Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) is tackled by Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis (52) and strong safety Bernard Pollard (31) during the second quarter in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
In possibly the most unsurprising development from the 2013 NFL offseason, the Tennessee Titans revamped a defense that surrendered a franchise-worst 471 points just one season ago. What other choice did management have? With owner Bud Adams desperate to witness a Super Bowl during his lifetime, the Titans had to do everything possible to end their four-season playoff drought. At the top of their priority list: fix the defense.
Below is a list that includes some of the key defensive players who were signed as free agents this past offseason. List doesn’t include players who were signed to futures contracts (e.g. Nathan Enderle) or any rookies:
DE Ropati Pitoitua
DT Sammie Lee Hill
DT Antonio Johnson
LB Moise Fokou
LB Greg Jones
SS George Wilson
SS Bernard Pollard
Most of these players will provide improved depth and serve as situational players. Pollard brings an intensity that this defense has lacked for the last few seasons. Pitoitua, Hill and Johnson provide size in the trenches. Fokou has earned first-team reps and, if Colin McCarthy can’t stay healthy, could work his way into a permanent starting role. According to Pro Football Focus, Wilson was the NFL’s eighth-best safety.
Have the Titans done enough? If not, there’s a chance that they could add to their rotation of defensive linemen: John Abraham. For the last month, those contract negotiations have been stalled because the Titans won’t commit to playing him on approximately 60-percent of the snaps. It appears as though Abraham is waiting to see if any high-impact DEs get injured during training camp. Abraham swoops in for the save.
Fans should expect an improved defense. Does an improved defense mean “good enough?” Even with the free-agent signings at defensive end and linebacker, depth remains a concern. Injuries to Derrick Morgan, Kamerion Wimbley or McCarthy could have a significant impact on the quality of this unit.
Which of these free-agent defensive players are you most excited about? Answer in the poll below. Discuss on Disqus, Facebook or Twitter.