On June 10, Titan Sized contributor Carlos Beard asked the question, “Who Is the Best Defensive Player for the Tennessee Titans?” Titan Sized readers had the opportunity to pick among seven candidates and an “other” option. This poll had 128 respondents.
Who are fans expecting the most from during the 2013-14 NFL season? The leading vote-getters were Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown. Each player received 30 votes (23.44 percent). Other vote-getters included Derrick Morgan, Bernard Pollard, Jason McCourty, Colin McCarthy and Jurrell Casey. Casey was the only player who didn’t receive at least 8.5 percent of the votes. Only one person chose “other.”
There’s no clear-cut answer. Any of these players could elevate their games to the next level and become the star of this defense. At the same time, it’s interesting to see that more than half of these candidates are returning from a defense that surrendered a franchise-worst 471 points just one season ago. Michael Griffin and Sen’Derrick Marks were responsible for much of that—not all.
Loads of potential to go-around. Now who lives up to their billing? Can Jerry Gray and Gregg Williams create the schemes that put these players in better positions to succeed? Can Pollard help change the mentality of a defense that has become increasingly passive since Jeff Fisher left following the 2010-11 season?
Anyone else slightly disturbed that Kamerion Wimbley ($4 million) and Griffin ($3.5 million plus $1 million March roster bonus) weren’t able to get more than maybe one vote (if the “other” option was meant for them)? As two of the highest paid members of this defense, the Titans need more from them in this upcoming season.
With each of the three leading vote-getters as edge-players (OLB and DE) and a blitz-heavy defensive assistant, they’ll have plenty of chances to make plays and become significant contributors.