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Titans HC Brian Callahan still optimistic about Treylon Burks despite revamped WR room: 'He's gonna play everything'

Simply put, Treylon Burks hasn't lived up to the expectations that come with being a first-round pick.

Circumstances matter, of course, as does timing, neither of which having benefitted Burks through his first two seasons. He's seen the Titans cycle through four different starting quarterbacks -- Ryan Tannehill, Malik Willis, Joshua Dobbs and Will Levis -- in the last two campaigns, and he also hasn't yet cracked 90 targets in the entirety of his pro career.

Opportunity isn't guaranteed in 2024, either, not after the Titans decided it was time to add talent to the receiving corps in the form of Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd. Still, that doesn't mean Burks is being phased out, but he might need to be better prepared to capitalize on the chances he's afforded.

"As far as Treylon's role, he's gonna play everything," head coach Brian Callahan told reporters on Thursday. "We've told him that from the beginning. He's gonna play inside, he's gonna play outside and he's gonna carve out a role for himself. I had him come up today and do the break after practice because his work he's put in has been really impressive."

Boyd's addition, in particular, would seem to lean toward Burks moving down the depth chart, but Callahan refuted that Burks' role -- whatever that might be -- has been lessened.

"I wouldn't say there's a diminished role of any sort," Calahan said. "We've made very clear to Treylon that the signing of Tyler is not about him. It's about helping our team get better, adding better players to our team, making us a competitive football team. What he's done and how he's worked has been great, and I'm anticipating him still being able to play a good role for us."

The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Burks was initially drafted to replace A.J. Brown, whom since-fired general manager Jon Robinson traded to Philadelphia in 2022. Burks hasn't come remotely close to filling that void, though, catching just 49 passes for 665 yards and one touchdown over 22 career games played.

The addition of DeAndre Hopkins didn't help Burks, either, as the youngster ended up seeing just 30 targets -- 24 less than his rookie season -- while playing 62% of snaps in 2023.

With their offseason moves, the Titans signaled they'd no longer be content with hoping for a breakout season from Burks. Now, the onus is on him to, as Callahan said Thursday, carve out a role.

Because May is optimism season, Callahan was nothing but hopeful regarding Burks.

"He's had a really good offseason. I'm excited about what he can bring for us," Callahan said. "I meant when I said that the other day, that I think he's gonna have a role to play."

Callahan's response wasn't a bold prediction. Roles come in plenty of different shapes and sizes. If anything, he lowered the bar for Burks, which might be exactly what the 24-year-old needs entering his third season.

Whether that role matches where Tennessee selected him remains to be seen.

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