Tennessee Titans Rookie Quietly Takes Starting Role


Sep 23, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans linebacker Zach Brown (55) tackles Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew (87) during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-US PRESSWIRE

The Tennessee Titans suffered another humiliating loss yesterday, falling to 1-4. The broadcasting media doesn’t care about the Titans roster as much, or at least they don’t take as much notice of things as us Titans followers do, but there was a change yesterday.

It was something I noticed at the beginning of the game. OLB Witherspoon wasn’t on the field, but rookie Zach Brown was. CBS did their starting line-up introduction thing, and it still showed Witherspoon as the starting OLB.

That doesn’t appear to be the case anymore.

As the game drug on, Witherspoon still wasn’t making an appearance. I wasn’t exactly looking for him, but he wasn’t showing up and Brown’s name was said fairly often.

Today, John Glennon presented a snap count from the game:

Zach Brown had a few things against him coming out of college and was said to be a little raw. No one was really sure what to expect from him, or whether he’d be able to unseat Witherspoon or not. It looks like he has.

Brown’s been playing well and was second on the team for tackles yesterday, just behind Akeem Ayers, a player he reminds me a lot of. I don’t think we should expect any huge plays out of Brown this year. Just being a consistent average would be fine.

Ayers was off in his first year but has shown tremendous growth this year. I think Brown will follow the same pattern.

Brown at least seems to be an upgrade in the pass defense department, something Witherspoon struggled with. That paired with McCarthy coming back from his ankle injury is huge for an ailing defense, though nothing they do can cure the Titans inability to move the ball offensively. Without the Titans offense finding a rhythm, you can expect to watch their defense to continue to struggle.

At least we can say that Brown doesn’t look like a bust early on. That and the Titans have to have the youngest group of starting LB’s in the NFL.

You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart