After dazzling many with his athletic prowess during last year's OTAs, the bar was raised in terms of our expectations regarding rookie TE Jared Cook in 2009.
Unfortunately, Cook failed to make much of an impact due to a combination of rookie growing pains and a lingering ankle injury.
Though it's only his second season, the natives are beginning to get a bit restless as inevitable visions of the Ben Troupe experiment cross our minds: It's time for Cook to make the Tennessee Titans look wise for trading a future-second round pick for the opportunity to attain his services.
Of course, it's up to Cook to step up and turn potential into production but there's no doubt that the opportunity is certainly there for him to grab. With veteran Alge Crumpler vacating the premises and Bo Scaife's agent-imposed exile from mini-camps, that leaves youngsters Cook and Craig Stevens handling virtually all of the reps at the TE position as both try to emerge as factors in 2010.
With Scaife's long-term future with the Titans in limbo, the job is Cook's to step up as the team's receiving threat at tight end. Due to his flattering size-speed combination, Jared certainly has the tools to become the player the Titans envisioned when they sacrificed a future 2nd rounder to select him.
Early OTA reports suggest that Cook has continued his enigmatic ways, as he's been a pillar of inconsistency thus far. On one play he'll make a spectacular catch but will then follow up that gem with a dud in the form of a dropped routine pass.
There's still a lot of time left between now and the beginning of the regular season, so here's to hoping Cook will become more consistent as the season starts.
Until then, we'll all be patiently watching his development; even though admittingly, due to his talent, a frustrating rookie campaign and ghosts of Ben Troupe, the patience is beginning to wear thin.