Tennessee Titans secondary ready to rise to the occasion

Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /

The Tennessee Titans fielded an amazing defense last offseason, but it seemed as if they could never break through to being a fully complete unit. A big part of that was due to their secondary, which was easily the weak point of the unit (let me explain).

Don’t get me wrong, the defensive backs weren’t bad by any means they just weren’t as good as the rest of the defense which was excellent. Kevin Byard and Amani Hooker turned into one of the top starting safety duos in the NFL, and Kristian Fulton turned in an excellent sophomore season as an outside corner. Elijah Molden also got more and more comfortable as a legit slot corner as the season went on.

But it just seemed like they never had that player who could be the second outside corner, which of course held them back. They might just have that this year, and the entire secondary as a whole just has traits and players that give you a reason to really believe in them this year.

The Tennessee Titans have a versatile secondary

The biggest reason for the Titans’ major defensive improvement in 2021 was because of their pass rush, which helped the secondary hold up the way they did. But when you look at this stat, you can see how they both helped each other more than we originally thought.

This is a stat that should make the Titans feel better about overcoming or at least mitigating the critical loss of Harold Landry for the season. And when you look at their secondary as a whole, you can see why they are so effective.

Byard and Hooker of course held it down over the middle, and Fulton turned into a bonafide starter on the outside. Looking at another stat shows you just how effective Fulton was at locking down opposing receivers.

Even though he was not so good in the slot, the Titans now have enough weapons to ensure that he can stay on the outside. Besides Elijah Molden, the Titans now have a (good) problem of having Roger McCreary and Caleb Farley who is fully recovered from his ACL tear last season.

Even if it could take Farley some time to get back up to speed, McCreary’s lack of action in the preseason shows that the Titans believe in him as a definite starting-caliber cornerback. Being able to rotate in and out is about as good of a situation as Farley could ask for, as he has barely played actual football since 2019 and needs to ease his way back over time.

Whether the Titans want to give one of Farley or McCreary reps in the slot, give them both opportunities on the outside, or both, they have choices and could easily use them to confuse opposing offenses. And the strengths of this secondary go just beyond the guys that jump out as their most feared players.

Lonnie Johnson Jr. has looked like a nice waiver claim and showed that he can effectively play that “tight end eraser” role. Ugo Amadi did not look half bad in his first preseason game and showed promise as a backup nickel corner.

You can see from looking at this secondary how many playable options the Tennessee Titans have and how they can excel at so many different things. They are adding onto what was an underrated secondary a year ago, so it is not unreasonable to think that they can be the piece that makes this defense even tougher to play against.