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AP photo by Mark Humphrey / Tennessee Titans rookie wide receiver Treylon Burks takes part in drills during training camp Wednesday in Nashville.

NASHVILLE — Treylon Burks stretched out for a pass from Ryan Tannehill and kept both hands on the football as he went to the ground, hauling in a deep reception on a fade route.

Later, he reached for a catch with defenders around him.

That's exactly what the Tennessee Titans hoped to see when they drafted Burks out of the University of Arkansas with the 18th pick overall in April to replace A.J. Brown, who was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles the same night.

The Titans just had to wait a bit.

Burks' catches came Wednesday on the opening day of training camp with the entire roster, and all eyes kept tabs on the rookie's progress and whether he worked drill to drill or finished the entire practice.

He did just that, and Burks said it sure helped having his asthma under control.

"That's just being accountable, and I should've took a better attack on that," the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder said. "And now that I am, you can tell a big difference."

Burks caused concern when he bowed out of his first practice in May as part of the Titans' rookie minicamp and was seen using an inhaler. Burks declined to discuss the inhaler then, deferring questions to head coach Mike Vrabel, but wide receivers coach Rob Moore confirmed the player was dealing with asthma.

General manager Jon Robinson credited Burks with being "pretty transparent" with the Titans during his visit with the team before the draft. Robinson wound up choosing Burks to help replace Brown, the Titans' leading receiver each of his three seasons with the franchise and a Pro Bowl pick in 2020.

Burks said asthma "kind of messed with me a little bit" during his freshman and sophomore years at Arkansas.

"Once I got to my junior year, I was so much more acclimated into the system and knowing my role and wanting to be better at my position," Burks said. "And I just attacked it."

That showed as Burks became one of the Razorbacks' best receivers as a junior. He caught 66 passes for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns and was an All-Southeastern Conference selection.

Not being able to be on the field throughout the Titans' offseason program had Burks concerned. He credited Vrabel with telling him not to worry, to keep working a day at a time and not to "harp on" himself too much.

Burks responded by dropping some six pounds while working on his conditioning and making sure to use his inhaler before and after practices. Or as he called it, "just being accountable."

Burks' size and hands drew comparisons to Brown before the draft, and now the Titans need the rookie to work his way into the starting lineup by their Sept. 11 regular-season opener against the New York Giants.

Tannehill said he's excited to have Burks on the field, noting they've worked together over the past few days after rookies, quarterbacks and injured players reported for camp last weekend. Tannehill said Burks has a long way to go, but the veteran quarterback also said making more plays like the ones the young receiver made Wednesday will speed up that process.

"If he wins consistently and makes plays like that for me down the field, you know it gives you a lot of confidence to go his direction," Tannehill said.

For now, Burks is just trying to earn respect and let his teammates "know I'm not just here to make money, I'm here to win a championship."

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