Josh Reynolds hopes to be deep threat with Titans after running ‘a lot of hitches’ with Rams

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Cameron DaSilva
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Josh Reynolds became a starter for the Rams last season after Brandin Cooks was traded to the Texans during the offseason. He saw a career-high 81 passes thrown his way, catching 52 of them for 618 yards and two touchdowns.

Those weren’t bad numbers for the fourth-year receiver, but his yards per reception sat at just 11.9. While that ranked 68th in the NFL, he still led all Rams receivers by more than a yard.

Now a member of the Titans after signing a one-year deal in free agency, Reynolds hopes to run a more expanded route tree. Last season, he says he ran a lot of hitches on the outside, making it difficult for him to pick up yards after the catch.

He told Titans media members that’s part of the reason his yards-per-catch average was lower than in the previous two years.

“We were doing a lot of hitches – or I was doing a lot of hitches on the outside instead of just the strikes, the strikes and the three-level throws where I’m running the over route across the field. So I think that’s a big reason why the yards per catch wasn’t like it was in the past,” he said.

With the Titans, Reynolds hopes to get more chances to catch balls deep down the field. While he didn’t call out the Rams for those limited opportunities, but there was clearly a lack of downfield throws in Los Angeles’ offense last season.

“It’s almost basically going to be a plug-and-play with me and to be able to come in and do what I was doing with the Rams and maybe get a couple more deep balls than I was getting over there.

“We had deep balls in the game plan, but sometimes it just didn’t happen like we were planning on. Reps were just limited as far as deep-ball wise. We couldn’t get our play actions going too much when would struggle in the run game.”

Ryan Tannehill ranked 15th in the NFL in intended air yards, throwing it an average of 7.3 yards down the field. He took plenty of deep shots to A.J. Brown and Corey Davis, so Reynolds is hoping to get some of those opportunities, too.

Jared Goff, on the other hand, had the fourth-lowest intended air yards, rarely throwing it deep to his receivers.

“Tannehill, he likes to throw ’em deep,” Reynolds said. “That’s basically what I did and I am looking forward to being able to kind of have those three-level throws and the strikes like I was doing with the Rams. I’m definitely excited to be able to bring that deep ball kind of threat, and 50-50-ball kind of threat to the Titans.”

Reynolds has the frame to be a 50-50 receiver, but he simply never developed into that type of player. At 6-foot-3 and 196 pounds, he’s built to go up and box out defenders. Those plays just never materialized with the Rams.

He hopes that changes in Tennessee, and the Rams hope that aspect improves with Matthew Stafford and DeSean Jackson joining the fray.