Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks has not been very involved in the Titans first two preseason games.

Combining the games against Baltimore and Tampa Bay, Burks has just one catch for four yards, and has only been targeted four times.

While his numbers aren’t what Titans fans would have hoped for, Burks’ true performance can’t be fully assessed by the boxscore. There have been multiple occasions during the preseason games that Burks has gotten separation from his defender, but has not been found by his quarterback.

Coach’s Comments

While his first game in Baltimore was described as “inconsistent” by Mike Vrabel and Rob Moore, Burks seemed to make many positive strides at home against Tampa Bay on Saturday night.

Vrabel spoke to the media on Sunday after watching back the tape, and seemed encouraged by Burks’ progress. Not really the same tune we heard a week ago.

Vrabel acknowledged that Burks can’t control if the ball is thrown his way, but thought he did some good things without the ball in his hands.

“They can’t control when they get the ball,” Vrabel said about his wide receivers. “All they control is that they get open…I was really encouraged by some of the things that he did….There were some times that he was open, and then there were some times that we would’ve like to see a better route.”

It’s not a stretch to assume that Burks could see way more targets come his way with a more experienced quarterback (Ryan Tannehill) throwing him the ball when he’s open. But, until regular season games begin, the rookie can only be assessed by the separation he creates without the football.

It would make sense for Mike Vrabel and Todd Downing to get Burks experience by drawing up plays to get him easier touches, but the Titans may be keeping those a bit closer to the vest.

I’d expect to see Burks used on quick routes to get him the ball in space once the regular season begins.

Titans coaches have raved about how difficult Burks can be to tackle, and there’s nothing better for your rookie wide receiver than giving him easy opportunities to make plays early on.

Screens, end-arounds, crossing routes, you name it.

Until then, don’t get so caught up in the stat sheets. The tape never lies.

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