(Obligatory) Best Defensive Player
Malcolm Butler, Cornerback
Perhaps lost in the frustration of a disappointing defensive effort, punctuated by a bottom-five pass defense, was yet another solid season from Malcolm Butler.
Butler found himself short on help for much of the season, from a revolving door at cornerback forced into six games of Johnathan Joseph as the starter opposite Butler, to a pass rush that managed just 19 sacks on the year along with one of the lowest pressure rates in the league.
But as far as individual performances go, Butler had a nice campaign for himself, ending the year as the team’s leader in interceptions and passes defended.
Kevin Byard, Safety
He led the team in tackles. That’s about all I got.
Winner: Jeffery Simmons, Defensive End
A big night for Jeffery Simmons continues on, as the defensive end earns his second Titansy award, an honor I’m sure he must be thrilled about.
Interior defensive linemen on the Titans roster rarely light up the box scores, typically relying on the eye test to prove value that numbers won’t show. But while Simmons’ strength speaks volumes on film, his numbers aren’t bad either.
Beyond those second-place team finishes in sacks and quarterback pressures, Simmons also ranks first on the team in recovered fumbles, and, strangely, has more passes defended than many of the defensive backs on the Titans roster.
Simmons is a star, but is he the team’s MVP?