Justin Hunter hears more complaints from Titans coaches


During the spring, Titans receivers coach Shawn Jefferson lit into rookie wide receiver Justin Hunter for not fighting through injuries that were keeping him off the practice field.

Hunter has continued to be a target of coaches and his teammates for not being tough enough and his preseason debut gave coaches another reason to stay on the rookie. Hunter, who the Titans traded up to pick in the second round, caught a pass beyond the sticks on third down, but wound up short of the marker when he doubled back in an attempt to get more yards. That didn’t sit well with the Titans staff.

“They were waiting for me,” Hunter said, via the Tennessean. “They were very mad. They were trying to get me to understand that when it’s third down, get what you can and get down. You have to get the first down. I was trying to get more than what I had. I should’ve gone down.”

It’s the kind of mistake you see a lot from rookies who need to refine their games, which is part of the reason why few receivers make a huge impact in their first seasons. Taken with the other criticisms, it suggests Hunter has a way to go before he’ll be in position to boost the offense.

With Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright and Nate Washington on hand, the Titans don’t need Hunter to be the focal point of the passing game from day one. They didn’t move up to pick him so that he could just sit on the bench and watch, though, so making enough progress to be a contributor would be welcomed in Tennessee.

12 responses to “Justin Hunter hears more complaints from Titans coaches

  1. This is easily the best receiving corps the Titans have had since they relocated to Tennessee 16 years ago. It’s been a long time coming. Now let’s just hope Jake Locker’s uncanny likeness to a young Steve McNair continues and mirrors No. 9’s growth into an MVP QB.

  2. I hate to say it as a Texans fan, but this guy has a lot of potential. Is his head screwed on right, though? And is he tough enough? Guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  3. Shawn Jefferson has “coached” Megatron for the last few years. He’s been spoiled and now actually has to coach.

  4. As a longtime Titan fan I hope I’m wrong but Hunter seems soft and I don’t see him being a very good receiver in this league.

  5. I don’t think what the coaches are doing is really gonna help this kid. Let him play his game, let him play to the best of “his” ability. It was a freaking preseason game, nothing to gloat over, rookies are rookies, & they’ll continue to make mistakes. I don’t think screaming at a receiver is gonna bode well for either side (the coaches will get fed up & they limit his reps, & Hunter doesn’t get any better). This is not a knock on Titans fans, but this could be the reason why you don’t have “quality” WR’s (Britt has the potential, but he has to change his style off-the-field, Wright can’t do it all, & Washington is mediocre). Just saying.

  6. “Get what you can and get down. You have to get the first down.” That’s a pretty deep concept for a professional wr isn’t it?! He’s not exactly a member of Mensa, is he?

  7. End of the world in his first preseason game? No. Roddy White kind of did the same thing in the Falcons game last night (not sure if it was third down, but he caught the ball and gave up yards trying unsuccessfully to make another move). Really good veteran receivers are guilty of it sometimes, too.

    But definitely something you want the coaches giving him an earful about, so he’ll have more situational awareness next time.

    Seems like his head is on straight about the tough love coaching so far. But Hunter definitely looks like he could really use a year in the weight room and an extra 15 lbs so he can be more physical. His “soft” reputation isn’t helped by how unimposing he looks against NFL competition, with that very lanky frame of his.

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