Tennessee Titans shut down the slot.


Before I talk about this let’s be honest, no one is going to confuse the 2014 Tennessee Titans with a defensive juggernaut. In fact, at best it was a middling unit that struggled against the run.

In fact the defense was terrible against the run (31st in the league in yards allowed). Which might be one of the reasons why the Tennessee Titans were the best defense in the league at stopping slot wide receivers.

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That’s right, according to PFF, the Tennessee Titans were the best in the NFL at stopping slot players:

“Tennessee Titans CBs allowed a league-low 0.78 yards/coverage a snap when playing slot coverage”

The biggest question I had after reading that was, who was responsible. While Jason McCourty is probably the most underrated cornerback in the NFL, he plays outside and doesn’t shadow wide receivers so it couldn’t be him.

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  • It also couldn’t be thanks to Blidi Wreh-Wilson, not only because he was terrible last year, but because he also played on the outside.

    After looking into it further I figured out that three players played significant snaps in the slot. Here they are in order of descending impact.

    Coty Sensabaugh

    I have said it before and I will say is again, in an attacking defense Coty Sensabaugh could be great on an island against slot receivers. He is deceptively quick and almost always seems to be in the right position. According to PFF, he was responsible for 9 games worth of snaps in the slot.

    Brandon Harris

    The underrated depth player made a big impact this year, that wasn’t properly respected because whenever offenses got in trouble, the looked to the run instead of the slot receiver.

    Unfortunately Harris went down with an injury earlier this offseason and the Tennessee Titans might miss his 4 games worth of snaps.

    Marqueston Huff

    Maybe the defender that people remember least from last year’s team, Huff was quietly a pretty solid player. He managed to accrue 3 games worth of snaps in the slot.

    That trio was responsible for shutting down opposing cornerbacks, and the fact that one of them isn’t the clear leader for the open slot job is astounding. Don’t be surprised to see Huff make a push for it thanks to his versatility and the things that allows Dick LeBeau to do.

    Even though Huff has a shot, I think it is clear that based on both long and short-term history, Coty Senabaugh is the best option to start in the slot. With Perrish Cox and Da’Norris Searcy expected to be big contributors, defensive backfield has the chance to take off and be very good in 2015.

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