NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Shawn Jefferson is the kind of coach who wears his cleats during practices to demonstrate exactly what he wants from his Tennessee receivers. He's just as enthusiastic whether celebrating with or chewing someone out.
"Sometimes it's misleading us yelling and getting after him,'' Titans offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. "It's more our expectation for him is very high.''
The Titans liked the 6-foot-4, 203-pound Hunter so much coming out of college at Tennessee that they traded up to draft him at No. 34 overall. Hunter left the Vols after his junior year when he led the team with 73 catches for 1,083 yards and nine touchdowns. He also averaged 26 yards a catch as a freshman and was off to a strong start as a sophomore before tearing his left ACL against Florida.
Tennessee held the 40th overall pick in the second round, so general manager Ruston Webster traded that pick, a seventh-round selection and his third-round pick in 2014 to San Francisco to move up and draft Hunter.
A sore hamstring limited Hunter through the team's offseason practices. But he has been healthy through training camp and has had his share of Jefferson correcting him after any dropped passes. Jefferson said Hunter has a good skill set so he's pushing the envelope with the rookie, possibly too much.
Asked who that other guy was, Jefferson said Calvin Johnson. He coached Johnson with Detroit the previous five seasons and said Johnson cleared his hurdle in his second year in the NFL. Jefferson said it takes time for super freakish athletes like Johnson and Hunter coming out of college where they were bigger, stronger and faster than everybody else.
"Everybody on this level is good, so you have to re-establish yourself all over again,'' Jefferson said. "That's the process they have to go through. Once they figure it out, then the sky's the limit for them.''
The Titans drafted
"One thing he always says is never take it personal,'' Hunter said of Jefferson's critiques. "That's the motto I got with him so never take anything personal. Just listen and learn.''
That includes last week when Hunter tried to loop around a defender for more yards on third down only to come up short of the first down marker in the preseason opener against Washington. As a tall receiver, Hunter said Jefferson has been a big help reminding him to stay lower especially when running drills running around trash cans to mimic cutting back and forth in pass routes.
Britt isn't sorry for Hunter at all with the attention the rookie is getting from Jefferson because he faced similar attention himself as a rookie. He said he tells Hunter every day that the reason the coaches are on his back so much is because they want him playing and not on the bench.
"They're just trying to prepare him for the season,'' Britt said.