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Titanic Voices: Derrick Mason on Titans' Deep Receivers Group

Posted Sep 10, 2013

Former Titans wide receiver Derrick Mason offers his personal opinions and perspective in "Titanic Voices."

I've been impressed with the group of receivers the Titans have assembled this season.

I don't think there's ever been a Titans wide receiver group as deep as this with the likes of Kenny Britt, Nate Washington, Kendall Wright, Damian Williams, Justin Hunter and Michael Preston. Even when I was here, it was myself, Drew Bennett, Kevin Dyson and Justin McCareins. Our receivers room had four solid players. This group has six guys that can go out and make plays.

That's a good problem to have.

There's no doubt this unit has improved. Some of the younger guys are starting to take that next step and they've added more depth over the last couple of years with Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter.

But the key to this group, in my opinion, is Kenny Britt. He can easily can be one of the top three or four wide receivers in the National Football League. When healthy, he's flashed big-time playmaking ability that draws defenses like few others do in the league.

The guy is big, fast, can run routes and has proven at times to be unstoppable. But he has to stay on the field. If he does, that's going to give the Titans a huge boost on offense this season. Kenny can be the player that not many teams have -- a guy like Calvin Johnson and Andre Johnson who brings a physical, dominating presence to the offense, can stretch the field and go up and get the ball.

I think having Kenny back, Kendall coming into his second year, Justin entering the offense and Nate being Nate gives them a really good group here. Plus, Damian Williams has proven to be a reliable receiver and Michael Preston has shown he can make plays when given the opportunity.

It was evident last year that Kendall Wright is a guy that can move the chains. I think his average per catch has to come up and I feel it will with the new offense and receivers coach. He has the speed to get down field, but I think his niche is going to be catching the underneath passes, the slants, the 15 to 16-yard ins, making guys miss and getting down the field. He's a guy that's going to be able to work the middle of the field with his quickness.

Justin Hunter is a player you can put in at the goal line and he'll go up and get the ball. You don't find many guys his height that can run like he can and stretch the field. The thing with him is he needs to learn the offense and speed of the game quickly. He can't hit a rookie wall and needs to take in all he can from guys like Nate and Kenny and listen to his coach. I think he can have an impact this season.

It's very important to have a veteran guy like Nate. When things go bad, you need a guy with a consistent presence that can kind of calm everything down, a guy that you can go to on the field that knows where he's supposed to be and knows how to play big in big games. Having him in the locker room and as a part of the receiving corps is very critical because there are a bunch of young guys alongside him. Even though Kenny's been in the league four or five years, he hasn't played much. Kendal is a second-year guy, Justin Hunter is a rookie and Damian Williams is in his third or fourth year. So there are still a bunch of young guys and Nate has to be that veteran presence in the locker room.

I believe this offense is going to be really good. The Titans are going to show a lot of people that last year was one of those fluke years and they're ready to come back and put their name on the map this season.

A fourth-round draft pick by the Titans in 1997, two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Derrick Mason began his first eight NFL seasons in Tennessee (1997-2004), catching 453 passes (5th in team history) for 6,114 yards (6th in team history) (13.5 avg) and 37 touchdowns. He played the next six years with the Ravens, becoming Baltimore's all-time leading receiver with 471 receptions for 5,777 yards (12.3 avg) and 29 touchdowns from 2005-10. He played his last NFL season in 2011 with the New York Jets and Houston Texans. He is the only player in NFL history with 10,000 receiving yards and 5,000 return yards and set the NFL record for most all-purpose yards in a single season with 2,659 in 2000.

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