Tennessee Titans: The Edge Rush Dilemma
By Matt Ward
Dec 15, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; The Tennessee Titans defensive squad lines up against the Arizona Cardinals offense during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
In today’s NFL, most of the game revolves around the quarterback. On offense, they are the signal-caller with the awareness and moxie to audible at the line of scrimmage if they get a good read on the defense. During the 2013 season, fans watched as Peyton Manning was able to torch opposing defenses to the degree of setting records in single-season TDs (55) and single-season passing yards (5,477).
One major way to slow down an opposing quarterback is pressure. If the opposing quarterback is dealing with defensive players chasing him in the backfield, he is not able to fully concentrate on dissecting the secondary. This kills a team’s rhythm and leads to mistakes.
Need proof? Watch the aforementioned Manning in Super Bowl XLVIII. The Titans did not shine at getting pressure on the quarterback in 2013, and they are changing their defensive scheme in 2014.
So the question is: How can the Titans upgrade their edge rush? There will be a number of incoming rookies that will be popular picks, but there might be a couple of available talents via free agency as well. What follows is a look at four players that might just fit the bill.