Brian Callahan reveals how the Titans view Treylon Burks on Bussin' with the Boys

Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

Everything that new Tennessee Titans HC Brian Callahan has said has resonated with fans, and he has energized a fan base that had grown apathetic and depressed about the short-term future of this franchise.

Fans have heard a lot of great points and ideas from Callahan, but the thing that stands out the most is that he seems to be willing to be open and honest with the fan base. It was like pulling teeth trying to get Mike Vrabel to answer simple questions, and even when he did he was lying most of the time (remember that time he lied and told everyone that they were going to give Peter Skoronski reps all over the offensive line to figure out his best position).

The perfect example of his transparency was on the latest episode of Bussin with the Boys where he talked with Taylor Lewan and Will Compton for nearly two hours and nothing was off limits.

That is a great episode and they hit on all of the topics that people want to talk about like coaching with his dad for the first time, Will Levis, how they pivoted in free agency and stole Calvin Ridley away from the Jacksonville Jaguars, etc. All of that was very interesting, but I think one of the most interesting things is what he said near the end when he was asked about Treylon Burks.

For context, Callahan's walls are down at this point, this is nearly an hour-and-a-half into the conversation and he just finished talking about the most devious thing that he could remember doing when he was growing up.

He isn't using coach speak or giving out scripted answers, this is what Callahan really thinks about Burks and what his thoughts are heading into OTAs:

"I'll tell you this, I only know what I have seen of him...From what we seen on a day-to-day basis with Trey, he's been phenomenal. His work ethic, the things that he has done- he's done everything we asked- he's got unbelievable physical talent and it is a personal challenge to me and to our staff is how do we find the best role for Trey to come help us? I think he can be a good player...

What I'm hopeful for is that these veteran players that we have in here [provide] a new lease for him, in terms of all I know is what he has shown me and I don't make any judgements on what has happened before and that opportunity to reinvent yourself in a sense is going to be really good for him. I've been impressed with him so far and I THINK he can play, but it is a personal challenge for me to find a place for him to have some success because he has got the talent and ability to do it."

I highlighted my biggest takeaways from those quotes, but if you listen to him talk and you see what the Titans did this offseason it is clear what the Titans think about Burks.

The goal for 2024 is to try Burks in different spots on the field (find a place for him/find his best role) and figure out what he does best. That is a process that is going to start in OTAs, but it will be refined during training camp.

Callahan believes that Burks is a starting-caliber receiver in the NFL and that he has the physical tools and work ethic to be a starter. It seems like the past regime had high expectations for him from the jump and that stress hampered his development and the injuries didn't help.

So why did the Titans add so many receivers this offseason? Two things can be true. First, the Tennessee Titans have to figure out what Will Levis is, and if you go back to freshman-year science class you may remember that effective experiments have as many controlled variables (things that are proven) as possible.

In this experiment, the Titans added a control variable at Z receiver (Ridley), slot receiver (Boyd), and center (Lloyd Cushenberry) and they already had a control variable in the X receiver spot with DeAndre Hopkins and third-down RB whether that is Tony Pollard or Tyjae Spears. That should make the evaluation easier because you know those guys are going to do their job.

By moving Burks down the depth chart, he finally gets to step into a situation where he isn't expected to be an impact starter and he can just focus on finding what he does best and getting better at it.

Now, I'm not going to sit here and tell you that they moved Burks down the depth chart because they think he is going to be a Pro Bowl receiver, that just doesn't make sense. What I am saying, is that this coaching staff is evaluating what they see and they are going to let players decide where they are on the depth chart based on what they do, not based on what they haven't done in the past.

So far, Burks looks like a starter and he has impressed Callahan in every way that he can before the pads come on.

Will he be able to stay healthy? Will he ever be worth a first-round pick? Why couldn't Mike Vrabel get more out of him? None of those questions matter to Callahan, what matters is whether or not he is doing what Callahan asks him to do.

If he does, then maybe next season the Titans move on from DeAndre Hopkins and have Burks and Ridley as the boundary receivers. Or maybe they keep Hopkins and Burks moves inside into the slot and takes over Boyd's job if that is what he does best.

Those are things we will learn in time, and maybe it doesn't work out for him, but if he does get a starting job on this roster in the future, it won't be because they are forcing Burks on the field because of where he was drafted. From this point on, it is clear that Burks is starting from square one, and whatever chances he gets will be because he took advantage of his clean slate and he earned it.