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Notebook: Titans WR Justin Hunter's Confidence, Opportunities Growing

Posted Nov 25, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans coach Mike Munchak said Monday that rookie Justin Hunter’s confidence is “growing and growing.”

So will the receiver’s opportunities.

Justin Hunter had six catches for 109 yards and a 54-yard TD in Tennessee's victory at Oakland.
Click here for the slideshow from the game.

“We’ve been doing a lot more three wide receivers, so he starts in that set,” Munchak said, later adding, “all three (Hunter, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright) of them will play a lot.”

Washington and Wright will still be tabbed most frequently when the Titans have two receivers on the field, but Hunter showed increasing ability to make critical catches and delivered an explosive play (54-yard TD) in Tennessee’s 23-19 win at Oakland Sunday. Hunter had career bests of six catches for 109 yards, and made five of his catches on third-down plays, including a 9-yard grab on third-and-6 to put the Titans at the Raiders’ 10-yard line with less than a minute remaining.

“He’s getting open, he’s understanding how to get in a position to make those plays he’s making,” Munchak said. “(He had) that touchdown in the second half. Those kinds of plays, that’s the kind of stuff he can do. That’s the kind of stuff we’re hoping he’ll be able to do to help us this year. That was a big play to get us back in the game after having a really inconsistent first half. He did a great job of making a couple guys miss, and we scored in four plays. All of a sudden we had a lead at the end of the third quarter.”

Hunter was nominated for the Pepsi Next Rookie of the Week for Week 12. Click here to vote for Hunter.

In addition to Hunter, Kendall Wright had six catches for 103 yards and the game-winning 10-yard TD from Ryan Fitzpatrick, who celebrated his 31st birthday by completing 30 of 42 passes for 320 yards in recording his first victory as a Titan in his fourth start for injured Jake Locker. Fitzpatrick was 8-for-10 for 67 yards on the game-winning drive. He was nominated for the FedEx Air-and-Ground Player of the Week for Week 12 (click here to vote for Fitzpatrick).

“Fitz did a great job in that situation because there were some tough looks (from the defense),” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “They were dropping eight, and you’re asking him to make a big-time throw and fit one in in a tight window. He found Kendall.”

Loggains said Hunter’s day is a “tell of things that are going to come for him.”

GRIFFIN RECEIVES SUSPENSION: The NFL suspended Titans safety Michael Griffin for one game without pay for what the league called “for a repeat violation of NFL safety rules prohibiting hits to the head and neck area of defenseless players.” Click here to read the NFL's press release.

Griffin was flagged for a personal foul on a hit that caused the ball to separate from Oakland tight end Mychal Rivera, who suffered a concussion on the play. Griffin  was flagged earlier this season on a hit against Jets WR Stephen Hill after an interception by Alterraun Verner.

Griffin has the option to appeal and tweeted Monday, “Just want to say I apologize to the fans, organization, and teammates. I also apologize to Rivera. I was just trying to do my job but ended up costing my team. Don't know what else to do except for appeal. Again I apologize.”

WILLIAMS COULD PRACTICE: Munchak said receiver/return specialist Damian Williams could return to the practice field this week as the next step in seeing what progress he can make from a hip injury he suffered Nov. 10 during a punt return.

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