On a team with no established wide receivers, second-year pro Treylon Burks represents the closest thing the Tennessee Titans have to a playmaker at the position.
Burks, who had 33 catches for 444 yards and one touchdown in a rookie season filled with conditioning and injury issues, elected to stay in Nashville this off-season to train at the team’s facility in the hopes of putting those things behind him as he embarks on his second year in the NFL.
“I feel faster because I can breathe,” Burks said Tuesday.
Burks’ rookie season began with issues related in part to asthma, which limited the 2022 first-round pick in OTAs and mini-camp. Burks had remedied most of that by the time training camp arrived, but turf toe, some soft tissue injuries and a concussion hampered his production as well.
“I feel great. I’m running fast and not having any problems with breathing and really just having fun. I’m in a really good state of mind and I’m just thankful,” Burks said. “I’ve been here the whole off-season. I didn’t go train on the beach or anything. I wanted to stay here at the facility and just bond and make a connection with the coaches, but also just get ahead on the things that I know I”m going to be doing in the off-season. Now, I know I’ve already done it the last couple of months.”
Burks, in meeting with reporters on Tuesday, looked a bit more muscular and fit as he goes through off-season work.
“My biggest thing was not repeating what I did last year in the off-season. I feel like I’ve mastered that and can keep going and getting better with a lot of the formations and concepts of our new stuff. Just having fun, really,” Burks said. “Not having that stress coming in as a rookie like trying to prove to this guy this, and the coaches this.”
After hardly addressing a position that was among the weakest spots on the team last year, the Titans desperately need Burks, who was acquired in the draft with the pick the Titans received for dealing A.J. Brown to Philadelphia, to become a top-level wide receiver.
Still, Burks said it is not necessarily his goal to be labeled as the No. 1 receiver.
“I would just say my goal is to make plays for the team, be where I’m supposed to be and be a great teammate,” he said.
Burks is likely to command some double teams from opposing secondaries, which he seemed fine with, saying, “That’s why I’ve got teammates, because if I’m doubled, then somebody else is wide open.”
Despite the lack of lofty additions at receiver – the Titans signed journeyman Chris Moore and drafted Colton Dowell in the seventh round – Burks said he won’t put undue pressure on himself this season to produce.
“It doesn’t put any pressure on me. … I would say that we know in the wideout room that we’re gonna play whoever is in the room. Everybody is going to play their hardest and play for the team,” Burks said.