This past season the Tennessee Titans defense mirrored the Titans record of 9-7, that being slightly above average.
The Titans as a whole do not have a bad defense; in fact the Titans defense has a ton of young players to be excited about, many of which came in last years draft class (Ayers, McCarthy, Klug, Casey) and that’s why this upcoming draft is huge for the Titans. They need this draft class to solidify a young and upcoming defense.
The Titans lost a lot of close games last season and yes the team had offensive woes, but many of the games came down to the defense not being to stop the opponent on third down.
The defense seemed to consistently falter on third down and at times is was painful to watch. Third down is huge in football and to be a winning team you need to convert on offense and stop on defense in order to win games in the NFL.
The third down problem can be attributed to all of the problems with the Titans defense; them being a lack of pass rush, lack of playmaker, average run defense, and just being so young.
It’s no secret that the Titans need a pass rushing playmaker. The Titans have addressed the need before with Derrick Morgan, but injuries have held him back from producing. If he develops that’s awesome and would be huge for this team, but the Titans can’t just hope for the best. Moves have to be made. Luckily they have been with the signing of Kamerion Wimbley.
He has proven over his career that he can get after the quarterback. This is a nice move, but not enough. In the upcoming draft Tennessee needs to draft someone, whether it be a DT, LB, or DE, that can consistently be in the opposing teams backfield.
The Titans defense is full of good players who are dependable and serviceable NFL starters but they need a player that consistently makes big plays. They need a guy who can come up with the big sack, stop, interception, forced fumble, etc. This player might already be on the team or he may be added this offseason. Whoever it is, they need him to step up if they want to be a formidable defense.
The run defense got torched at times (i.e. Arian Foster). Allowing opposing offenses to consistently get in manageable third downs was a problem. The more our young linebackers and defensive lineman develop, I feel this will no longer be a worry.
Earlier I listed youth as a problem but honestly, it’s a plus. The Titans had five rookies either start or contribute on defense this past year. Those young players are only going to develop and get better, especially with a full offseason and a year of NFL experience under their belt.
Depth in the secondary is a real concern for the Titans. The only reserve corners and safeties on the roster are second year players Chris Hawkins and Tommie Campbell, also injured reserve Ryan Mouton and back-up safety Robert Johnson. Unless the front office thinks these guys can get the job done, they need to add someone in the secondary to back up McCourty, Verner, Griffin, and Babineaux.
This next year is going to be huge for the development of the Titans defense and hopefully will be a coming out party for a dominating Titans defense.