Can Rashaan Evans or Jayon Brown be that guy for the Tennessee Titans?
It hurts Tennessee Titans fans to hear this, but last year the guy who did that better than anyone was Will Compton. Both Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown haven’t been consistent about taking on that sort of contact over the course of their careers.
However, now that there really isn’t another role open on the defense, Evans and Brown should both be competing to show which one of them can set up their partner to make more plays.
In fact, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if the Titans put Dylan Cole in for a few reps to see if he is up to the challenge.
Despite his limitations, he has that special teams mindset of a guy who knows that sometimes the best thing you can do is stay in your lane and destroy a block instead of trying to be clever and slip a block to make a play.
When it comes down to it, the Tennessee Titans use a variety of formations and personnel groupings to try to take advantage of the players that they have.
Remember that guys like Kyle Peko, Anthony Rush, Larrell Murchison, NaQuan Jones, and Amani Bledsoe have all had games where they play 25% or more of the defensive snaps because of the body type and skill set that they can bring against a specific offense.
No matter who earns that role, they are going to be earning a part-time job where they can focus on a niche part of the defense. The bulk of the linebacker snaps in 2021 should go to Long and Cunningham and in 2022 (if Cunningham returns) this physical run-defender role should be filled by Monty Rice who was coming on really well until a recent injury landed him on I.R.