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A Year Later, Titans Receiver Kyle Philips Ready to Reintroduce Himself


NASHVILLE – Kyle Philips remembers what he felt like this time last year – a freshman.

Heading into Year 2, he feels different, in more ways than one.

"Last year I came in as a rookie, real nervous, new team, a bunch of guys I didn't know," Philips said. "Now it feels a lot different. I am a lot more comfortable with the coaches, and all the guys around here. I know more about what to expect.

"So, I am having a lot more fun."

Philips is also bigger, and he hopes to stay that way.

A fifth-round pick of the Titans in the 2022 NFL Draft, the shifty receiver from UCLA turned heads during offseason workouts a year ago. When training camp began, he picked up where he left off, winning one-on-ones against teammates, and also against veteran DBs in joint practices against the Buccaneers and Cardinals.

After an impressive Week One performance against the Giants – he led the team with six receptions for 66 yards, and he also added four punt returns for 62 yards and a 15.5-yard average – he was on track.

Shoulder and hamstring injuries derailed his season, however, and kept him out of 13 of the team's 17 games.

This offseason he's been on a mission to regain his form, while adding more size and strength.

"I don't get hurt too often, but it happened (last year) and it's out of the way now. I was able to take what I could from it, grow from it, and learn going forward," Philips said.

"This offseason has been putting good healthy weight on, learning this offense, conditioning, running routes and getting used to new teammates."

Philips trained in San Diego the first part of the offseason before returning to work with his teammates in Nashville during the offseason program, including OTAs and minicamp.

The 5-foot-11 Philips said he's followed an improved diet under the direction of nutrition coordinator Lauren Silvio. He's eating cleaner now, laying off the junk food.

After being in the low 180s at the start of his rookie season, his plan was to start this year around 190 to 195 pounds.

He's currently listed at 189 pounds on the team's roster, but his playing weight this fall is still to be determined.

Philips said he's added "a little bit of armor" but it's a work in progress.

"I want to put some good weight on, but I don't want to lose my quickness and my speed," Philips said. "I'm going to try to keep it going, but just keep it a steady process."

Titans receiver coach Rob Moore thinks Philips can benefit from the bulk.

"I think for him, as long as he keeps what makes him special – his short-area quickness, he has really good route imagination, his ability to create separation – it's a good thing," Moore said of Philips. "I think as long as those things don't get affected, I am OK with that."

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been impressed by what he's seen from Philips this offseason.

"He seems to be moving really well," Tannehill said of Philips. "I'm excited with his progression and what he can add to the offense."

Philips said he's confident about what's next in his NFL career.

While a good part of the offseason chatter from fans has been on receiver Treylon Burks, the team's first round pick from a year ago, or about who else the team could add to the receiving corps before the season, in some ways Philips is a forgotten man.

He just smiled when asked about that during recent OTAs.

"Maybe I am a forgotten guy to some, but I don't pay attention to that," Philips said. "I focus on what I need to, which is to learn this offense, get to know some new teammates, and get better every day."

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