Last year Tennessee Titans EDGE Rashad Weaver spent training camp adapting to the speed of the NFL, but that didn’t stop him from wrecking shop for any offensive tackle or tight end unfortunate enough to block him in the preseason.
Heading into the season it looked like Weaver was going to be someone that got on the field early and often, but Mike Vrabel has a hard time activating rookies that don’t play on special teams even if they are better than the players he leaves active.
That delayed the hype train, but by the end of September, it looked like Weaver was ready to get on the field and compete as a role player. Unfortunately, he was one of the dozens of Tennessee Titans players that had to go on I.R., and what made it worse was that his stint didn’t last a few weeks, he was out for the season with a broken bone in his leg.
Still, we got to see enough from him to have a good idea of what he is and what he can become this year.
Weaver hits linemen with heavy hands and bad intentions, and his effort is top-notch. He has the frame to set the edge on the front side of a play or chase it down from behind, and he has flashed a few pass rush moves to get excited about.
It seems like he hasn’t lost any of that because everything we have heard and seen from camp indicates that he is going to be a player to watch this season.
Where he fits is an interesting question, but I think I have a good idea of what his role will be this season.
The Tennessee Titans have the luxury of some exceptional depth on their front line right now. Jeffery Simmons, Teair Tart, and NaQuan Jones are going to live between the guards while Harold Landry, Bud Dupree, and Ola Adeniyi are asked to win against offensive tackles.
You might have noticed that Denico Autry, Rashad Weaver, and DeMarcus Walker weren’t on either of those lists, and that is because those guys are wildcards that can play inside or outside depending on the situation.
On Thursday night against the Baltimore Ravens, I expect Rashad Weaver to spend most of his time outside against the tackles.
This should be a mismatch for the Tennessee Titans
Right now, if the Ravens choose to play their starting tackles they are going to end up with Ja’waun James at left tackle and Morgan Moses at right tackle.
The problem with that is that James hasn’t played left tackle since college and it is going to be hard for him to get comfortable against the Titans’ defensive line. James is being forced to switch from the right side to the left side because Ronnie Stanley is still injured.
There is also the possibility that James and Moses both sit out the preseason game since they are 30 and 31 years old respectively.
In that case, Rashad Weaver would be taking snaps again David Sharpe and rookie Daniel Faalele, which would definitely be a step down in talent from James and Moses.
Last year Weaver was someone that fans were getting more excited about every time he touched the field. There is no reason why that should change this year and especially not in this game, which is why it is the perfect time for the Rashad Weaver hype train to get back on track.
One of the biggest ways that Weaver can help this team this year is by proving that he can stand up strong against the run, and if he can provide some pass rush then that is a bonus. If he can prove that then it would guys like Harold Landry, Denico Autry, and Bud Dupree time to rest on the sideline.