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Titans WR Kyle Philips looking to add muscle, leave behind injury-shortened 2022

Looking to rebound from an injury-shortened rookie season, Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Philips is already seeing a change in perspective with a year in the books.

"Last year I came in as a rookie, real nervous, new team, a bunch of guys I didn't know," Philips said, via the team website. "Now it feels a lot different. I am a lot more comfortable with the coaches, and all the guys around here. I know more about what to expect. So, I am having a lot more fun."

Philips found himself in a largely open competition for snaps as a rookie following the departures of A.J. Brown and Julio Jones. He got a chance to play early in the year both on offense and on special teams, an area in which he flourished during his years at UCLA.

The former fifth-round pick burst onto the scene in the Titans' season opener against the Giants with a 46-yard punt return on his first touch and led all receivers with six catches for 66 yards. But soon after shoulder and hamstring injuries derailed his season, Philips landed on injured reserve after just four games played.

While those debut stats were an encouraging indication of his potential, Philips isn't satisfied with his limited output, and he wants to both regain his physical health and continue to grow as a player before September.

"I don't get hurt too often, but it happened and it's out of the way now. I was able to take what I could from it, grow from it, and learn going forward," Philips said. "This offseason has been putting good healthy weight on, learning this offense, conditioning, running routes and getting used to new teammates."

A big part of the 24-year-old's offseason training has focused on building up his physique, hoping that added muscle will allow him to take more hits and avoid losing significant time to injuries.

"I want to put some good weight on, but I don't want to lose my quickness and my speed," Philips said. "I'm going to try to keep it going, but just keep it a steady process."

Though Philips is already expected to take on returning duties once again in 2023, staying healthy in his second season could afford him much greater opportunities to play regularly, especially with the continued depth issues in the wide receiver room.

Robert Woods, the Titans' leading receiver in 2022, signed with the Texans in March, leaving only 2022 first-round pick Treylon Burks (444 receiving yards) and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine (397 yards) on the list of returning WRs who had at least 100 receiving yards in 2022.

Besides Burks, Westbrook-Ikhine and Philips, there's offseason acquisition WR Chris Moore, but the depth behind this initial group consists almost entirely of rookies and other players who haven't played meaningful snaps.

With the chance to make a statement and move forward from his shortened first year, Philips is using his under-the-radar status as motivation for what he hopes will be a breakout year ahead.

"Maybe I am a forgotten guy to some, but I don't pay attention to that," Philips said. "I focus on what I need to, which is to learn this offense, get to know some new teammates, and get better every day."

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