Titans Safety Amani Hooker Aims to Play Faster in his Second NFL Season

Hooker
NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 10, 2020 - Defensive back Amani Hooker #37 of the Tennessee Titans during on-field workouts at Saint Thomas Sports Park in Nashville, TN. Photo By Donald Page/Tennessee Titans

NASHVILLE – Life comes at you fast in the NFL, and that's something Titans safety Amani Hooker found out as a rookie last year.

Heading into his second season, Hooker wants to be faster.

In fact, he made it one of his goals this offseason after watching film from his rookie season.

"For me, I just felt like I could be faster, so I lost some weight," Hooker said on a video conference call on Tuesday. "I'm feeling good right now, being able to make some plays. Not just doing my job, now it's try to make some plays while I'm out there. So, definitely getting faster and just being able to, like I said, just make plays."

A fourth-round pick out of Iowa in the 2019 NFL Draft, Hooker played in all 19 of the team's games last season – 16 during the regular season, and three in the postseason.

Hooker totaled 16 tackles in the games combined (13 during the regular season and three in the postseason), and he also contributed on special teams.

With a season under his belt, Hooker said he feels more prepared to take on what's asked of him this fall.

"It's a big difference for me," Hooker said. "I feel more comfortable (this year in camp). I feel closer with the guys having been here a year. Then just from my experience last year, we went to the AFC Championship game and that's just an experience in itself. Being around these guys, being around veterans, hearing how they act, hearing how they communicate on the field, and how I can just bring that same mentality this year coming into the second season."

Hooker, who said he lost roughly seven to 10 pounds, said he feels better from a movement standpoint in practices.

Learning from veteran safeties Kevin Byard and Kenny Vaccaro has helped Hooker, who was a playmaker at Iowa, where he totaled 125 tackles, six interceptions, a sack and 3.5 tackles for a loss in his three-year career.

With the Titans, he said he's prepared to play wherever the team needs him. In 2020, Hooker could have a bigger role in situational packages on defense, in addition to his work on special teams.

"For me, I don't like to put myself in a box so I like to be able to do multiple things," Hooker said. "I don't just want to be able to be one-dimensional. I always pride myself on being able to do multiple things, whether that was rushing, or whether that was just covering, or just playing different positions. So, for myself, hopefully I could be able to do multiple things that help out the team."

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