NASHVILLE – Austin Hooper's mission at the start of the offseason program is simple.
Get comfortable with the Titans, and don't get lost – not on the streets of Nashville, or at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
"Google maps is my best friend right now," the former Falcons and Browns tight end said with a smile. "I am going to get in shape, get to know my teammates and learn the systems that are in place here. And, understand how to walk around the building without getting lost.
"Day One, we are going to take some baby steps."
After spending the past two seasons in Cleveland, Hooper reported for the start of the Titans offseason program on Monday, and he plans to be a consistent participant from now until the team's minicamp in mid-June. He'll then return in July for the start of training camp, when the preparation gets even more serious for the start of the 2022 season.
While the early phases of the offseason program are voluntary, Hooper said it's important for him, as a "new guy," to be in Nashville for a number of reasons.
He wants to get up to speed as quickly as possible.
"That's the goal, right?," Hooper said.
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Hooper (6-4, 255) joined the Titans after two seasons (2020-21) in Cleveland and four years (2016-19) in Atlanta.
Over his 88-game NFL career, Hooper has started 57 games and he's tallied 298 receptions, 3,024 yards and 23 touchdowns. Hooper earned Pro Bowl honors following the 2018 and 2019 seasons, when he combined for 146 receptions in Atlanta over those two seasons, a total that ranked fourth among NFL tight ends during that span.
"I am just excited to learn this offense, my teammates, understand the system, and understand what is expected," Hooper said of his current mindset in Tennessee. "My goal is to assimilate as quickly as possible, learn the system as quickly as possible, and be ready to compete."
So, what will his approach be on his NFL team?
"I just shut my mouth and go to work, and hopefully just be appreciated," said Hooper, who accounted for 38 receptions, 345 yards and three touchdowns last year in Cleveland.
"(For me) I just shut my mouth and go to work. I will always be friendly and introduce myself; I am not the type of guy who will stick to himself and be on his own mission. But I definitely won't be the loudest guy in the locker room, that is just not my personality. I am just going to quietly do my work. I am just getting to know everybody, it's like being the new kid at school. A lot of names being thrown at me at once, and I'm sure by the end of the week I'll be able to remember everyone's first and last name. (On Monday) it was just a lot all at once."
Hooper is currently sleeping on back-up quarterback Kevin Hogan's couch. Hooper and Hogan are buddies, dating back to their playing days together at Stanford University.
Hooper also got restaurant recommendations in Nashville from former Titans lineman Jack Conklin, his former teammate with the Browns.
In time, he'll learn the city, the building, and his new teammates, from quarterback Ryan Tannehill to running back Derrick Henry to receiver A.J. Brown and more.
"I haven't met A.J. or Derrick, but I've been a fan from afar of their games," Hooper said. "I understand they are really good people, and easy to get along with. I am looking forward to competing with them, accepting my role, doing whatever I can in the run game to help Derrick out, if it means I'm in pass protection helping A.J. out, or Derrick out, whatever it might be. I am just here to do what I am asked to do."