NASHVILLE, Tenn. — To say the Tennessee Titans‘ passing recreation struggled final season could be an understatement. Tennessee’s 3,222 passing yards ranked twenty ninth out of 32 groups.
The Titans’ vast receiver group accounted for 1,595 of these yards, putting them 3oth within the NFL. To place that into perspective, Minnesota Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson (1,809 yards) and Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill (1,710) had extra receiving yards than Tennessee’s total group.
That quantity ought to enhance this season with the addition of free agent wideout DeAndre Hopkins.
It was introduced that Hopkins was expected to sign with the group July 16, and the deal was made official Monday.
Heading into his eleventh 12 months, Hopkins instantly turns into the most-tenured and achieved receiver on the Titans. Since being drafted by the Houston Texans in 2013, Hopkins has had extra receptions (853) than every other receiver, and his 11,298 receiving yards are the second-most over that span.
The Titans’ receivers collectively solely completed with 100 or extra yards receiving in two video games final season. In 9 video games final season, Hopkins achieved that feat twice in addition to he amassed 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns.
The Titans additionally ranked Twenty eighth in drop price final season and final in drop proportion on third down.
Including a sure-handed Hopkins provides Tennessee a viable possibility on the skin reverse promising second-year receiver Treylon Burkswho caught 33 passes for 444 yards and a landing final 12 months in 11 video games. The addition of Hopkins ought to have the ability to assist the event of Burks, who was anticipated to be Tennessee’s prime receiving possibility after exhibiting flashes as a rookie.
At 31 years previous, although, Hopkins is a participant that is aware of what it takes to be a lead wideout within the NFL. That bodes effectively for Burks and must also take among the strain off of him.
“He is an important participant,” Burks stated of Hopkins in June. “He could be an important mentor. I’ve watched D-Hop since I used to be youthful, certainly one of my favourite gamers. He carries himself the fitting manner, and his recreation on the sector speaks for itself.”
With Hopkins within the combine, fellow vast receiver free agent addition Chris Moore and 2022 starter Nick Westbrook-Ikhine are actually pushed into extra appropriate roles as rotational gamers. Second-year receiver Kyle Phillips will work principally from the slot when the Titans use three-receiver units.
The first packages on passing downs for the Titans will encompass Burks and Hopkins on the skin with Philips within the slot and an explosive participant in Chigoziem Okonkwo at tight finish. New offensive coordinator Tim Kelly will likely be tasked with discovering methods to get the ball to his playmakers.
“It’s an excellent problem to must try to discover other ways to get them the ball and get them matched up in favorable matchups,” Kelly stated. “As soon as we’re in a position to determine that out, put them in that spot as many instances as potential.”
Kelly was the Texans’ play caller in 2019, which was Hopkins’ final season with the group earlier than he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. He has proven a likeness for using Hopkins as a slot receiver previously.
Regardless of taking part in 110 fewer snaps, Hopkins noticed a rise from 163 (15.8%) snaps within the slot to 278 snaps (30.2%) underneath Kelly in 2019, in response to NFL Subsequent Gen Stats. That pattern ought to proceed in Tennessee the place they anticipate the receivers to be versatile and transfer across the formation and line up in other places.
Maybe nobody advantages from including Hopkins as a lot as quarterback Ryan Tannehill. In response to ESPN Stats & Info, since Tannehill joined the Titans in 2019, he leads the league in each QBR and yards per try on play-action passes. Hopkins over that very same span has recorded 99 catches off play-action (eighth-most), and that’s regardless of lacking 16 video games in that span.
Tennessee has been profitable with play-action as a result of groups are likely to stack the field to attempt to cease working again Derrick Henrywho’s 1,538 speeding yards ranked second final season. Now defenses must fear about the specter of Hopkins and Henry, which could possibly be mutually helpful for each.
One other space that Tannehill stands to achieve with Hopkins is his pass-catching potential. Hopkins had just one drop on 95 targets final season.
Tennessee’s group of receivers was comparatively unproven after the preliminary wave of free company and the draft. And ESPN’s Mike Clay ranked the Titans as having the worst receiver group within the league.
That is now not the case. Titans basic supervisor Ran Carthon performed the lengthy recreation and received a three-time All-Professional wideout in Hopkins simply in time for the beginning of coaching camp.
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Printed : 2023-07-24 19:46:21