|Titans looking for receivers to catch on, step up|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 21 May 2007 14:23|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -Vince Young's pass went off the hands of rookie receiver Paul Williams, and another went through Courtney Roby's hands before bouncing off his chest Monday.|
Then Roydell Williams caught a pass at the goal line, sidestepped a defender and ran into the end zone. Free agent signee Justin Gage followed with a pretty one-handed grab for a would-be touchdown.
The Tennessee Titans' need to sign a veteran receiver like Keyshawn Johnson depends on who's catching balls - or not - at any given moment.
Johnson spent Friday visiting with the Titans, then left town and will consider offers as he looks for a team willing to pay well for a receiver who caught 70 passes at the ripe age of 34 last season. Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who called the visit good, said Monday he wasn't worried about the dropped passes.
But Fisher still remains quiet on signing Johnson, a receiver whose career 815 catches easily dwarfs the experience of the Titans' receiving corps combined.
``We're going to let things play themselves out,'' Fisher said.
How soon could that be?
``I think anytime that you have interest in a player and there's a potential for signing, you would like to get him in as soon as possible. I don't think that this is going to be the case with Keyshawn,'' Fisher said.
The only thing known right now about the Titans' receivers is that no one can be called No. 1. David Givens is still recovering from two surgeries on his left knee. Two-year veteran Brandon Jones, whose 27 catches led all receivers still on the roster, said it's not him.
``I'm in the middle of the pack. I haven't done anything, just like the rest of the guys. We've got a lot of young guys who haven't done much. I only had 27 catches last year, so you can't say you're the No. 1 guy because No. 1 guys are like Chad Johnson,'' Jones said of the Cincinnati receiver.
``We're all working together. The No. 1 guy is Vince Young. The No. 1 guy is the offensive line, the guys that have done something. ... We're just out here helping. We'll see who will be the No. 1 guy.''
Gage, who caught only four passes last year with Chicago, said opportunity to play was what attracted him to Tennessee in free agency. The 6-foot-4 receiver has 64 career catches, with an average of 14 yards per reception.
``Knowing the talent we have, it's going to be a battle. I definitely think we have some good receivers that can take us as far as we want to go,'' he said.
The Titans chose defense and Michael Griffin with the No. 19 pick overall in April, hoping to convert the Texas safety to cornerback. They used three picks on receivers, starting with Paul Williams of Fresno State in the third round, and his first day with the team was Monday.
``He looked like he just got in,'' Fisher said. ``He was a little inconsistent, but he will settle down. When we had him a few weeks ago, by the third practice he was doing some good things, so he will settle down.''
With receivers coach Ray Sherman joining Wade Phillips in Dallas, Fisher hired Fred Graves to take over. Graves coached Steve Smith and Kevin Dyson in college at Utah, and in the NFL has been with Buffalo, Cleveland and Detroit.
Graves brought along his techniques, including having receivers toss bricks to each other, and Williams said they realize Graves has a plan behind each of his unusual drills - even the bricks.
``After I did it the first day, I felt a big improvement. I felt the difference. It makes you concentrate a whole lot more because when you're catching those bricks, you don't want to drop that brick and risk the chance of it hitting your feet,'' he said.
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