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Rishard Matthews Developing Chemistry with Mariota, Teammates


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Rishard Matthews spent his first four NFL seasons catching passes from other quarterbacks in another city.

Matthews, signed by the Titans in March, began his career with the Miami Dolphins.

This month, he's beginning to find a comfort zone with his new team, and a new quarterback in Marcus Mariota.

"This is where you develop the chemistry,'' Matthews said. "If you don't have chemistry with your quarterback, it is kind of hard to connect on Sundays and game days. But we have been staying after throwing with the limited time that we get and I think it is going good so far."

Matthews said he's been impressed with Mariota.

"He's a great leader,'' Matthews said. "He is doing what he needs to do to lead this team. He is a hard worker in the weight room and on the field. And he is taking the right steps to learn the offense and control the offense. He is doing a great job...And I think the room that we have is really good."

Matthews, who played from 2012-2015 with the Dolphins, is coming off his best season as a pro.

In 2015, his first year as a full-time starter, Matthews had a career-high 43 catches for 662 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games, before exiting early in the 11th game with a season-ending rib injury. Matthews got the attention of the Titans in a game at Nissan Stadium on Oct. 18, when he had six catches for 85 yards, and made some tough catches across the middle.

In four NFL seasons, Matthews has 107 catches for 1,396 yards and eight touchdowns.

"Everything has been going good, smoothly. The transition is great,'' Matthews said. "The guys on the team are cool. The coaches are cool. I have just been putting the work in.

"A lot of guys are bringing a lot of energy every day. I don't know how it was previous, but from what I have seen there's a lot of energy and guys having fun. And you put those two and it's a great combination."

A seventh-round pick in 2012 out of Nevada, Matthews is part of a group of Titans receivers that includes Kendall Wright, Harry Douglas, Justin Hunter, Dorial Green-Beckham, Tre McBride and Andrew Turzilli, along with Tajae Sharpe, who was drafted in the fifth round of this year's NFL Draft out of Massachusetts.

Matthews said he's fitting in. On the Titans Caravan, he also got a chance to mingle with some of the fans who will be cheering for him this fall.

"So far it has been going good,'' he said. "Everywhere you go you see Titans fans, and you can tell they are excited. And I am just hoping we can make them more excited."

New Titans WR Rishard Matthews arrives at Saint Thomas Sports Park to sign his contract. (Photos: Gary Glenn) looks at the NFL career of WR Rishard Matthews. (AP Photos)

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