Tennessee Titans new 3rd down linebackers
It is no secret that the Tennessee Titans defense in 2020 was potentially the worst defense in NFL history. They were abysmal and no one is safe from criticism.
The play design was poor and it usually featured dumb mistakes like cornerbacks playing 5+ yards off the line of scrimmage on 3rd and 2. When the play design was acceptable, the defensive backs were slow to react and the pass rush never got home.
However, an underrated problem was that the linebackers couldn’t really contribute anything. They generally weren’t involved as pass rushers, when they were involved they weren’t effective, and the only linebacker who had success in coverage last year was Jayon Brown.
Luckily, the Titans seem to have identified and corrected that mistake thanks to a change that fans have been begging to see for years.
For now, it looks like the Titans have made the change to put David Long on the field on 3rd downs. As a blitzer, he is night and day better than Rashaan Evans and he also has the quick twitch to react well in coverage.
This might finally be the year where the Titans have two speedy linebackers on the field often and in key moments, which is a step towards the 21st century that should make a massive difference.