids. That’s part of their routine. I felt like after talking to some people, you could do it either way.
“You could go over there and you can spend a week over there, you could arrive Friday morning, and we’re excited.”
The Titans shipped some equipment to London by ship during the summer, taking advantage of having bought extra gear last year when the team spent a week in Arizona between games out West.
This is the second trip to London for the Chargers, who played in London in 2008, and for their coach Anthony Lynn. He spent the entire week in England on his first trip. This time, Lynn has checked out how other teams have approached the trip and chose to give his team more time to sleep and game plan before traveling. The Chargers (4-2) stayed in Ohio after beating the Browns last weekend and also are flying to London on Thursday.
“Hopefully, it works,” Lynn said. “Anytime you’re on a plane that long, it’s not ideal to get off and go through things. But, like I said, we’ll get there Friday and we’ll have Friday to relax, and Saturday to recover, and go play the game on Sunday.”
Correa played in London last season while with the Ravens. Safety Johnathan Cyprien, currently on injured reserve, played in London with the Jaguars. Linebacker Will Compton, who is dealing with an injured hamstring, and safety Kenny Vaccaro also have played in London with other teams.
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota has been on plenty of long airplane rides, and he agrees with his fellow Hawaii native that sleep is the best approach to deal with jetlag. Mariota has had enough practice that he says he sleeps well on planes. The Titans will have seats that stretch out to help them sleep.
The Titans will have some time Friday night and Saturday for potential sightseeing, and many of the players have family also traveling. Taking care of business is the Titans’ main focus. They’ve lost two straight and need a win going into their bye to keep themselves atop the struggling AFC South.
“This will be my first time in London, so I’m excited. The team is excited,” safety Kevin Byard said. “But the main thing is to go out there and get a W, and that’s what we want to go do.”
Notes: LB Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) practiced fully for the first time since hurting his shoulder Sept. 30. Vaccaro (elbow) was limited for a second straight day. DL Bennie Logan also practiced fully. Compton, LB Derrick Morgan (shoulder) and LG Quinton Spain (right shoulder) did not practice.