by Terry McCormick
The approach that Mike Mularkey is taking to this off-season is an interesting one regarding some underachieving Titans players that he has inherited.
Mularkey is promising that everyone will get a clean slate and a chance to show what he can do. He also will offer advice and expectations for the players. But you get the feeling that if the necessary response doesn’t measure up that the consequences could be severe.
Case in point is wide receiver Justin Hunter, who has teased and tantalized the Titans for three seasons now with his athletic abilities, but for all his talents, it has not translated into anything other than being an occasional deep threat and a disappointment.
Mularkey pulled Hunter into his office to deliver this bit of news.
I’m asking him to step up and be more aggressive about it – to look at the guy across from him and tell him, ‘You can’t cover me.’ He just needs more confidence in his body language and everything about him,” Mularkey said Tuesday. “He’s got such talent. I think he’s got to believe he’s got the talent.”
Mularkey said he called Hunter into his office on Tuesday before practice to deliver that message personally.
“We’re giving him opportunities. We’re gonna give them fair opportunities to show they have the talent, and he knows. I met with him his morning personally to talk to him,” Mularkey said. “I want him to be successful. I’m on his side. What’s it gonna take to get you to play at the level we want you to play at?”
Whether there has been a one-on-one meeting or not, Mularkey admitted that cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson is another player who could use a jolt in the confidence department and needs a fresh start just to hang on to his roster spot.
Running back Bishop Sankey and offensive lineman Jeremiah Poutasi are also prominent members of the disappointing high draft picks, whom Mularkey and his staff will want to see more from this summer.
And while the whole fresh start idea does have its merit, it is a double-edged sword. None of these players were drafted by new GM Jon Robinson, so the shield of past draft status is gone, leaving these players, who were just a few years ago, supposed to be foundational pieces, just hoping to show enough this summer to earn their keep in the new regime.
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