Rookie wide receiver Corey Davis had a key catch among his four grabs Sunday for the Tennessee Titans in their win in Indianapolis.
But Davis also showed that he is still a work in progress. One game after a couple of his routes according to him, led to Marcus Mariota interceptions against Pittsburgh, Davis’ struggles blocking a bubble screen against the Colts was called out by Coach Mike Mularkey. Specifically, Davis allowed a Colts defender he was supposed to block on a pass to Eric Decker to get through him and blow up the play.
“He’s got to learn to block those screens. He knows this, I never send any hidden messages through the media to the players, we’ve already had a talk,” Mularkey said. “He’s got to do a better job blocking in our run game, not just on the screens but our run game. We had some plays that if he had blocked, we’d have bigger plays. Got to do a better job.”
Davis, the Titans’ first-round pick is still finding his way after missing time with a hamstring injury, offered no excuses, only the promise of doing what he can to get better.
“When it’s coming from the head man, it’s got to (impact you). When I saw that, it kind of hit me. I know I’ve got to block better, and I’ve got to do a lot of things better which I will. I definitely will,” Davis said. “I’m going to focus on that this week and make sure that next week every thing is cleaned up. I have no problem blocking. This last game I just did a poor job, and I’ve got to get back to my ways and go out there and be physical and get the job done.”
Titans wide receivers are expected to block in the run game (and the short passing game too in this case) and Mularkey said that might be new to Davis, who was primarily a pass catcher at Western Michigan, though he said he was expected to block there as well.
Mularkey just wants more consistency from the rookie.
“There are shots of it. It just got to be more consistent, it’s got to be about finishing. A lot of guys, young guys especially, they look behind to see if the ball carrier’s coming and I just tell him, ‘He’s coming, I promise you. Just keep blocking, he’s coming.’ Especially our guys” Mularkey said.
Davis said that he will not use the time he missed in camp, preseason and the regular season as an excuse when it comes to any aspect of his game.
“That’s just an excuse. I missed camp and I missed a lot of games, which is unfortunate. But I’m here now and I’ve got to go out there and perform and do my job” he said.
Safety Da’Norris Searcy (ankle) and wide receiver Rishard Matthews (hamstring) both sat out Wednesday’s practice, but might be able to practice on Thursday, Mularkey said.
Also, linebacker Brian Orakpo was given the day off to rest a sore shoulder, but should be back Thursday as well. Offensive lineman Brian Schwenke was out of practice due to illness.