Titans can prove they made the right decision on Jack Conklin in free agency
By Will Lomas
How the Titans can “win” this decision
Regardless of what happened this offseason, the Titans found their starter at right tackle and they added $10 million per season in cap space and a 3rd round compensatory pick in the 2021 NFL Draft in the process.
If the Titans really want to drive home the fact that they made the right decision, then they need to show exactly why they thought they could survive without Jack Conklin.
Clearly somewhere in that decision-making process, they decided that there were clear flaws in Conklin as a player that made him replaceable. I think the biggest culprit is that he can be stiff in his lower body and lose to speed rushers on passing downs.
I think a steady dose of Harold Landry would be a big problem for Conklin this week.
The Titans don’t play Landry against right tackles often, but it isn’t unheard of either. So far this season Landry has moved around a lot, but of his 650+ snaps that he has played at EDGE, he has played 20% of his snaps against right tackles.
Derick Roberson is also a prime candidate to show off his speed vs Jack Conklin, but I would caution fans who think that he is going to do too much. Despite his good work in relief of Jadeveon Clowney vs the Chicago Bears, Roberson played just 11 snaps once Clowney returned.
Clowney went on I.R. and the Titans needed more speed to stop the Ravens offense, so Roberson’s numbers bumped up to 52 snaps in Week 11, only to drop to 28 snaps last week.
Against a run-heavy team like the Cleveland Browns, I expect Jack Crawford to get more snaps and for Roberson to get fewer, meaning that the only true speed the Titans will have on the field is Harold Landry.
A few good QB hurries and maybe a sack allowed by Conklin would make fans feel much more comfortable with the idea of not paying him nearly three times as much as Dennis Kelly is making and it would be another win in an offseason of underrated moves by Jon Robinson being overshadowed by two players with big names and very little effort.