What I think Mike Vrabel is missing about Tennessee Titans young EDGE Harold Landry.
Mike Vrabel had an outstanding career as a linebacker in the NFL before becoming a defensive position coach, then coordinator and then ultimately the Tennessee Titans head coach.
However, I think there is an issue at hand with the usage and development of Harold Landry that needs to be addressed.
Now if you listen to the No Nonsense Podcast or follow me on Twitter, then you know that I think the Tennessee Titans are spreading Harold Landry thin instead of letting him dominate as an EDGE with less responsibilities.
The biggest issue I have is that I think that the Titans need to drop him into coverage less because he is more effective rushing the passer than nearly any other blitzer you are going to bring from the other side, even if there is a protection bust.
That isn’t the point of this article, but I wanted to make sure you knew that this wasn’t something that I am starting to find confusing now. Listen to this clip from Mike Vrabel from today (November 21st), courtesy of John Glennon:
Towards the end of the clip he says “If it is just a one-trick pony, then they can kinda lock in on that a little bit” as he is talking about Harold Landry as a pass rusher.
Specifically, I think he is referring to Landry building on his pass rush arsenal and working on counter moves instead of his outside dip and rip or his hand swipe.
We have seen and heard this a lot because the idea seems to be that the best pass rushers in the NFL can win inside or outside and that Harold Landry has the winning outside part down, but he needs to work on his inside moves to become great.
More from Titan Sized
- Tennessee Titans suspiciously quiet about major draft need
- Tennessee Titans agree to new deal with star Jeffery Simmons
- Caesars Promo Code Expires Soon – Claim $1,250 Today
- 3 needs that are being overblown by Tennessee Titans fans
- Tennessee Titans have potential dilemmas in 2023 NFL Draft
They say that good is the enemy of great, meaning that you should always be striving for more and not settle into what is comfortable. In that sense, I get why Vrabel is trying to get Landry to develop more and to figure out how to win inside.
But the reality of the situation is that you don’t need a complete toolbox to be great in the NFL, just look at some of the young star EDGEs around the NFL.
-Last year, 11 of T.J. Watt’s 13 sacks came from rushing off of the EDGE on the outside of the tackle with another coming from an inside rush and then the final one off of an X-stunt by the EDGE and DL.
-Also, Dee Ford had the same exact situation last year with 11 of his 13 sacks coming from just straight rushes on the outside where his speed and bend were showcased. He also had an additional sack in the playoffs with that against the Colts.
Both of those players are on pace for double digit sacks this year as well with T.J. Watt already there with an AFC leading 10.5 sacks.
Not only do one-trick ponies work in the NFL, but they are game wreckers.
There is a reason why Landry was the NCAA’s sack leader a year before he came out. The fact is that they don’t make many tackles in the NFL that can go backwards as quickly as Harold Landry can go forwards and that is 90% of what this comes down to.
The other 10% is hand usage and flexibility, but the fact is that teams are already trying to take away Landry’s speed in their match ups because that is where he is most dangerous. So, stunting him inside or trying to get him to work on counters that he isn’t really good at yet is only doing their job for them.
Harold Landry is a good run defender and has the athletic ability to drop into coverage or jam a tight end at the line of scrimmage if that is what the Titans want him to do. However, instead of trying to make Landry the perfect player they need to allow him to be a great player and then work from there.
He has all the tools to be a guy who can get you close to a sack per game with a defensive line like this supporting him. However, if you keep doing this you are going to be stuck looking at a guy with 8 sacks who was really good at jamming tight ends but that ultimately didn’t matter because QBs had 5-seconds to sit in the pocket and burn you for 20+ yards.