Tennessee Titans tight end Anthony Firkser, a wicked smaht kid from Harvard, is saying all of the right things leading up to the start of the 2021 NFL season.
Entering his fourth season in the league, Firkser has been steadily learning from other successful Tennessee tight ends like Delanie Walker and Jonnu Smith.
“They were a huge influence in my career and my growth for sure,” Firkser said of Walker and Smith. “Just being around those guys, Delanie was a great asset in the pass game and he really excelled in that area. And Jonnu, being that all-around tight end, making big plays and being reliable.
“Using the time that I was around them, it made me a better player.”
Firkser was no slouch himself as he caught 39 balls for 387 yards and one touchdown in 2020. Those numbers should grow nicely, thanks to another offseason in the weight room. Firkser said he has put on another 10 pounds of muscle, now weighing in at a solid 250 pounds, and thinks his new size will help with both pass catching and run blocking. If Firkser can consistently set the edge on stretch plays while also becoming a legitimate threat in the passing game, the Titans’ running game should open up massively.
In the modern NFL offense, a fast, strong tight end is more of a necessity than a privilege. At the very least, defenses need to consider him a threat so they don’t overload the box or cheat towards some of the Titans’ big-play receivers.
“We have a ton of weapons out there, and we can spread the ball around and get everyone touches,” he said. “We just want to put as much pressure as we can on the defense.”
Firkser is expected to split snaps with veteran Geoff Swaim, but it’s widely considered to be Firkser’s position for the taking. By his own admission, Firkser’s journey has thus far been one of watching and learning, mostly. This season will be his chance to shine.
The Titans play the Cardinals in Nashville on September 12 to kick off the season.
(Cover photo by Donald Page/Tennessee Titans)