Jim Wyatt, SENIOR WRITER/EDITOR
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans tight end Jonnu Smith has played a lot of snaps this season, but he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to catch the football.
On Monday against the Cowboys, Smith was targeted twice, and he made a pair of big catches, including a seven-yard touchdown grab on a flip pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota.
“You just have to be patient, and stay the course,” Smith said on Thursday. “I’ve just continued to come to work every day with a good attitude, and it was nice to get a chance to make plays and help this team.”
Smith had two catches for 33 yards against Dallas. On the season he has seven catches for 77 yards, with the score. He hopes it’s a sign of more things to come heading into Sunday’s game vs. the Patriots.
“You just have to keep steady, and try and build on it,” Smith said. “It was nice to have some production. You can’t get frustrated when chances don’t come your way. When you get frustrated, that impacts other things. All people see is you catching balls, but they don’t see the blocks that help a team win games. I am not here just to catch the ball — I am here to help this team win in any way possible.”
Smith hopes to please Fantasy Football owners one day, too.
“The fantasy people of the world, maybe I didn’t get them the points they needed (previous weeks),” Smith said with a smile. “Some of those weeks, maybe I didn’t get them their points, and I’m sorry, but we beat Philly and we beat Houston and we beat Jacksonville (before Dallas). … If I didn’t get you points those weeks I’m sorry, but we got the win those weeks, and that’s all that matters.”
Cornerback Malcolm Butler is one of four former Patriots who now plays for the Titans.
Butler was a Super Bowl hero – his interception at the goal line helped the Patriots win Super Bowl XLIX. His benching in last year’s Super Bowl remains a mystery.
On Thursday, Butler had some nice things to say about the Patriots.
He continues to downplay this Sunday’s matchup in terms of how much it means to him. His emphasis is on getting himself better, he said.
“I just have to get back to doing what I do, and that’s playing football,” Butler said. “I know I used to play there, and I just have to pick up my performance – I don’t care who I play. I just have to pick up my performance, that’s all. … We’ve been playing great defense – everybody has been playing together. I just have to pick up my weight and we can be very good.
“(My time with the Patriots) went great. It didn’t end well, but it went great. Those people showed me nothing but love, and I love them back. I appreciate Mr. (Robert) Kraft, Bill Belichick, all those guys. … No bad blood.”
Right tackle Jack Conklin (concussion), safety Dane Cruikshank (knee) and receivers Taywan Taylor (foot) and Tajae Sharpe (ankle) did not practice on Thursday for the Titans.
Linebacker Derrick Morgan (shoulder) was limited, along with defensive lineman Bennie Logan (knee).
Linebackers Daren Bates (illness) and Will Compton (hamstring) were full participants.