Kyle Philips sounds like a key player for the Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts
Tennessee Titans v Indianapolis Colts / Michael Hickey/GettyImages

Last season's rookie class was loaded for the Tennessee Titans, but they haven't been immune the to curse of unavailability that has plagued this team. One of the forgotten victims of this is Kyle Philips.

Rewind a year and remember what the conversations were like about the Tennessee Titans rookie class. Treylon Burks struggled with asthma in OTAs, but he quickly turned that narrative around in training camp.

Chig Okonkwo was a constant surprise during the open practices, but he was facing the uphill battle of getting playing time with veteran tight ends Geoff Swaim and Austin Hooper ahead of him on the depth chart.

Nicholas Petit-Frere and Roger McCreary were quietly impressing and would continue their momentum through the rest of the preseason before earning starting jobs.

However, the one player that was heads and shoulders above everyone else in that class was fifth-round receiver Kyle Philips.

Whether he was calling out Kevin Byard in drills, beating the Titans' best corners, beating the best corners from other teams in joint practices, or just doing dynamic things any time the ball touched his hands, he was clearly the rookie most likely to make an impact during the 2022 season.

Philips was proving exactly that when the season started, but before the first game of the season was finished he had gotten hurt with an injury that forced him to miss most of the season.

After nearly a full year of rehab and recovery, Philips has been impressing again in camp. One person who has continued to go to bat for Philips is the VOTT himself.

Mike Keith believes that Kyle Philips is a starter for the Tennessee Titans

On several occasions, Mike Keith has singled him out in radio interviews as the best player in camp. In his post-OTA wrap-up, he said that Philips was his breakout candidate for the 2023 season.

This week he was asked on SportsTalk about the Tennessee Titans potentially signing DeAndre Hopkins, and he said something very interesting.

""Burks and Philips both had excellent offseasons, that's all you can say. Burks looks like a number one receiver and I think he has a chance to be a dominant player at that position. The question about Philips is just can he stay healthy? He can play, nobody can really cover him, he is open all the time...We are excited about him- I think the DeAndre Hopkins thing is more important to Philips than it is to Burks based on the fact that it would cut the number of snaps that Philips is probably on the field if the Titans do sign DeAndre Hopkins and that would help his chances of staying healthy. Then he could concentrate on punt returns and playing in the slot, then he would not be the second receiver he would be the third receiver.""

Mike Keith

It certainly sounds like the plan right now is for Philips to be the second wide receiver in this new Tennessee Titans offense.

Looking back at some of the things that Mike Keith has said this offseason and what Ran Carthon and Mike Vrabel have done this offseason, you could certainly make the case that the Tennessee Titans may view Kyle Philips as a starter on this football team.

Obviously, the ideal plan is to have DeAndre Hopkins and Treylon Burks as the starters on the outside with Kyle Philips coming in and playing in the slot a fair amount, but if the Tennessee Titans can't swing Hopkins don't let it surprise you if Kyle Philips starts for this team because there is undoubtedly smoke there right now.