Build chemistry with Tannehill’s new Titans playmaker


Nashville, TN (AP) — Ryan Tannehill’s favorite receiver since becoming the Tennessee Titans’ starting quarterback now plays for Philadelphia.

Luckily the Titans got a lot of new teammates to work with Tannehill, and he’s been busy working this offseason to create chemistry and timing with all new wide receivers and tight ends.

“It’s fun. It’s been a pleasure working with them,” Tannehill said on Tuesday.

Even before the Titans traded Brown to Philadelphia on the first night of the April NFL Draft, they were busy upgrading Tannehill’s passing options. They signed the tight Austin Hooper and traded Robert Woods. They drafted receiver Treylon Burks and added tight end Chigoziem Okonkwo and receiver Kyle Philips.

Building chemistry with new teammates takes a new step with the third phase of the NFL offseason program, which begins on Monday. This includes Woods, who tore the left ACL in practice last November 12 with the Rams.

Woods, 30, wore a yellow non-contact jersey and a brace on his left knee. But he did attend a session open to reporters this Tuesday. Tannehill said he really likes to throw the ball to veterans who do things the right way.

Tannehill said of Woods, who made 570 catches from 7,077 yards, “You add such a veteran to our team and add them to our spacious receiver room and they know they’re in good hands and he’s going to lead them in the right direction.” And 35 touchdowns.

Hooper is two Pro Bowl tight ends in his last two seasons with Atlanta, combining 146 of 298 career receptions. Tannehill has been busy working with the quarterback since he joined the team’s offseason program, and Hooper had a good opportunity on Tuesday.

Tannehill said, “He has considerable size, strength and length, which definitely helps him and will help him offensively as well.”

Burks practiced on Tuesday as well, but was dealing with an unspecified problem. Tannehill said they’re trying to advance the overall 18th pick.

“You can see him in open field tackle training. I know he’s going to be a one-cut player,” Tannehill said. “He’s running, he’s big and strong. So I haven’t thrown a lot of balls at him yet. But I’m looking forward to seeing him come back on the pitch to compete with us.”

The Titans needed extra help to bolster their 24th-ranked offense last season with an average passing yards of 201.1 yards last season. Brown is targeting with 105 passes and his 63 catches are more than the total passes thrown to anyone else on the Titans’ roster.

Nick Westbrook-Ikhine finished second in reception last season and the 2020 Indiana undrafted receiver is in a position to play quietly. He made several catches in one drill on Tuesday, including a touchdown on a long pass.

Dez Fitzpatrick was a fourth-round pick in Louisville last year. Tannehill said Fitzpatrick was with him in Florida for a few days. Fitzpatrick caught only one TD and five passes for 49 yards as a rookie, but Tannehill pointed out mid Tuesday that Fitzpatrick caught the hard ball with his back safely turned.

It’s kind of a play to build the quarterback’s trust in the receiver.

“Now do you know that consistency is important? You just come out and do it every day,” Tannehill said.

Note: RB Derrick Henry, S Kevin Byard, DL Jeffery Simmons and Denico Autry were among the Titans who did not attend Tuesday’s spontaneous session. “I know everyone who isn’t here is going to get better, feel better and be ready to leave,” said Titans coach Mike Vrabel.

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Follow Teresa M. Walker at https://twitter.com/TeresaMWalker.

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