How Titans’ Marcus Johnson moved from roster fringe to front and center

By John Glennon

The Titans’ receiver room looked a bit different when Marcus Johnson signed with the team last March.

There was no Julio Jones on the roster at that point, no Josh Reynolds, no Dez Fitzpatrick nor Racey McMath.

In fact, Tennessee looked like the land of opportunity for an aspiring receiver like Johnson at that point, considering the team had cut Adam Humphries, chosen to let Kalif Raymond walk and appeared ready to do the same with Corey Davis and tight end Jonnu Smith.

Aside from A.J. Brown, just who was going to be catching Ryan Tannehill’s passes?

The talent level in the room would soon start rising like a spring stream, however, as the Titans added a solid veteran in Reynolds, a seven-time Pro Bowler in Jones and a pair of big, athletic rookies in Fitzpatrick and McMath.

Throw in Johnson’s former Indianapolis’ teammate, Chester Rogers, as well as a few up-and-comers like Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Cam Batson and Mason Kinsey and …. all of a sudden, a Titans position that at one point had appeared thin was thick with competition.

Which Johnson did not fail to notice as Titans training camp got underway.

“The first day I stepped out here and we did one-on-ones, I think that first rep … every receiver had a nice release, caught the ball,” Johnson said. “I’m sitting back thinking, ‘Man, you really got to be on it. You’ve got to take advantage of your opportunities.’”

Johnson may have been impressed with the Titans wide receiver talent around him – almost certainly the most talented and deepest group in franchise history – but he wasn’t about to let it overwhelm him.

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