NASHVILLE — Nobody expects more of Tennessee wide receiver Corey Davis than Davis himself.
The No. 5 pick overall in 2017, and the first receiver drafted that year, goes into his final season of his contract with the Titans after they declined to pick up his fifth-year option.
Davis knows it's time to show the Tennessee Titans, and the rest of the NFL, what he can do.
“My mindset is different,” he said. “I tend to put way too much pressure on myself and expect a lot out of myself because I know what I’m capable of doing. Some things you just got to put in God’s hands, and go out there and play fast and control what you can control.”
Davis has tantalized the Titans at times with his toe-tapping catches on the sideline and leaping grabs. His best season came in 2018 when he had 65 catches for 891 yards and four touchdowns. He appeared ready to dominate a year ago when he repeatedly made highlight catches in training camp.
Then the Titans stumbled to a 2-4 start with the offence struggling so much that Marcus Mariota was benched for Ryan Tannehill.
Rookie A.J. Brown, the 51st overall pick in the second round, showed immediate chemistry with Tannehill and wound up as the Titans' leading receiver with a team-high 52 catches for 1,051 yards and eight TDs. Davis was second with 43 receptions for 601 yards and two TDs.
Davis was praised for his blocking downfield in the run game, and Derrick Henry did become the NFL rushing leader. But that's not why the 6-foot-3, 209-pound receiver was drafted out of Western Michigan.
“He made some really big plays for us in the past in the passing game, run game,” offensive co-ordinator Arthur Smith said. “It gives us another big physical presence on the field and just another guy that can move the ball. He does a good job with the ball in his hands, getting yards after contact."
As the Titans declined Davis’ fifth-year option earlier this year, they picked up the fifth-year option for cornerback Adoree Jackson, the 18th overall draft pick in 2017.
Davis had surgery to repair an injured toe early this off-season . With the pandemic affecting the off-season , Davis started training camp on the physically unable to perform list. He passed his physical Monday and was on the practice field that day.
“Got this toe thing figured out so I’m able to just move forward and focus on perfecting my craft and helping this team take it to the next level,” Davis said.
With defences expected to focus more on Brown this season, that should give Davis more favourable matchups. Davis said that benefits himself and the Titans with all he has to do is make plays. He sees plenty of potential in a receiving corps that also includes veteran Adam Humphries and Kalif Raymond.
“We definitely got some potential, I’ll tell you that,” Davis said. “We all know what A.J. (Brown) can do as well as Hump, so we got some talent.”
Davis knows he has to produce this season, if not for the Titans then for another NFL team.
“Just leave the rest up to God and give it everything you’ve got, and that’s what I’m planning on doing this year,” Davis said. “I’m not really focusing on the contracts, nothing. I’m just going to go out there and play football and handle my business, and everything will take care of itself.”
NOTES: The Titans had new QB Trevor Siemian at practice after working him out Wednesday. Siemian with his 25 NFL starts replaced Cole McDonald, their seventh-round pick out of Hawaii, who was waived. Coach Mike Vrabel said the Titans just wanted to look at another quarterback. ... The Titans activated DL Jack Crawford off the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
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Teresa M. Walker, The Associated Press