NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Countless hours of drills this spring and summer all lead up to a 24-to-48 hour period where over 1,100 players will get the dreaded call that they're being fired. Many of them will never play in the NFL again.
Experienced bubble players often have a routine for the weekend after the preseason ends. Some hang out with family, others go bowling to take their mind off the stress, and a few will sit at home staring at their phone.
"The fortunate part is I've been cut, I've been in that chair. I understand the emotions and the feelings that's going through them," Titans head coach Mike Mularkey said. "A lot of it is 'what am I going to do from here on?' Some will be picked up, some will come back, some will not. All those emotions are racing through your head, and I'm sure a lot of that's going through their minds right now."
Here's a look at five Titans, at the back of the roster or on the bubble, and what they've learned about cut day in their experiences going into this year's wait:
David Fluellen, running back. Fluellen has been cut prior to the start of the season in each of the last two years, but he looks to have a good chance to stay on this year as Tennessee's third running back:
"It’s nothing you can do to take your mind off it or hide from it. You make your case from end of July to now to make your case so you don’t get cut."
"People’s mood change because they’re nervous or not sure what their future may hold. It's real quiet. You build relationships with these guys from the beginning of the year until now. You want the best for every player in the uniform and yourself. It’s a humbling experience."
"That’s when you realize it’s the business part of it. You gotta look it as you still have opportunities because everybody is making the same cuts. Some teams cut a little more to pick people up."
Tre McBride, wide receiver. McBride was let go at the final cutdown period in 2015 and he got the ax even after initially making the 53-man roster last year. He's on the bubble in a tight receiver battle with Tajae Sharpe, Harry Douglas and Eric Weems:
"Last year it was last minute, I had made the initial 53-man roster. Then that Monday morning after the 53-man was set, we brought in a guy from another team. I was getting ready for practice. I was an active receiver, then cut. It was tough. I love Marc Mariani, the guy who came in, I consider him a friend. I think he helped us. But it caught me off guard because I didn’t get to compete against him in training camp. I worked hard and beat everybody in this camp then I get blindsided with that. I didn’t really know what to think."
"It’s so much that plays into the decision-making, into forming a team, you’re better off not bothering yourself with details. You just gotta put some good film out there and hope it’s enough."
Alex Tanney, quarterback. Tanney has bounced between NFL practice squads and active rosters throughout his career, but he's run out of practice squad eligibility and may be on his way out unless the Titans keep three quarterbacks.
"I learned early on not to look at the depth chart. There’s always 31 other teams watching."
"Most times I’m hanging out with my wife. I try to get away. That time of year, you’ve been in training camp for so long. I try to enjoy the days off."
Kalan Reed, cornerback. Reed, a 2016 Titans seventh round pick who was waived at the 53-man cutdown day last season, is on the bubble for the final cornerback spot this season:
"I went back home. I went back to Birmingham. I came back on Monday. You come up here, you try to make it through the day and hope you don’t get cut."
"You come up here and you can tell it’s a different vibe in the building. It’s really quiet. Everybody is waiting to see what happens. It’s different than college. It’s not a four-year deal. It’s a business and they’re going to make decisions."
Phillip Supernaw, tight end. This veteran has been cut several times prior to the regular season in his career, but he's made the Titans roster in each of the last two seasons. He appears to be the Titans No. 3 tight end:
"I don’t even worry about. I always have the same mentality every year no matter how long I’ve been in the league. I don’t care if I get a new contract. You never know what can happen. It’s not in my hands. I don’t really think about it."
"I don’t sit around and wait. I go and do my own thing. If they call me, they call me. If they get me, they get me. I’ve been on the waiver wire a bunch of times. Nothing’s personal, it’s all business."
"Everyone has a good perspective on it. Nothing can stay the same. I’ve been fortunate to be here long enough with this core of guys. We like being together, but whatever happens, happens."