Tajae Sharpe doesn’t play like a rookie.
Nor does he want to.
Sharpe had another strong game in preseason, with six catches for 68 yards in the Tennessee Titans’ 26-16 preseason loss to Carolina on Saturday.
“I don’t want to look like a rookie. I just want to look like an NFL receiver, and I just want to continue to work hard. Preparation is key,” Sharpe said.
Sharpe has quickly earned the trust of Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, catching all passes that were thrown his way by Mariota on Saturday.
“He makes it easy. He’s a very versatile athlete, and he’s done a lot for us already. He creates separation in his routes,” Mariota said.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the chemistry between Mariota and Sharpe has developed quickly.
“I think it’s a big trust level,” Mularkey said. “What you’re seeing is what he basically does in practice. He’s made some bigger catches today, some big catches that we haven’t had here in a while.”
Sharpe said the chemistry is all about working hard and doing the right things in practice, then translating it to the game.
“I continue to work as hard as I can throughout the week so that he knows the position I’m going to be in and that I can be a reliable target,” Sharpe said.
For Sharpe, who left his preseason debut as a precaution for a concussion, being able to play more against Carolina was one of his goals this week.
“I just wanted to come out here, being that my day was cut a little bit short in the first preseason game, I wanted to come out and make a statement and be a reliable target for Marcus,” Sharpe said.
Teammates are noticing as well.
“I tell him in the huddle, ‘Keep eating. Keep doing what you’re doing We notice that,’” tight end Delanie Walker said .
Receiver Harry Douglas was even more complimentary of Sharpe.
“I don’t know how he lasted till the fifth round,” Douglas said. “I’m glad, because he’s with us. But from day one, I saw it. Some people just have that ‘it’ factor, and he has it.”