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Titans Training Camp: Corey Davis Breakout Season

As a top-5 NFL draft selection, Corey Davis started his career with huge expectations. Having only 1266 receiving yards and 4 touchdowns through his first two season, it is safe to say that he has not lived up to the hype of his draft selection thus far. With the devastating injury to Delanie Walker and the sudden releasing of Rishard Matthews, Davis was prematurely thrusted into being the number 1 target last season. In that role, he showed a lot of glimpses of his star potential (check out my thread on Corey Davis below). However, he lacked the production and consistency of a true WR1.

Many of us already know that Corey’s production was massively stunted by the Titan’s offense and Mariota’s injury. It is crazy that he was even able to gain 891 receiving yards in an offense that ranked 31st in passing attempts and 29th in passing yards. Corey fits in perfectly with the “Good to Great” mantra that the team has been preaching all season. Corey was good last season, but we expect him to be great. We expect him to be worthy of his 5th overall selection.

A lot of people have compared Davis to Terell Owens and Demaryius Thomas. These are lofty comparisons to make for a young WR, but neither of them truly “broke out” until their 3rd season in the league. Corey Davis is still very young and I could see him finally taking that next step in terms of production in his 3rd year, like Owens and Thomas.

Demaryius Thomas
Terell Owens

Through the first couple of days of training camp, you can immediately tell that Corey has put in significant work during the offseason to hone in on all aspects of his game. I know we shouldn’t overreact to training camp reps, but this feels different. Corey is on another level this training camp and has been making splash plays everyday with more consistency.

An underrated aspect of his game is his route running. Watching Corey’s workout video from A to Z Sports, I was shocked at how crisp his routes were and how he exploded in and out of his breaks, especially for someone of his size.

He also seems to be much more confident catching the contested ball over his defenders. I mean check out this 1 on 1 against LeShaun Sims. Corey runs right past Sims and then elevates to highpoint the ball in the redzone.

Again, we have more examples against some of our best cornerbacks in Adoree Jackson and Malcolm Butler. Davis has been making these types of catches with more consistency over the past week. This should give Marcus more confidence to just throw it up to Davis and let him make a play on the ball. With this trust in Corey Davis, Marcus will be more comfortable playing “aggressive and being able to take chances when they’re there, not forcing things”, like he said in the press conference.

Finally, the crazy one-handed grab over the middle. Davis has a great blend of speed, explosiveness, and strength, but he also has some great hands. Corey has developed that “my ball” mentality. Coach Vrabel reiterated this point by saying “anytime the ball is in the air, it’s his ball”. The message is clear that they want to give him more touches this season. If these few clips can translate to game days, Davis will without a doubt become a household name by the end of the season.

Another thing that I have noticed is that not only has Corey gained more confidence in himself, but everyone around him seems to be a lot more confident in him as well. Mike Vrabel has come out and even stated explicitly how Davis is one of the leaders on the offense and the “clear cut #1 WR on the team”. That is a lot of confidence coming from the head coach. WR Taywan Taylor was quoted saying, “[Corey Davis] is a man among boys. That’s his mindset everyday and that’s our leader”. At a position that requires a lot of swagger and confidence, it feels like Corey Davis has finally found that moxie in himself moving into year 3 to elevate his game.

However, can Marcus stay healthy? Can the passing offense finally click? How will Arthur Smith fare in his first season? Will Corey Davis get more targets this season? These are all the questions that need to come together for Corey to reach that next level as a top-tier WR. The Titan’s have not had great luck with WR’s in the past, but hopefully Corey Davis can be the one to break that trend in 2019.