NASHVILLE – Dontrell Hilliard didn't arrive with a lot of fanfare in 2021, and when he re-signed with the team earlier this offseason, it didn't create lot of buzz either.
But the Titans running back, who provided a valuable boost in Derrick Henry's absence the second half of last year, has gone about his business quietly this offseason while getting a lot of chances to improve.
And in 2022, Hilliard hopes he can help the team again.
"I just want to be me, and carve out my role," Hilliard said after an OTA this week. "I want to show the team that I can be that guy that they can depend on and trust and leave it all up to the coaches and the team."
Hilliard, who initially joined the Titans in October 2021, re-signed with the team earlier this offseason and he's taken part in all of the team's offseason program.
With Henry not present at the voluntary workouts, Hilliard has gotten a lot of work in the team's OTAs alongside veterans running backs Jordan Wilkins and Trenton Cannon, and rookies Hassan Haskins and Julius Chestnut.
"Every day we come out and fight," Hilliard said, "and come out and show that love and competitiveness to make us better."
In 2021, Hilliard impressed with his opportunities while working in tandem with D'Onta Foreman, who signed with the Panthers earlier this offseason.
In eight games for the Titans in 2021, Hilliard carried the ball 56 times for 350 yards (6.3-yard average) and two touchdowns. Hilliard also had 19 catches for 87 yards, with a long of 28 yards.
Hilliard's best game in 2021 came against the Patriots, when he carried the ball 12 times for 131 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown run.
Hillard, who played in college at Tulane, spent time with the Browns (2018-2020) and Texans (2020) before joining the Titans.
Over his career, Hilliard has accounted for 447 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 78 carries, also registering 41 receptions for 286 yards. As a returner, he has a 23.0-yard average on 43 kickoff returns.
Now, he's working to find a role once again.
"It's a lot of time, and you have to go out and take advantage of it," Hilliard said of the offseason program. "I feel blessed to have the opportunity, and by having the time you get more chances and more opportunities to go out and learn the playbook and the details that you need to perform your best."