It took just one practice for the cloud of negativity following Tennessee Titans rookie receiver Treylon Burks to dissipate.
Noticeably slimmer than he was the last time he was at Saint Thomas Sports Park — Burks said he’d lost five or six pounds since the end of minicamp — the 22-year-old wideout showed zero signs of fatigue or breathing difficulties on Wednesday.
“Conditioning, running, putting myself in situations where I knew that my asthma would flare up and just being able to push through it and just be done with it,” Burks said of how he’s learned how to handle his breathing issues. “… I just keep conditioning until I don’t feel it ... and taking my inhaler before practice, after practice and just staying on top of everything.”
Burks took accountability Wednesday for his underwhelming showing during rookie minicamp and OTAs, admitting he could have handled his asthma problems differently and shown up in better shape.
“I was concerned at one point because I couldn’t even go,” he said. “It was getting to me then. [Titans head coach Mike Vrabel] came and talked to me, just told me don’t worry and just keep attacking it every day.”
Although his first impression left much to be desired, when Burks hit the field Wednesday for Tennessee’s first official practice, he looked every bit the part of a first-round pick.
He showed off the playmaking ability that made him the 18th overall pick in April when he made a diving highlight reel catch on a deep pass from Ryan Tannehill and beat Kristian Fulton on the second play of the 7-on-7 portion of practice. He caught a few other passes but none more impressive than his first.
“He’s got a long way to go but making plays like that does a lot for building confidence [in a receiver] for a quarterback, for myself, and just knowing what you’re going to get,” Tannehill said. “If he wins consistently and makes plays like that down the field, it gives you a lot of confidence to go his direction.”
Added Burks: “I was just thinking go out there and practice like a pro, be a pro, and just be a part of the team and play my role like coach Vrabel says every day. Just show up and gain that respect from Ryan and also everybody else on the team and let them know that I‘m not here just to make money; I’m here to win a championship.”
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