Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kyle Phillips saw an up-and-down start to his career in 2022 before injury finally saw his rookie campaign cut short.
The UCLA product made an instant impact as a receiver and returned in Week 1. Phillips caught six balls for 66 yards in Week 1, while adding 15.5 yards per punt return on four attempts.
However, the Phillies were also hurt by a pair of muffed punts in the first two games. He went on to play in two more contests the rest of the season, but recorded just one catch for seven yards in those games.
Looking ahead to 2023, Phillips, who was impressive as a punt returner when he actually brought him in, is having another crack at it, according to special teams coordinator Craig Aukerman.
Aukerman: Phillips and Spears are the two mix for PR.
— John Glennon (@glennonsports) May 23, 2023
According to John Glennon of the Nashville Post, “I’ve moved on from that,” Phillips said of the fumble. “I have confidence in my ability to catch punts. Whatever they ask me to do here, I am going to do it and I am confident of doing it.
While Phillips’ 2022 injury was of the soft-tissue variety and not due to his size, there has been no shortage of debate about whether his 191-pound frame can withstand the punishment that comes with working inside. No.
And it’s something that’s clearly been on Phillips’ mind at least to some degree, as he revealed he’s been bulking up and adding “armor” during the off-season, but he’s working to make sure Is doing this continuously so that it doesn’t see the drop-off.
“Just add a little armor,” Phillips said. “Obviously everyone in the NFL is a little bit bigger, faster, stronger, so it helps with my playing style as well.
“I’m going to try to keep it up, but keep it a steady process. I want to lift some decent weights, but I don’t want to lose my agility and speed.”
After failing to adequately address the wide receiver position this offseason, the Titans will rely heavily on the UCLA product, who could go as high as the No. 3 option behind Traylon Burks and Chig Okonkwo.