When many Tennessee Titans players took off their helmets following the end of Tuesday’s practice of OTAs, receiver A.J. Brown left his on. He went right back to work, teaming up with veteran Corey Davis to get in some extra reps.

“You’ve got to pay the cost to be the boss,” Brown said. “I’m out here with Corey. That’s the guy. I’m learning everything I can.”

Davis commented last week that he was looking forward to getting to work with Brown. Now that he’s getting that chance, he’s taking on a leadership role.

“He’s a great teacher,” Brown said of Davis. “I’m definitely going to listen to him. As I said, he’s done it at a high level…I think it’s just in him. He’s a great guy. When I got drafted, he hit me up, he texted me congratulations, stuff like that.”

During phase three of the NFL offseason, which the Titans are currently in, coaches can only work with players on the field for a limited amount of time. Limitations such as that make it all the more important for rookies to lean on veterans for extra help.

“I think it’s critical to building a team,” head coach Mike Vrabel said. “It starts with your position group, but it’s got to permeate throughout the locker room, and I think that it has. I think that A.J.’s smart to pick Corey out—he’s been through a lot of the same things that A.J.’s about to encounter as a professional athlete and a young wide receiver.”

I think if you look across the board,” quarterback Marcus Mariota said, “the number of guys that were out after practice in general, whether it was the corners, the secondary, the defensive guys, our offensive lineman.

“I think that culture’s been built in the locker room of finding ways to improve, ways to get better. That really starts up top. I think Coach Vrabel does a great job of laying out what he expects from us, and he really just wants the best for us. That is a great example of what he’s done and what he’s instilled here.”

For A.J. Brown, the extra work after practice is helping him with his transition to the professional game. After all, he’s been a member of the team for just over three weeks, and he is very much still getting his feet wet when it comes to learning the playbook.

“I’m being asked to run every route in the route tree, now,” Brown said. “I was predominately a slot guy [in college], then moved to the outside. Right now, I’m being asked to run everything, learn everything.”

Someone who will undoubtedly play a big role in helping Brown’s transition, in addition to Corey Davis, is Mike Vrabel. Vrabel worked with Brown early on in Tuesday’s practice, playing the role of an inside linebacker as Brown attempted to run routes.

“It means a lot, honestly,” Brown said when asked about Vrabel’s hands-on approach. “He’s talking me through the route, telling me what I’m going to see, how should I stem with the top of the route. Him being out there in the middle of everything means a lot.”

Cover image: Luke Worsham/A to Z Sports Nashville