The Tennessee Titans defense has been beat to tar by opposing offense throughout the season in many different fashions. Some would like to put the players at fault, which they definitely hold their fair share of fault in the numbers, but they’re not who I’m blaming.
I’m looking right at DC Jerry Gray. His whole scheme has been about putting players in the position that suits them best and where they can be the most productive and make plays. The problem with that philosophy is that he’s not coming through with it.
FS Michael Griffin is playing SS and is getting beat every other play. QB’s are throwing at him without fear and his tackling variates between great and the worst in the league. He’s leading the league in missed tackles and is just disappointing to watch most of the time. While he’s been off the past few years, he’s never been this bad. The Titans just re-signed him to a 5-year contract worth over $7 million a year. They should probably “put him where he’ll make the most plays.”
Gray has been playing the safeties unusually deep throughout the season. While that’s not the entire issue for them, it may be a contributing factor.
The lack of aggression in his scheme may be it’s biggest fault. Gray talked up impressive blitzes all offseason, but we’ve hardly seen any of them. He plays both the linebackers and safeties too far back, allowing ungodly amounts space underneath that QB’s are gladly eating up. On 3rd and 2, he gives them four. He’s willing to give 3-4 yards a pass.
Everybody’s will to taking it.
People generally aren’t pulling off big plays against the Titans, they’re just steadily driving down the field with passes that consistently pick up 4-5 yards. It’s a trend that continues into every game. Opposing offenses have 13 play drives because they’re just biting off the little bits the Titans defense is giving them.
This is one of the fastest defenses the Titans have ever fielded. Why is there this unhealthy obsession with getting beat? They may not have the fastest corners in the league but Alterraun Verner knows how to jump a route and McCourty does a good job in man coverage. His coverage is of a coach that doesn’t trust his defense to get the job done.
It’s going to cost them games.
The guy who led the Titans in sacks last year, DT Karl Klug, has fallen completely off the radar. Rookie DT Mike Martin has come on strong and taken reps form him, but that’s no reason for Klug to become completely irrelevant. The guy was a terror for QB’s last year. If nothing else, try him at DE where the Titans are painfully thin.
Do whatever you have to do to get the guy in the game.
I won’t go as far as to touch on the fact that Titans let Finnegan walk in free agency and he already has 3 INT’s, 1 FF, and a TD. I’ll just let that sleeping dog lie…
Gray. Put your pride to the side and tweak your defense. What you’re doing is not working. If nothing else, join Chris Palmer up in the box.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart