NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tajae Sharpe wrapped up practice recently and immediately headed to the JUGS machine for extra work.
It's part of the daily routine for the Titans receiver, who appreciates it all even more after missing the 2017 season with an injury.
"It just feels great to be back out here with the guys," Sharpe said. "Missing all of last year was tough, so I am just excited to be back.
"We are all starting with clean slates, so we all have to prove ourselves. We just have to compete and get better each day."
Sharpe has made a nice recovery from the foot injury that resulted in him being placed on Injured Reserve in 2017. A fifth-round draft pick by the team in 2016, Sharpe caught 41 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie season.
Sharpe spent the early part of this offseason working in California, where he spent extra time with quarterback Marcus Mariota and the team's receivers. Sharpe said his focus has been on getting stronger.
"I can tell you he is hungry and I can tell he is definitely eager to get back on the field because he missed all of last season," safety Kevin Byard said. "He is out here working hard, catching balls. So it is great to see from him."
Titans general manager Jon Robinson said during the offseason he likes Sharpe's work ethic. New coach Mike Vrabel has been complimentary of Sharpe as well.
Sharpe would like to build on what he started in 2016. Some things have changed around him since, including the addition of receivers Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor last offseason, and Michael Campanaro and Nick Williams this spring. Rishard Matthews, who led all Titans receivers in receiving yards last season, is back.
Others are on the roster, competing as well.
"As a team, we have a whole new staff, a whole new system," Sharpe said. "So I'm working out the cobwebs and getting familiar with the offense and coming out here and competing to get better."
Mariota said it's been great having Sharpe back in the mix.
"I know he worked hard to get back," Mariota said of Sharpe. "It's a process when you're banged up. As we continue forward, again, it's building that chemistry. This is why you're out here at this point in time, just trying to get better.
"I'm just happy to see him out there. I think as we continue forward, we'll build that chemistry that's needed. I think he's in a good spot."
The Titans take the field for Wednesday's organized team activities (OTA) at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, Nate Bain)