NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Rookie Tajae Sharpe has been one of the best stories of the offseason.
Since showing up for the offseason program with his own football, the Titans receiver has made a favorable impression on everyone he's been around, from coaches to teammates to reporters covering the team.
On Thursday, as the Titans wrapped up a three-day minicamp, coach Mike Mularkey praised him one more time. Sharpe has been running with the first team throughout organized team activities because he's been the most consistent receiver on the team, Mularkey said.
But Sharpe's emergence begs the question: What does it mean for veterans like Dorial Green-Beckham and Justin Hunter? Those players have been watching as Sharpe has lined up with the starters. Rishard Matthews has been the other outside receiver while Kendall Wright has been busy - and looked good - in the slot.
"I am hoping they are taking it personal, and they are going to come back in here in better shape, and better prepared and healthy and ready to go out of the gate,'' Mularkey said when asked about Green-Beckman and Hunter. "(We want to see that) from the first practice on."
Hunter, who's headed into his fourth NFL season, complimented Sharpe, and said his presence "should push everyone else.
"Seeing Tajae, a young guy in there, it definitely motivates you,'' Hunter said. "I give him props. There's no hate in the room, it's all love, so it's good to see him doing well. But there's a lot of competition, and we're all going to bring out the best in one another."
Green-Beckham, who started five games last season and caught 32 passes for 549 yards and four touchdowns, said he'll be ready for the start of training camp.
After missing time earlier this offseason with a hamstring injury, Green-Beckham practiced all 10 days of organized workouts and took part in the team's minicamp.
"I feel like I had a good offseason,'' he said. "I feel like I have been playing fast. I know the next 5-6 weeks I have to keep busting my tail and keep myself motivated. In our receiving corps, we always want to compete and hold each other accountable.
"I just need to keep doing what I am doing, and that is keep playing fast, letting them know I know the plays and that I'm a hard worker who is going to compete."
Titans players finish the offseason with a relay race at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)