Which Tennessee Titans players should be rooting for a Clowney signing?
At this point, many Tennessee Titans fans have already made the assumption that Jadeveon Clowney is signing with the team.
That is a dangerous assumption to make, but the fan base has been peppered with quotes about how much the Titans front office and coaches like “JC” and they have name-dropped him several times in tweets.
While there is still plenty of time for heartbreak, let’s talk about what Jadeveon Clowney actually does on the field because you might be pretty surprised.
There is a little bit of a misconception about how Clowney is used, and I didn’t realize how incorrect some of these misconceptions were both by me and by nearly everyone I have listened to.
The prevailing description of Jadeveon Clowney is that he is a heavy-handed EDGE who can line up inside or outside, but whose best comparison would be an improved version of Derrick Morgan. Someone who sets the edge vs the run and who kicks inside on pass rush downs and who can play every down.
To an extent, that is true. When I went back and watched his tape over the last few days, Clowney was strong at the point of attack and he won with violent movements paired with a very competent bull rush.
However, something I was surprised to see is that Clowney really wasn’t a guy who could play on third down and who thrived on first and second down, it was just the opposite.
Jadeveon Clowney can win on first and second down whether that means setting the edge or penetrating in the backfield, but he was used much more often as a sub-package EDGE. In that role, his job was to rush the passer and do anything he could to affect the opposing QB.
In fact, over the last four seasons, Clowney has played over 700 snaps in each of them. During that stretch, he has played 1,179 snaps as a run defender and 2,183 as a pass defender, which means he has spent 34% of his snaps as a run defender.
That is good news and bad news for some Titans players, but I wanted to focus on the Titan who benefit the most from that newfound knowledge (as well as an interesting stat I saw yesterday).