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Titans have lofty goals after playoff appearance

Joe Avento • Apr 30, 2018 at 12:47 AM

JOHNSON CITY — After whetting their appetites with a playoff appearance last season, the Tennessee Titans are expecting bigger and better things this year.

“I know it’s not easy to make the playoffs, so that’s a tribute to the older guys,” Titans wide receiver Corey Davis said Sunday during the Titans Caravan stop at Academy Sports. “They paved the way. Hopefully we can go further this coming year.”

Davis and linebacker Jayon Brown greeted fans and signed autographs before heading on to the caravan’s next stop. The atmosphere was full of optimism following the Titans’ wild-card appearance after a 9-7 season. They rallied to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 22-21 in their first playoff game before falling 35-14 to the New England Patriots the following week.

“Last year was a good experience,” Brown said. “We had a good run and I feel like we have a lot we can improve on. This team can be really great. It can be a great season.”

The Titans added four players during last week’s NFL draft and none of them was a wide receiver. Davis laughed when that was brought to his attention.

“That just shows they have a lot of trust in our group,” he said.

For Brown, watching the draft was a completely different experience. The Titans’ first two picks were linebackers.

“I kept up with it,” he said. “They’re trying to help the team win, keep improving the defense so week in, week out we can shut people down. That’s part of the job. There’s competition either way, whether they draft somebody or bring somebody in.”

Davis, a first-round pick out of Western Michigan in 2017, had his moments as a rookie, especially in the playoffs when he caught two touchdown passes against the Patriots. A nagging hamstring injury cost him a lot of time in his first pro year.

“I have a lot of goals, but staying healthy is definitely something I want to do, God willing,” said Davis, the career leader in receiving yards for major college football. “I want to go out there and perform at a high level and help the team out. I feel like I can play with the best of them. This team does, too. It’s definitely exciting.”

The Titans will try to build upon last year’s playoff appearance with a new head coach. Mike Vrabel, a former linebacker, took over when Mike Mularkey was fired after the season.

Brown, for one, is excited about his new coach, who played 14 years in the NFL.

“It’s really good to have a head coach that played the position and played in the league for as many years as he played,” Brown said. “He knows all the things we experience as players. It’s really good having that experience as head coach.”

“The vibe is different,” Davis added. “These guys have a lot of energy. It’s a lot of fun. I’m excited to see what we can do.”

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