Derrick Morgan is quietly having a career year


Derrick Morgan may be the biggest sleeper on the Tennessee Titans defense.

When you think of the Tennessee Titans defense, you think of names like Brian Orakpo, Wesley Woodyard, Kevin Byard, Jurrell Casey, Adoree Jackson, etc.

However, one name that doesn’t get enough credit is Derrick Morgan, the man drafted and developed by the Titans for nearly a decade now.

For a long time it looked like Morgan was going to be a solid defensive end, but nothing special. That isn’t a knock against him, there just aren’t a ton of above average EDGE players out there.

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His peak was a three year span where he tallied 19 sacks, which is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, if the team had a dynamic pass rusher on the other end, 6 sacks per year would be a really respectable total.

That stretch occurred in 2012-2014, which was the beginning of the end for that era of Titans players. While Tennessee fell into obscurity, so did Derrick Morgan. As free agency hit, it was a question whether Morgan would stay in Tennessee or go to Atlanta.

Instead, the Titans made one of their few good moves under Ruston Webster and brought him back along with Brian Orakpo. The first year brought mixed results.

However, in his last two years he and Brian Orakpo have been a very talented pass rushing tandem. Unfortunately for Morgan, Orakpo gets a ton of credit and the 8th year man out of Georgia Tech is usually “the other guy” in these talks.

Regardless of this, Morgan has been great these last two years against the run and pass. In 2015 he nearly had 10 sacks falling just short, but still he ended up topping his former career high by 2.5 sacks.

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This year, Morgan has already gotten 7 sacks with five games left to go. If Morgan continues at this pace he could end up with 12 or 13 sacks. That would mean in two years at the age of 28/29 he would have gotten 22 sacks.

Dick LeBeau deserves a lot of criticism, but what he and Morgan have accomplished is remarkable. He has turned him into a truly above average defensive end in the NFL and fans need to recognize this development.

In an offseason where pass rusher is going to be a huge need, Morgan and Orakpo have shown that they can still get it done. Now it is time to get them some help.