Why it makes sense for the Titans
J.J. Watt only has 9 sacks over the last two seasons and you might be one of those people who says, “Clearly he is washed up, why would they overpay for a big name?” Well, let me tell you why he is worth whatever deal the Titans would pay.
While sacks are the easiest way to tell which players are effective pass rushers, I think that QB hits are almost as important.
People talk about QB hurries, but that stat is absolute nonsense because if you are close enough to a QB to “hurry him” but you don’t hit him, then either the QB is bad at his job and panicked or you weren’t actually hurrying him.
Over the last two years, only four of the EDGEs in the 2021 free agency class have more QB hits than Watt:
T-1. Carl Lawson (54)
T-1. Matt Judon (54)
3. Shaq Barrett (53)
4. Markus Golden (47)
5. J.J. Watt (38)
The Titans leading “QB hitter” over the last two years is Harold Landry with 30, so even though Landry has more sacks and TFLs than Watt over that time, a deeper look suggests that Watt is actually getting to the QB more often even if it happens to be right when he is letting go of the ball.
I have been outspoken on how the entire goal of this offseason should be to bring in people who can get to Trevor Lawrence and whichever new QBs come in for the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts.
This is a chance for the Titans to make an impression on all of these quarterbacks and let them know that playing Tennessee takes a physical toll. So having someone like Watt that can punish the quarterback, would be huge.
The other benefit
Tennessee has two young, talented defenders in their front. Harold Landry is basically self-made and Jeffery Simmons is still learning just how strong he is. Both of these players could take a lot from a year or more of practicing and working out with J.J. Watt.
For Landry, he could work on his pass rush moves on the outside and learn how to properly use his length and bend to get around defenders while also developing a counter move.
Simmons could learn how to use his unbelievable power more efficiently as well as how to work on your secondary rush after the initial rush has been stymied.
Very few people have the aura of J.J. Watt and if his work ethic and hunger for getting better could rub off on the younger talent on this roster, it would have a ripple effect for years to come.