Dec 30, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Akeem Ayers (56) is congratulated by teammate Tennessee defensive end Kamerion Wimbley (95) for sacking Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) (not pictured)during the second half at LP Field. Titans won 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
The Tennessee Titans defense was a mixed bag this year. They did finish of the season looking vastly improved, save for a Green Bay game where they were thoroughly bludgeoned, thanks in part to a Titans offense that couldn’t move the ball.
The Tennessean’s John Glennon posted an article the other day about Alterraun Verner and what he feels this defense is missing. Some of the things Verner said seemed to hit the nail on the head for me:
"I just think that we have to have some type of killer instinct or swag,” Verner said. “We need a little bit more of that. You look at some of the (other NFL) defenses and you just see, you just feel, that confidence. Sometimes I don’t get that sense from our defense."
I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes this defense gets in a rhythm and you can really see them feeling that way, but they don’t enter many games like that and it’s probably because of the struggles they’ve had early on. If the can enter the 2013 season strong, maybe they can get some of that much needed attitude on the field.
The Titans defense had swag in it’s hay day with players like Cortland Finnegan, Keith Bulluck, Jevon Kearse, and Albert Haynesworth. We’ve had to watch that fade over the last five years as those players slowly disappeared and as our defense underwent coordinator chances, most of which have been failed. They need to find success again. Once they do, I’m sure swag will follow.
Another interesting tidbit from the article was the fact that the Titans defense only had three heavily used players with more than three years experience in the NFL: Griffin, Babineaux, Wimbley. Half the time Babineaux was in rotation with some of the other young guys, meaning scrubs like Robert Johnson were on the field, not that Babineaux was anywhere near the picture of perfection this year.
But back to the main story here. I agree with Verner. This defense needs swag. A defense that’s not playing with confidence out there won’t ever see the kind of production that makes them a top-5 unit.
There’s something to put on their offseason shopping list: swag.
You can find me on Twitter @JustinLStewart