NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A good deal of the buzz surrounding the Titans receiving corps this offseason can be traced back to rookie Tajae Sharpe, who earned first-team reps in OTAs and minicamp, and plenty of praise.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey has talked him up because of his consistency.
Dorial Green-Beckham, however, left town last week feeling pretty good about himself as well.
“I had a good offseason,’’ Green-Beckham said. “I had a hamstring problem that set me back early, but other than that I have been taking care of myself, learning the playbook, and have done my best to play fast.
“My confidence is up there. But I know these next 5-6 weeks I am going to have to keep busting my tail and get in the playbook and stay motivated.”
The Titans are counting on Green-Beckham, who finished last season with 32 catches for 549 yards and four touchdowns. As a rookie, Green-Beckham finished the year with more catches, yards and touchdowns than six of the seven receivers selected in front of him, with the lone exception being Oakland’s Amari Cooper, the fourth overall pick of the draft.
Yet during workouts, it was Sharpe running early in the rotation, opposite veteran receiver Rishard Matthews, with Kendall Wright lining up primarily in the slot.
Mularkey said, “I’m seeing bits and pieces with DGB.” But clearly, he'd like to see more.
“There’s flashes,’’ Mularkey said, “but obviously it needs to be more consistent.”
Green-Beckham said he’s willing to put the work in.
Down the stretch in 2015, Green-Beckham became one of the go-to receivers for the Titans. In fact, he led all NFL receivers in percentage of catches that resulted in a first down (93.8%). Of Green-Beckham’s 32 catches, 30 resulted in a first down. Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans finished second on the list (85.1%).
Green-Beckham racked up 445 receiving yards from Week 9-Week 17, starting with his 77-yard performance against the Saints.
“The dude’s a stud,’’ quarterback Marcus Mariota said of Green-Beckham. “Physically he is very gifted. Hopefully we can find ways to get him the football and let him do his thing.”
Green-Beckham, like everyone else, said he’s been impressed with Sharpe this offseason.
But he’s also high on himself as he prepares for his second NFL season.
“I am more comfortable now,” Green-Beckham said. “I pretty much know what I am supposed to do at all times.
“In our (wide receivers) room, we all talk about competing. We have to go out there and compete every day. Our main thing is to compete and hold each other accountable. I just have to keep doing the things I am doing -- keep playing fast and letting them know I know the plays and showing them I am a hard worker and I am going to compete.
“Last year was a good experience and this year I am more comfortable. So I’m expecting even bigger things.”
TitansOnline.com looks back at WR Dorial Green-Beckham's 2015 season. (AP Photos)