We’ve already covered a potential outlook for the 2013-14 Tennessee Titans offense. Now let’s look at some projections for the defensive players and specialists on the 2013-14 Week 1 roster. Please note that these projections aren’t necessarily what I’m hoping for. Some players who I’d like to see make the team—didn’t make it.
Tennessee Titans 2013-14 NFL Roster Predictions: Defense and Specialists, July 25
DE: Derrick Morgan, Kamerion Wimbley, Lavar Edwards, Ropati Pitoitua, Karl Klug (5-30)
DT: Jurrell Casey, Mike Martin, Sammie Lee Hill, Antonio Johnson (4-34)
ILB: Colin McCarthy, Moise Fokou, Tim Shaw (3-37)
OLB: Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown, Zaviar Gooden, Scott Solomon (4-41)
CB: Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Coty Sensabaugh, Tommie Campbell, Khalid Wooten (6-47)
S: Michael Griffin, Bernard Pollard, George Wilson (3-50)
ST: Rob Bironas, Brett Kern, Beau Brinkley (3-53)
Derrick Morgan, Kamerion Wimbley, Lavar Edwards, Jurrell Casey, Mike Martin, Sammie Lee Hill, Colin McCarthy, Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown, Zaviar Gooden, Moise Fokou, Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Coty Sensabaugh, Michael Griffin, Bernard Pollard, George Wilson, Rob Bironas, Brett Kern, Beau Brinkley (21-21)
Ropati Pitoitua (1-22)
Karl Klug, Tommie Campbell, Khalid Wooten (3-25)
Antonio Johnson, Tim Shaw, Scott Solomon (3-28)
Keyunta Dawson (DE), Stefan Charles (DT), Zach Clayton (DT), DaJohn Harris (DT), Greg Jones (LB), Patrick Bailey (LB), Jonathan Willard (LB), Daimion Stafford (S), Markelle Martin (S), Al Afalava (S), Robert Johnson (S), Tracy Wilson (S)
No. 1: Defensive Line Includes Six Locks, One Almost Lock and Two Maybes
Those maybes include Karl Klug and Antonio Johnson. Klug offers a presence as an interior pass-rush specialist. Johnson is another large body who could provide overall depth or size in short-yardage situations (e.g. goal-line defenses).
Players like Jason Jones and Leger Douzable offered (or in Douzable’s case, was supposed to offer) a versatile defensive lineman who could play anywhere on the line. It seems like the Titans want Klug to become that player. What if he fails at defensive end? Does he fit into the defensive philosophy? Even before Sammie Lee Hill, Klug had trouble getting playing time.
Keep an eye on the reserve defensive linemen. Stefan Charles is an undrafted free agent who could play his way on the practice squad and maybe the 53-man roster.
No. 2: Linebacker Depth behind Top Five
How will the Titans round out their depth chart at linebacker? Do they prefer to stock up on specialists (Tim Shaw, Patrick Bailey, Greg Jones) who may not have the greatest reputations when forced into defensive responsibilities? Would they prefer younger players who have more upside (Scott Solomon, Jonathan Willard)? What about a combination of both?
No. 3: Could Versatility from Scott Solomon Play Key Decision-Making Role?
This offseason, the Titans have attempted to move Solomon from defensive end to linebacker. If the Titans didn’t want to keep more than four defensive ends, they could use someone like Akeem Ayers or Solomon as emergency fill-ins at defensive end. That would hurt the chances for someone like Keyunta Dawson or maybe even Klug.
No. 4: Cornerback
All that’s certain is Jason McCourty is the No. 1 cornerback. What about the No. 2 cornerback? One player competing for that role is Tommie Campbell, a third-year professional whose training camp performance could catapult him anywhere from starting gig to end of career.
How does Alterraun Verner fit into a man-to-man press scheme? Will Coty Sensabaugh continue to impress in preseason games? How soon before Blidi Wreh-Wilson contributes? Does Khalid Wooten play into any of this for 2013?
No. 5: Keep Three Safeties
It’s possible. Included among the big three are Michael Griffin, Bernard Pollard and George Wilson. Anyone who wins a job behind them probably wouldn’t get activated on game days.
Why not use Verner and/or Wooten as the emergency safeties while Markelle Martin or Daimion Stafford remain on the practice squad? In this projection, this allowed the Titans to keep Johnson and Klug on the defensive line.
What do our readers think and anticipate? Give your thoughts in the comments, Twitter and Facebook.