NASHVILLE – Corey Davis wants to take his game to another level in 2019.
To help him do that, the Titans receiver has spent time watching some of the NFL’s top playmakers at his position – Atlanta’s Julio Jones and Oakland’s Antonio Brown, among others.
“I watch a lot of Julio, watch a lot of A.B,” Davis said. “Any time you can watch Julio’s game or A.B.’s game, and take a little bit of their game and apply it to yours, it helps.”
Davis, headed into his third NFL season, learned a few things from studying Brown, the explosive Raiders receiver who racked up 11,207 yards and 79 touchdowns his nine seasons with the Steelers. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Brown has a different skillset, but eye-opening tape.
“You see a lot of things,” Davis said of Brown. “Little things, like route running and releases from A.B.”
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Jones has a body type more similar to Davis, who is 6-3, 209. In eight NFL seasons with the Falcons, Jones has 10,731 receiving yards with 51 touchdowns. He’s done it with soft hands, and toughness.
“Overall, his physicality,” Davis said of Jones. “He is kind of a freak, so it is kind of hard to emulate your game after a dude like that. It is God-given and he just goes out there and balls out. But he does a lot of things that are really good on film that I try to apply to my game.”
The fifth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Davis doubled his receiving yards total in 2018, when he racked up 891 yards and four touchdowns on 65 catches. He had a pair of game-winning catches while starting all 16 games. In his rookie season, Davis caught 34 passes for 375 yards in 11 games.
Titans teammates have been impressed with his work ethic this offseason.
“I know for sure he’s one of those guys that works very hard during the offseason, and I’ve definitely seen some improvement,” safety Kevin Byard said of Davis. “He does the little things, and he’s put in the work. And he’s made a lot of plays. ... He knows he needs to play big-time football this year.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel likes his big receiver’s evolving mindset, which has been on display in practices.
“Just try to remind him that anytime the ball’s in the air, it’s his ball,” Vrabel said. “I think that there’s a lot of times where we saw that and there’s times where we need to continue to see that. I think that he’s trying to take that mindset that when it leaves the quarterbacks hand, it’s his ball.”
Heading into the 2019 season, Davis knows the Titans have more weapons than they’ve ever had since he first arrived in Tennessee.
Coaches have challenged him, and Davis has taken it upon himself to do more, on the field, and from a leadership standpoint.
The soft-spoken Davis knows he might not come with the brash and borderline cocky approach some of the NFL’s top receivers bring to the field. More than anything, Davis wants to bring production, and consistency, while making plays for quarterback Marcus Mariota.
“My personality is I’m not going to be a diva,” Davis said. “I am not going to be a guy that goes out there and whines if I am not getting the ball. If I am not getting the ball, it is my fault. I have to get open. Me and the quarterback have to be on the same page and that is what we are working on here.
“(As an offense) we have the potential to do some great things. We have some weapons, there’s no secret there. But we can’t just look good on paper. We have to go out there and prove it each and every Sunday, Monday or Thursday, whenever it may be. We have to be consistent.”
Titans Online looks back at WR Corey Davis' 2018 season, in which led the team with 65 receptions for 891 yards and four touchdowns. (Donn Jones Photography)