The Tennessee Titans badly needed to add depth at the wide receiver position, and they brought in arguably the hungriest pass catcher that hit the market.
Josh Reynolds signed with the Tennessee in search of opportunities that he did not get in four seasons with the Los Angeles Rams. His former team had a similar offensive approach, but did not have quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who led the NFL in yards per pass attempt in 2019, or running back Derrick Henry, the two-time rushing champion.
“We had deep balls in the gameplan, but sometimes it just didn’t happen like we were planning on,” Reynolds said. “Reps were limited, as far as deep ball-wise. We couldn’t get our play-actions going too much when we would struggle in the run game a bit.”
The 26-year-old believes he is capable of much more than he has done.
He comes to the Titans just months removed from his best statistical season. In 2020, Reynolds set career-highs in in catches (52) and receiving yards (618) in 16 games (13 starts). He scored two touchdowns, averaged 11.9 yards per catch and caught 29 passes for first downs, which tied a career best.
As it stands now, the Titans are thin at wide receiver outside of Pro Bowler A.J. Brown, who has gone over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. Earlier this month, the Titans cut veteran wide receiver Adam Humphries and let Corey Davis walk in free agency.
It is in stark contrast to the situation with the Rams, where Reynolds typically was behind two others, Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods and/or Brandin Cooks, on the depth chart. The prospect of being one of the top two receivers in Tennessee’s offense certainly appeals to Reynolds.
“With Derrick Henry forcing those linebackers up, I knew there was going to be a lot of one-on-one opportunities,” he said. “That was a lot of what I did in college. Since getting into the league, I hadn’t actually been able to put that on display much.”
The 6-foot-3, 196-pounder has played in 64 games with 24 starts and has caught 113 passes for 1,450 yards and nine touchdowns, including at least one in each season. His career-high in that category is five in 2018.
He sees his ability to haul in deep passes and 50-50 balls as a strength, even despite the fact he had limited opportunities to do so with the Rams. He has not had a catch longer than 40 yards in his NFL career.
“Ryan Tannehill (quarterback), he likes to throw them deep,” Reynolds said. “...I am definitely exited to bring that deep-ball and 50-50 kind of threat to the Titans.”
One opportunity his time with the Rams did provide was to play in a Super Bowl.
In his second season, the Rams made it to the final game of the schedule but lost 13-3 to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LIII. Reynolds was one of three L.A. players with at least three receptions in that contest (he had three for 28 yards). In three postseason game that year he caught eight passes for 121 yards. Six of those receptions went for first downs.
He’d like another chance at a championship and he believes a team that played in a conference title game a little more than a year ago can provide it.
“I feel like I can bring that different piece to help the Titans go above and beyond what they have been doing in the playoffs,” Reynolds said. “I hope I can bring that (production) and help them continue to win.”