The initial buzz in training camp surrounding Tennessee Titans quarterback Malik Willis was that his timing was an area that needed improvement.
Willis believes he’s already seen progress on that, just as he’s seen it gradually since he first started organized team activities in May through minicamp and through training camp as it is now.
“I’m light years ahead of where I was, but that’s just from my coaches and taking my time to study the situation,” Willis said Tuesday. via Jim Wyatt of the team’s website. “That’s what my job description is all about – handling the huddle, handling the line of scrimmage, all the plays and being comfortable with them. All the above.
“I learned the importance of timing and how it affects the whole project.”
On Saturday, Titans coach Mike Vrabel noted that the coaching staff has been working to instill a better sense of timing with the 23-year-old QB.
“That was the message,” Vrabel said. “Just make sure the timing gets better because you only have a certain amount of time to get the pass and the route distribution and it all ties into that.”
It seems to be a message that Willis heard and responded to quickly. Admittedly, this should come as no surprise as he is clearly enthusiastic about the work and improvement he has made so far and no doubt more to come.
“I’m having fun,” Willis said. “I feel like this is definitely something different, but football is at the end of the day and the coaches make it really easy for me to focus on what I need to focus on and let me go out there and play and have fun. You just have to be grateful for the opportunity and whenever you get it you have to take advantage of it.
“It’s soccer at the end of the day. It’s just: How willing are you to work at it and understand new jargon and new concepts and go up against the best players in the world?”
A Liberty prospect projected to go as high as the first round by some, Willis fell to the third round, where he was selected No. 86 overall by the Titans. Despite Wilis dropping to third, many still believed he could make Ryan Tannehill’s starting job difficult. However, it now appears that Willis could very well be in a prime spot to improve, learn and take his time to adjust.
Titans coaches told Willis he would see noticeable progress as the days and practices went on. So far, Willis says they’re right and he’s very happy with the progress.
“They told me I would,” Willis said. “(Coach) told me to put a notice in my calendar. It’s like: First day of training camp and see where I’d be by the time rookie camp started. He was right, I’m light years ahead.”