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Titans receiver Corey Davis putting on show in training camp

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis waits for his turn to run a drill during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)
Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis waits for his turn to run a drill during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (Mark Humphrey / Associated Press)
By Teresa M. Walker Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans left tackle Taylor Lewan turned to reporters on the sideline one day in training camp, telling them to note the one-handed catch just hauled in by Corey Davis.

The third-year wide receiver may have topped himself Thursday.

During a red zone drill, Davis leapt and stretched out his right arm to grab the ball by its point for an impressive touchdown.

That’s exactly what the Titans, and Davis, want to see more of this season. The Titans keep reminding Davis to approach each ball in the air as his.

“There’s a lot of times where we saw that, and there’s times where we need to continue to see that,” coach Mike Vrabel said. “He’s trying to take that mindset that when it leaves a quarterback’s hand, it’s his ball and everybody thought he was throwing it way and Ryan (Tannehill) couldn’t get enough steam on it to throw it away so Corey went up and made a play.”

That’s just one example of how well Davis has played in training camp, looking like the No. 1 receiver the Titans sought when drafting him at No. 5 overall in the 2017 draft. And it’s also part of the consistency Davis wants to show this season.

“It’s huge,” Davis said. “That’s one of the big things I want to come out here and work on is me being consistent, catch the ball consistently and have my teammates and coaches rely on me first, second and third down, so that’s huge.”

The first wide receiver drafted in 2017 struggled with a hamstring injury that cost him almost all of the preseason and five games that season. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound receiver followed up by leading the Titans with 65 catches for 891 yards in his second season.

Tennessee worked this offseason to stock up the receiving corps alongside Davis. General manager Jon Robinson signed veteran Adam Humphries and then drafted A.J. Brown out of Mississippi in the second round. The return of three-time Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker also is back from a season-ending injury.

Davis is in position to benefit most from the extra help. Despite the Titans ranking 29th averaging just 189.5 yards passing per game, Davis averaged 13.7 yards per reception last season – ninth-best in the NFL among players with at least 65 catches.

Assistant coach Rob Moore thinks Davis has grown from playing every game last season and from the extra attention from opposing defenses. Moore also believes Davis’ confidence grew from his big plays in 2018, including an overtime TD catch to beat Philadelphia in his best game as a pro with nine catches for 161 yards.

“I think what you see with him is just the natural progression of the maturity in this league and him understanding how to be a pro,” Moore said.

Davis spent lots of time this offseason working with a trainer. He has worked on his route running, getting in and out of his breaks and releasing at the top of his runs. He also spent time with Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota to sharpen their timing and chemistry.

Mariota has noticed improvement.

“His body language in and out of his routes has been impressive,” Mariota said. “It makes it easy on us, he’s creating separation. Again, he’s had a countless number of plays – something that we’ve got to continue and hopefully build off of. Again, he’s put in the time and the work, and I’m just excited for him.”

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