Tennessee Titans wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham wants to answer the challenge Mike Mularkey made last month at the scouting combine when he said the 22-year-old's role with the team will "depend on Dorial" and his studying ability, per NFL.com's Chris Wesseling.
On Saturday, Green-Beckham told Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com about his plans for the upcoming 2016 season:
I see myself as being that No. 1 receiver, because I know that I can help this offense. I know that I can do big things. That’s my motivation, to go out in the off-season and work hard and try to become that No. 1 receiver and go out there and just dominate. That’s my motivation right now.
In his rookie season last year, Green-Beckham recorded 32 receptions for 549 yards and four touchdowns as Tennessee's third-leading receiver. But he was in a passing game dominated by tight end Delanie Walker, who led the team with 94 catches and 1,088 yards.
Walker was the go-to target for young quarterback Marcus Mariota, who has been looked upon as the one to help turn things around for a Titans team that hasn't had a winning season since 2011.
In order to get to that No. 1 receiver status, Green-Beckham will have to work on his connection with Mariota, something he's already started doing this offseason, per McCormick: "I’ve talked to Marcus. We’ve all talked in a group chat. Marcus is going to come back here in the next couple of days and we’ll all get back together as receivers, get back and throw the ball around."
The duo showed glimpses of a solid relationship last season, per the NFL:
Dorial Green-Beckham: Makes the 47-yard catch ✔ Throws defender off him ✔ Dives into end zone ✔ #JAXvsTEN https://t.co/idO1xqRZSO2015-12-6 20:16:10
However, DGB will have to compete with one more receiver after the Titans signed Rishard Matthews to a three-year deal. In just 11 games with the Miami Dolphins last season, Matthews had more receptions and yards than any of the Titans' three leading wide receivers.
So if Green-Beckham wants to be the man in Tennessee, he'll have to show off the kind of athleticism and physicality that prompted the Titans to pick him 40th overall in the 2015 draft, coupled with the ability to grasp the Titans offense and work like a well-oiled machine with Mariota.
Stats courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com.