NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Former Tennessee Titans receiver Tajaé Sharpe may be a member of the Vikings, now, but he still has a special place in his heart for the franchise that drafted him.
“Tennessee, they drafted me, so I have the utmost respect for that organization. I have a lot of love for everyone over there, still,” Sharpe said.
“I’ve definitely been in contact with those guys. Being there for four years, you develop relationships that can never be broken. Those are my brothers over there.”
Sharpe will face his former team for the first time on Sunday, and he knows as well as anyone the challenge that the 2-0 Titans will present to the winless Vikings.
Particularly, QB Ryan Tannehill could spell trouble for the Vikings defense. The Titans’ signal-caller is coming off of a four-touchdown performance, and he looks to be picking up in 2020 right where he left off in 2019 when he was teammates with Shape.
“He can make all the throws,” Sharpe said. “He’s going to go out there and lead the team in every way. He’ll put his life on the line for the team, I know that.”
“Those are still my brothers in Tennessee.” #Titans
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) September 25, 2020
Sharpe is also well aware of the challenge that he and his fellow Vikings receivers will face going up against the Titans secondary, a group that he has plenty of experience facing during practice.
“They do a great job of disguising coverages,” Sharpe said. “They fly around, they play fast, they play hard. They’re very aggressive. I’ve got a lot of respect for those guys. I competed with them for four years every day in practice.
“We’ve got to bring our A-game.”
Though Sharpe is looking forward to reuniting with his former teammates from Tennessee, his primary objective on Sunday is to help his new team get its first win of the season.
The Vikings signed Sharpe during free agency back in March and, though he has yet to catch a pass from QB Kirk Cousins, the 25-year-old still feels like he picked a good second team in the Vikings.
“Ever since I got here, everyone on the team has welcomed me with open arms,” Sharpe said. “They’ve done a great job of making me feel at home.
“As an offense, we’re still trying to find ourselves. We’re working things out, trying to find our identity. We have amazing playmakers on this team on offense. I’m just being patient and staying with it.
While the Titans do seem to be doing a good job of moving on from Sharpe—the offense has played very well through the first two games of 2020—the team understands the impact that the former fifth-round pick was able to make during his time in Tennessee.
“Tajaé was a smart player for us,” head coach Mike Vrabel said. “He knew all the receiver spots, which is something that isn’t it as easy as it sounds.
“He had some very good games and was able to play out of the slot for us, and he did some good things.”
However Sunday’s game goes, there figure to be some jersey swaps afterward.
“It’s going to be fun seeing those guys on the other side of the ball and actually getting to play against them in a game, not just in practice. It will be fun to reunite with those guys.”
Cover image: Jim Brown/USA Today