Tennessee Titans: Make or break year for Avery Williamson

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Josh Bellamy
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 27: Josh Bellamy /

The Tennessee Titans need to see know what Avery Williamson is.

I don’t think I am breaking ground here, but the fourth year of a player’s career is when you need to know what he is and will be.

That means that Tennessee Titans linebacker Avery Williamson should be entering a make or break year.

More from Titans News

The Pros

Avery Williamson is an easy guy to cheer for. He entered the NFL as a 5th round pick and came in and immediately made an impact.

As a run-stopper, he is one of the best on the Titans roster at any level of the defense. Don’t take my word for it, look at the stats from PFF:

It is easy to see why he is going to have a spot on this team for a long time, the only question is: is that all he can do?

The Cons

The reason he fell to the fifth round is that he really doesn’t have that burst or athleticism that you would fall in love with on third down. He was routinely abused in coverage, especially early in the year.

PFF had him at 51st out of 76 (qualified) linebackers in coverage. Now, to be fair, he is one of the better interior pass rushing linebackers if coverage on the back end holds up. Over his short career he has averaged nearly three sacks a year.

So while he is a liability in coverage, there may be a spot for him somewhere on 3rd downs.

What is he now?

If I had to summarize what Williamson has shown to be for the Titans over his career so far, I would say that he has been an above average run stuffing linebacker who isn’t afraid to do damage in a phonebooth. However, in an league dominated by quarterbacks his coverage ability limits his snaps significantly.

Live Feed

Titans re-signing Jeffery Simmons leaves a Hulk-sized footprint in AFC South
Titans re-signing Jeffery Simmons leaves a Hulk-sized footprint in AFC South /


  • Bergkamp FIFA 23 Challenges: How to Complete the Trophy Titans Icon ObjectiveDBLTAP
  • Other teams should get in on Aaron Rodgers sweepstakesWith the First Pick
  • 3 NFL teams that need to swoop in, steal Aaron Rodgers from the JetsNFL Spin Zone
  • Will the Tennessee Titans trade up for a quarterback?With the First Pick
  • Titans could select local product for latest quarterback projectFanSided
  • Short-term and long-term prognosis

    Both short and long-term, you want Williamson on the strong side of your defense when you are facing running downs. He is just rangy and instinctive enough to really be a very good run defender for a long time.

    I think that short term you want Avery Williamson to see the bench on passing downs. You have to really hope that Wesley Woodyard is a good QB spy/in the box linebacker on those downs.

    If you are going to go with two LBs in your sub-package then you are hoping that Jayon Brown continues to be what he has been through camp. A speedy, coverage linebacker would be great for this team.

    Long-term, you hope that you find a way to use him as a blitzer that improves his snap count on passing downs. Still, you are never going to want him to be the guy that has to cover Jack Doyle down the seam and he isn’t even one of the more athletic tight ends in the league.

    More from Titan Sized


    All you want to see this year from Williamson is the ability to continue and stop the run at a high level. That should lock down a new contract and a starting spot on this roster going forward.

    If that takes a step back or if Jayon Brown comes in and combines run stopping to his potentially great coverage ability, then you have to sit down and evaluate your options next season.

    Still, I think there is a really good chance that a deal gets done with Williamson early in the season or even in the preseason if they think that duo will be a great pair of role-specific linebackers going forward.