NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rishard Matthews made a name for himself with the Dolphins.
On Thursday night, the Titans receiver returns to face his old team in the preseason finale at Hard Rock Stadium.
"I am excited,'' Matthews said. "I am excited to see some old friends, and for a chance to take another positive step. It's going to be fun."
Signed by the Titans in March, Matthews played his first four seasons with the Dolphins. He caught a career-high 43 passes for 662 yards and four touchdowns last season, which attracted Tennessee's attention.
Now he has a new home, and new expectations.
Throughout the offseason, Matthews has worked with the first team offense opposite rookie receiver Tajae Sharpe, and he's expected to start the regular season opener against the Vikings on September 11.
Matthews said the transition has sometimes been a challenge, but he's feeling much more comfortable now. He's worked at a number of positions during his NFL career, and he's doing the same in Tennessee.
"I feel like it is going good so far,'' said Matthews, who has four catches for 57 yards in the preseason. "I am getting there. I have only been here (five months) so I am still building chemistry with Marcus, but it is going good so far and we are getting on the same page. But there's room to improve for sure, and that's what we're working on."
With receiver Kendall Wright slowed with a hamstring injury, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the team has worked Matthews in the slot of late. Across the board, he's been happy with what he's seen.
"We are going to move him inside a little bit, give him a little more playing time in there with Kendall being out. So he has a little more on his plate,'' Mularkey said. "I am really happy with Rishard. … His blocking has been very good. Everybody always talks about the receiving end of things, but his blocking has been very good as well."
Matthews said he likes what he's seen from the receiving corps in Tennessee, and from his quarterback, Marcus Mariota.
"I think the room has a lot of potential,'' Matthews said. "I think the offense is good, and it puts us in a chance to make plays. Shoot, the season is almost here, so we'll see how it goes."
New Titans WR Rishard Matthews arrives at Saint Thomas Sports Park to sign his contract. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
TitansOnline.com looks at the NFL career of WR Rishard Matthews. (AP Photos)