The Tennessee Titans have a talent galore on the defensive side of the ball. I can guarantee this is a much improved defense from last year.
PFF seems to agree.
In their article, AFC South: 4 Questions, 4 Analysts, they were asking “Who is the one player from this division you see having a breakout year?”
The answer? Well, basically they said the defensive line, but I’ll let you read it for yourself.
Sam: I’m going out on a limb a little with this one because we didn’t see it for that long in 2011, but Derrick Cox put up some truly ridiculous coverage numbers and looked like he finally had the light go on. When I say ‘truly ridiculous numbers’, what I mean is that his name is the only one around or ahead of Darrelle Revis when you set the snap threshold low enough for 2011. Essentially, for the time he was playing last year he was putting up numbers that were right there with the best corner in football. Now, it’s by no means a sure thing that he returns to that level of play this year, but I’m looking for him to at least show that it was no fluke.
Khaled: I’m torn here. There are two Titans defensive tackles I think are primed for big things, but I’m going with the one who I think can make more splash plays. That man is Karl Klug who reminds me of Geno Atkins for his ability to get off blocks and get up field. Now I don’t think he’ll have the same impact as Atkins did in 2011, but I could see him picking up an awful lot of pressure.
Neil: You can take your choice of any one of three people from the Tennessee defensive line. Karl Klug and Jurrell Casey will form the best young tackle combo in the business, but I’m saying that, in his first opportunity ever as a regular 4-3 DE, Kamerion Wimbley will make huge waves as a pass-rushing end. The sobbing noise you will hear is from Raiders fans despondent their team let him go.
Ben: Down in Tennessee they have a promising pair of young corners and whilst Jason McCourty was just rewarded with a shiny new contract, I think it will be the man starting opposite him, Alterraun Verner, who will emerge as a star. Verner is back in a starting role this season and over the course of his two seasons in the NFL, as a starter and sub package corner, he has never shown anything other than being a quality cover man. The Titans need stability after the loss of Cortland Finnegan, and Verner has shown he can be that guy.
I agree with everyone of those. You could even add Derrick Morgan to the list, as it looks like he’s finally about to show up too. Oh, and wait… who are those two young linebackers the Titans have? Yeah, throw McCarthy and Ayers on there too.
This is going to be a much different year defensively for he Titans. The incredible draft they had last year will completely turn around this defense this year. The Titans have five defensive starters from the draft. That’s nearly half their defense. You can’t get any better than that, seriously.
The only real question that remains is how the offense will perform. Locker was solid in his limited playing time this past year, but looked a bit off this preseason. Hopefully that’s just because of the mild play calling that is always used in preseason, and I think it is. We’ll see soon enough, as the Titans will be hosting the New England Patriots one week from today.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart