Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Kyle Philips has been making waves with his performance in training camp.
His combination of speed and precise route running have made Philips stand out from the pack in early practices, and established his reputation as a more reliable option for his quarterbacks.
For a while, Philips was just being watched from afar by Titans starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill, but as Philips has continues to prove himself, the rookie has been afforded more opportunity.
Thursday’s practice provided an example of why Philips is likely to succeed in the Titans offense, and it actually has more to do with his wrong doings on the field.
During team 11-on-11 period red zone, Philips made what he called a “mental error” on a route, and was clearly not on the same page as Tannehill, who threw an incompletion, and chewed into the rookie for his error.
Following the period, Tannehill and Philips spent time talking, and later bounced back by scoring a touchdown on an identical play in the back of the end zone.
Philips broke the interaction down for me after practice:
“On that one play, I had a mental error, and the ball was supposed to go to me, so I let the whole team down,” Philips told me. “Especially because it was third down in the red zone, that’s a huge play for the team, so let the whole team down.”
“Ryan talked to me, corrected it, we were able to come back to it, and score a touchdown.”
For a guy who already seems to be technically sound, the next step for Philips as a rookie is building the chemistry with Tannehill.
The communication between a quarterback and his wide receivers is vital, and today was a perfect example of a philosophy Mike Vrabel and the Titans have been preaching all summer:
Don’t make the same mistake twice.
Of course, you’d love not to make mistakes at all, but that’s obviously not how things work. It’s football.
The good news is, my early impression of Philips gives me reason to believe he won’t be doing a whole lot of that, and when he does, he’ll take the accountability necessary to fix it.
I continue to be impressed by both his play and his demeanor.