Studs (Part 1)
Aug 24, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (99) sacks Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) during the second half at LP Field. The Titans beat the Falcons 27-16. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s a player who looks like he’s ready to become a breakout star. Jurrell Casey was already recognized as one of the NFL’s top run-defenders. During an Aug. 17 preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Casey had a strip-sack and fumble recovery on the opening drive.
How about some more pass-rush skills? Casey finished with five tackles and 1.5 sacks. Once again, Casey found himself prepared to recover a fumble deep in his opponent’s territory. The officials overruled that Matt Ryan fumble and claimed that he was down.
The Titans are fortunate to have a quality crew of interior defensive linemen that include Mike Martin, Sammie Lee Hill, Karl Klug and Casey. There are many skill-sets among that group. Even if Casey draws double-teams, that will open things up for Derrick Morgan, Lavar Edwards or any outside pass-rushers.
A lot of good came from the wide receivers. Nate Washington led all Titans receivers with four catches for 70 yards and one touchdown. Michael Preston and Justin Hunter both had big nights that included touchdown receptions. Kenny Britt had three catches for 42 yards.
Unless wide receivers have dropped the football, Locker has been extraordinarily efficient. Life has been simple because of an effective ground game and a functional play-action passing attack. What’s even more impressive is that Locker accomplished this without two of his top offensive targets: Kendall Wright and Delanie Walker.