It didn’t come as a big surprise that the Tennessee Titans didn’t get involved in the day-one free agency frenzy as teams began to pick off the big names available around the NFL, but when General Manager, Ruston Webster finally got his toes in the water, he showed restraint, and made some good moves.
The early days of the free agency period usually involves teams looking for specific pieces to make that Super Bowl run, and with the Titans just looking to fill a lot of holes to get them to the 8 and 8 mark, it didn’t make any sense for them to be bidding for these players.
The three most important moves the Tennessee Titans made, came as the week was coming to a close, and included re-signing Derrick Morgan, landing a Dick LeBeau desciple like Brian Orakpo, and the finale’ was getting cornerback Perrish Cox from the San Francisco 49ers.
Derrick Morgan showed promise with the switch to the 3-4 last year, and now having an experienced 3-4 linebacker like Brian Orakpo to work with, should help turn him into a solid asset in Dick LeBeau’s defense.
The former Washington Redskins pass rusher comes with some questions about his ability to stay healthy, but should be a big asset for this team, going forward. Not only is he a LeBeau disciple, he has experience working with linebacker’s coach Joe Spanos when he was with the Redskins.
Dick LeBeau, and Offensive Coordinator, Ray Horton got more good news late on Friday, when the Titans signed Perrish Cox from the 49ers.
Titan Sized staff writer, Devon Lloyd had this to say about Cox:
"Cox is coming off his best season of his four-year career. Finishing with 5 interceptions and 18 pass deflections, both career highs. He also added 49 total tackles. During his first three seasons in the NFL however, Perrish Cox was a player who struggled to earn consistent playing time."
Perrish Cox will provide a nice complement to Jason McCourty in pass coverage.
The Titans re-signed defensive lineman, Karl Klug, and not only did this move shore up the interior line, it was a locker-room boost. Klug can hold his own, in establishing a solid front, but with the right help, can get after the quarterback on occasion.
More defensive help came to the defensive backfield with the signing of Da”Norris Searcy from Buffalo. They needed a good run-stopping safety after cutting Bernard Pollard, and Searcy will beef-up the box but can also drop in coverage.
Searcy started to emerge in 2013, and had a good 2014 season as a starter.
The offense got some help as well before the week ended. Wide receiver, Harry Douglass is not the speed-burner we need to spread the field, but he is a solid third receiver who will challenge for the number two spot.
Douglass has been in the shadow of Julio Jones, and Roddy White in Atlanta for the duration of his career, and who knows how good he can be as a starter on this team. I suspect, the Titans will be looking for that outside speed in the draft next month.
The Titans also signed former Kansas City Chief tight end, Anthony Fasano late on Friday, and although the well-traveled receiver has primarily flourished as a run-blocker, he can catch the ball. Along with Harry Douglas, he will give quarterback, Zach Mettenberger more options in the passing game.
Last, but not least, the Titans solidified the kicking game by bringing back Ryan Succop for place-kicking duties. They had re-signed punter Brett Kern, and long-snapper, Beau Brinkley, so Succop was the last piece of that puzzle.
Things don’t seem to be going fast enough for Titans fans, but there will be more. Free Agency will go into the “value mode” this week, and this period will be in effect for the remainder of the time-frame. There are still some people out there who can help the team, and I expect more signings before the draft.
NFL.com’s Around THe NFL writer tells it like it is, in his Sunday post about free agents still available:
"Keep in mind, though, that key Super Bowl contributors such asMalcolm Butler, LeGarrette Blount, Akeem Ayers and Alan Branchweren’t even on the Patriots roster after last year’s draft.There are plenty of attractive options available."
Although I think Leonard Williams is still the anchor this defense needs, but by seeing what the Titans have done so far in free agency, I think it takes the pressure from spending the entire draft in getting defensive players.
It gives the Titan’s brass some options to find some nice offensive pieces in the draft next month, maybe even a quarterback.