Dorial Green-Beckham Feeling Strong Late in Season


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Dorial Green-Beckham ran through the rookie wall.

In the team's 12th game of the season, the Titans receiver had a breakout game on Sunday against the Jaguars. Green-Beckham caught five passes for 119 yards, including 47-yard touchdown catch, in the contest.

The performance came just a few days after interim coach Mike Mularkey talked to the team's first-year players about the "rookie wall" many players experience while adapting to the NFL after playing shorter college seasons.

Green-Beckham said he's not dragging, and his play backed him up.

"I still feel good and healthy,'' Green-Beckham said. "I knew it was going to be a long season. I was thinking about how it would be more games. But I've done everything I can to take care of myself."

A year off, and limited reps, might've helped Green-Beckham's cause.

After playing in 14 games during the 2013 season at Missouri, Green-Beckham didn't play the entire 2014 season after transferring to Oklahoma because of the NCAA transfer rules.

The Titans selected him in the second round of the NFL Draft, and the team was careful not to overload him with too much work, too soon.

Green-Beckham played in three preseason contests, and he's played in the team's first 12 regular season games.

Mularkey said Green-Beckham's reduced workload early has kept him fresh late.

"I think it's maybe because he hasn't has a gazillion reps, but he is going strong,'' Mularkey said of Green-Beckham. "I haven't seen (fatigue) at all from him. Maybe having the year off, he doesn't know the difference. But he is going strong."

Green-Beckham said he's tried to do the "little things" to stay fresh, like getting extra rest and spending time in the hot tub and cold tub. He's been drinking plenty of fluids, he said.

"I understand guys who just came out of college and actually played. I can understand their bodies are at that point of hitting the wall,'' he said. "But I feel good to go. My body has been going, and I feel in good shape."

From a confidence standpoint, the Titans think Green-Beckham should be riding high as well.

Sunday's performance was easily Green-Beckham's best as a pro. He caught five balls for 77 yards in a win at New Orleans, but he was quiet in the weeks that followed. The Titans also liked Green-Beckham's resiliency – he made some big plays after a drop led to an interception earlier in the game.

"He's got the physical gift," quarterback Marcus Mariota said. "I hope this game gives him all the confidence in the world, because he can do this week-in and week-out. He did a great job at keeping his head...He was able to keep his cool and was able to make big plays."

On the season, Green-Beckham now has 21 catches for 362 yards and three touchdowns. He leads the team with a 17.2-yard average per catch.

Green-Beckham, the 40th overall pick and the eighth receiver taken in the 2015 NFL Draft, has more receptions, yards and touchdowns than six of the seven wide receivers selected in front of him, with the lone exception being the fourth overall pick, Oakland's Amari Cooper (62 receptions for 920 yards).

On Sunday, the Titans face the New York Jets.

"There's always room to improve, and that comes with a lot of focus,'' Green-Beckham said. "I know I have to keep it going. Next week, I've got to do the same thing. I've got to keep moving forward and stay consistent."


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