NASHVILLE, Tenn. – New Titans receivers coach Frisman Jackson is preaching toughness, and winning battles.
He wants his pupils to play with a swagger, while delivering daggers.
"Toughness,'' Jackson said on Tuesday. "When I first met with these guys and sat in a room with them, and got around all of them at the same time, the one thing I talked to them about is, 'We're going to be the toughest group on the field. Whether we are the o-line, d-line, linebackers, we want to be known as the toughest, most physical group on the field and that's what we work toward every day.'
"I am preaching toughness from the moment I step in the room in meetings. And when we're on the field it's about toughness, toughness, toughness and being physical."
Jackson, hired earlier this offseason, said his players have bought in, from returning veterans Rishard Matthews and Harry Douglas to rookies Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor. He's also stressing the details.
He wants guys to be aggressive getting the ball.
"It is our ball when it is in the air,'' Jackson said. "It is our ball or it is nobody's ball. We have to continue to develop that trust, that Marcus (Mariota) will have trust in us. When it is third-and-nine and the guys are glued to us all over, he is going to throw it to us anyway and we are going to come down with it.
"So it is about continuing to build that trust with Marcus, and continuing to build that trust with all the quarterbacks, and going from there. But when the ball is in the air it has to be our football."
In his first session with reporters after Tuesday's minicamp, Jackson raved about Davis, and Taylor.
"When you see Corey out there, you see an imposing figure,'' Jackson said of the team's first-round pick. "He is a big dude who can run. You see why he went as high as he did and see why he was such a highly touted guy coming into the draft. He has strong hands, he can run, and he is competitive. I like having him on the field. He is a difference maker and he should be able to make some plays for us.
"Taywan, you are looking at a guy who loves football, it is important for him to do things the right way. He is bigger than what you think, stronger than what you think. When you look at him you see a 5-11 guy, but he is strong as heck … and he wants to be good. Every single day he has gotten better."
Jackson, who previously served as Temple's passing game coordinator and receivers coach, is a former NFL receiver with over 20 years of football experience.
With the Titans, he was reunited with offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, his former coach when he played for the Cleveland Browns. At Temple, Jackson worked under offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas, an offensive assistant with the Falcons when Titans coach Mike Mularkey and Robiskie coached in Atlanta.
Jackson played four seasons in the National Football League as a wide receiver after initially joining the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He played in 34 games for the Browns from 2002-05, where Robiskie served as both his receivers coach and offensive coordinator. A quarterback/receiver in college, Jackson starred at Northern Illinois before transferring Western Illinois.
Jackson said he's excited about being reunited with Robiskie.
He's also excited about his quarterback.
"I love our quarterback," Jackson said of Mariota. "I love (all) our quarterbacks. I was a quarterback in college so my guys get mad because I always tell them: No matter what, I am always going to side with the quarterback."
Titans players the field for Day 1 of a three-day minicamp at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)