For all of the talk surrounding the Tennessee Titans’ wide receivers, Dez Fitzpatrick has managed to fly under the radar. After a shaky rookie campaign, Fitzpatrick looks poised to produce for the Titans in his second season.
Fitzpatrick’s development will be crucial for the Titans’ passing game. Sure, Robert Woods, Treylon Burks, Kyle Philips, and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine will likely enter the season in front of him on the depth chart, but if last year taught us anything it’s that depth at receiver is vital to survive in the AFC.
Fitzpatrick entered training camp as one of Mike Vrabel’s offseason award winners. Fitzpatrick was accompanied by FB Tory Carter and RT Dillon Radunz on offense along with CB Caleb Farley, S Amani Hooker, and DL DeMarcus Walker on the defensive side.
.@Titans Offseason Award winners:— Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) July 27, 2022
Showed great commitment and improvement, per Vrabel
Drafted in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Titans waived Fitzpatrick after training camp before bringing him back on the practice squad.
He finished the season playing in four games with just five catches for 49 yards and one touchdown. The growing pains were obvious in the team’s Week 11 loss to the Houston Texans as Fitzpatrick ran the wrong route, leading to a Ryan Tannehill interception.
However, you can tell that something has clicked with Fitzpatrick this offseason. Winning the offseason award is a good sign, but video evidence from Titans practice leads me to believe he has fine-tuned his game.
#Titans' Vrabel: Says a year on the practice squad gave confidence to WR Dez Fitzpatrick. Was targeted a lot, caught a lot of passes. Also helped him understand the daily ins and outs of NFL life.— John Glennon (@glennonsports) July 27, 2022
Here he is running an intricate route across the middle of the field, creating space from DB Chris Jackson as he hauls in the pass.
It’s just one play, but this video looks much different from the ones that were coming out at this time last year, honing in on his drop issues.
I have high hopes for Fitzpatrick heading into the season. Titans fans saw the jump NWI made in year two and I believe Dez can make the same leap. Hopefully the Titans can stay healthy at receiver this season, but I’m starting to feel comfortable with the idea of Fitzpatrick stepping in and producing when his name is called.
Featured image via George Walker IV/Tennessean.com/USA TODAY Sports