Titans Counting on Youngsters Hunter, Green-Beckham

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a year of firsts for Titans receiver Dorial Green-Beckham, cut down day in the NFL really got the rookie's attention.

At the start of training camp, the Titans had 13 receivers on their 90-man roster. Then came a round of cuts to get the roster to 75. Over the weekend, the Titans trimmed to 53 players, and the team really thinned out at receiver.

"After all the cuts were done, that's when we realized there's only four of us left competing,'' Green-Beckham said. "It was a crowded room before, and now it's empty. It's a little weird, but us four, we can get the job done. We have to help each other out and hold each other accountable."

Yes, the Titans currently have only four receivers on the 53-man roster – Harry Douglas, Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, and Green-Beckham, set to play in his first regular season game on Sunday.

Veteran Hakeem Nicks was among those released. The Titans also released a pair of young players – Tre McBride and Rico Richardson – but signed them to the practice squad.

Coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team felt comfortable keeping just four receivers because of versatile players at other positions capable of stepping in.

This much is also true: The Titans wouldn't have thinned down to four if they weren't confident in players like Green-Beckham and Hunter. There's no security blanket behind them.

"They put a lot on us and hope we can handle it,'' Hunter said. "So we have to go out there and take on the responsibility -- the four guys -- and we have to go out there and work."

In his first two NFL seasons, Hunter has 46 catches for 852 yards and seven touchdowns. Green-Beckham will get his first taste of regular season football on Sunday in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers.

Hunter said he's confident heading into the season. At 205, pounds he also feels sturdier than he did in the past.

Green-Beckham knows the Titans are counting on him as well. He's coming off a preseason when he caught seven passes for 93 yards.

"I have to learn quickly,'' Green-Beckham said. "I just want to be consistent. I hear the speed (in the regular season) is going to be a lot faster than what the preseason was.  I just have to be consistent and play fast."

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