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Titans rookie Jonnu Smith Becoming Veteran at Scoring TDs

Posted Sep 28, 2017

After three games, Titans tight end Jonnu Smith leads the team with two touchdowns. On Sunday, his teammate retrieved the ball for him instead of throwing it into the stands.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans rookie tight end Jonnu Smith has gotten pretty good at scoring touchdowns.

His post-touchdown behavior, well, it needs some work.

But he’ll get there, he promises.

After scoring his first career touchdown in Week 2 against the Jaguars, Smith dropped the ball on the ground and didn’t immediately retrieve it. So Titans guard Quinton Spain picked it up, and threw the ball into the stands in Jacksonville. It became a souvenir for a fan instead of an item for Smith’s trophy case.

So what did Smith do when he crossed the goal line for his 24-yard touchdown on Sunday against the Seahawks?

“He did the same thing he did last time -- he threw it down,” Spain said with a smile. “I told him, “Bruh, you did the same thing again!”

Spain, who has been giving away footballs after touchdowns to raise money for ALS, did Smith a solid.

“I told him, ‘I am going to give it to you,” Spain said. “He said thank you and he ran off the field. But he needs to stop throwing the ball down if he wants it.”

Smith couldn’t help but smile when talking about his good fortune. He’s glad quarterback Marcus Mariota - and Spain - were looking out for him.

A third-round draft pick out of Florida International, Smith has three catches for 54 yards in two games, with the two touchdowns. He lined up in the backfield on Sunday and caught a pass from Mariota before running it in.

“I guess I am not used to these touchdowns right now, I am just on a high when I get in that end zone,” Smith said. “I’m getting used to it though, and it’s definitely a place I see myself being a lot. So I am going to get used to it.”

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he’s been pleased with Smith, as a pass catcher, and a blocker.

“Nothing intimidates him,” Mularkey said of Smith. “We've put him on some tough guys to block as a rookie, some big defenders that he's had to block one-on-one and hasn't affected him. Has he dominated? No. Has he has some stalemates, which we consider wins? Yes. Anything we ask him to do, he hasn't blinked.

“We expect big plays (from him), I didn't think a screen would go for as big as it went, thought it'd be a big play, but not for a touchdown. Just shows you what he's capable of doing with his ability.”

After three games, Smith leads the team in touchdowns.

He’s excited about it, and wants to keep doing his part.

“It feels good,” Smith said. “A lot of people think that just scoring touchdowns helps me build my confidence but when I help spring one of my teammates by making a block, well, that gives me as much confidence. And that is what I will continue to do week in and week out. I just want to do my part to help the team win.”