Identifying the Tennessee Titans core players on defense after free agency

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2. Jeffery Simmons, DL

When I do these lists I don't start with the most talented player and work down, I look at the depth chart and put checkmarks by the names that clear the bar to be core players. If I did rank them purely by talent, Simmons would be at the top of the list of defensive core players and core players in general.

It is hard to really describe what makes Simmons so great. He has power, size, football IQ, quickness, and any other physical trait that you could want, but what sets him apart is his leadership and effort. There is no other defensive tackle with his size that is chasing down screens consistently, but every week you will see Big Jeff engulfing a running back that thinks the coast is clear and tries to cut it back inside.

He is a force multiplier and one of the top defensive tackles in the league with what he puts on tape, but his presence in the locker room makes him so key to this transition from the previous era. He is a unifying presence and isn't going to accept bad play which means that he will demand excellence from those around him.