You could argue that no one in the NFL saw their stock rise as much as Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons did this year.
Looking back on the 2021 season, there are so many positive things to mention that it is hard to find somewhere to start.
Ignoring the stat sheet for a second, one of the most important things for Simmons this season is that he was put into a defense that understands exactly how dominant he can be and that plays to those strengths.
Shane Bowen was the recipient of a lot of hate this past offseason, but in retrospect the first time DC was heavily influenced by HC (and former DC) Mike Vrabel. While Mike Vrabel is a very good coach that continues to improve each year, he is not a great DC and as soon as he stepped away from the headset it was clear that Bowen deserved the title and the responsibilities that came with it.
That defense put the entire defensive line in a position to succeed, and over the course of the season and the postseason Jeffery Simmons ended up with a staggering 11.5 sacks 15 TFLs, and 19 QB hits.
His play elevated his status enough to finish first in the Pro Bowl fan voting for defensive tackles. That wasn’t the only prestigious honor given to Simmons though who also was named a 2nd team All-Pro.
To illustrate how incredible that last paragraph is, look at the list of active defensive tackles who have made the Pro Bowl and who have been named as a 1st or 2nd team All-Pro in their first three seasons:
What made last night so fun for the Tennessee Titans star
That was a great year, but the cherry on top was absolutely dunking on former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman and part-time human turnstile Quinton Spain.
In case you didn’t know, after the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line allowed 11 sacks (two were waved off) in their playoff game against the Tennessee Titans, Spain took shots at the Titans’ defensive line in the locker room and specifically Jeffery Simmons who had 3 sacks of his own.
You can imagine just how excited the Tennessee Titans fan base was to see Spain allow Aaron Donald to make the game/season/postseason/Super Bowl-ending hit on Joe Burrow. Jeffery Simmons was quick on the keyboard and stated what every Titans fan was thinking at that moment.
There is some very light cursing, so I won’t post the tweet in this article but you can find a thread of their exchanges here.
With the news that Aaron Donald might retire after this win, there is a chance that Spain gave up the play that lost a Super Bowl for the Cincinnati Bengals and that play also turned Jeffery Simmons into arguably the best defensive tackle in the NFL.
What a night for one of the young superstars of the NFL.