After back-to-back seasons where the Tennessee Titans had to start guys that they signed off of the street earlier in the week because of injuries, you get to find out who can do the most with the least.
The one coach that has done the best job of turning "afterthoughts" into above-average players is defensive line coach Terrell Williams.
If you follow this site or if you follow the Tennessee Titans, Williams is a name that you should remember and appreciate. From the minute that the Titans hired Williams to be the defensive line coach, it was obvious that he could take good players and make them great.
In his previous stops, he elevated guys like Ndamukong Suh, Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, and others. Since joining the Tennessee Titans he has done that with guys like Jurrell Casey, DaQuon Jones, and Jeffery Simmons and the middle of the defensive line has been one of the strengths of this team year in and year out.
What no one could have expected is that he has consistently found ways to take UDFAs and turn them into functional starters. The shining example of this is Teair Tart, but guys like Isaiah Mack and NaQuan Jones have also made waves when they were pushed into the starting role.
His ability to identify and develop talent is a key reason why I believed that he should have been promoted to Defensive Coordinator instead of Shane Bowen when the Tennessee Titans were trying to replace Dean Pees a few years ago.
After the shaky Vrabel/Bowen season in 2020, Bowen has been fantastic and he has been one of the better DCs in the NFL. However, I still believe Williams will move up the ranks soon whether that is in Tennessee or somewhere else, especially if he can continue to work his magic with these hidden gems.
Speaking of hidden gems, in training camp, there has been some positive buzz around the development of a former UDFA, and Williams even came out and said that he could be pushing for a starting job this season.
Unearthing another hidden gem on the Tennessee Titans defensive line
Buck Reising got some great information from Williams on Thursday when he was asking about the development of the depth of the defensive line. Not only did Williams gush about Peevy, but he also said that Peevy could still make a push to start over Teair Tart as the tackle next to Jeffery Simmons.
Those are strong words considering that the Tennessee Titans have gotten a lot of good play out of Tart and that they felt strongly enough about him to give him a second-round tender as an RFA.
While I still think that Peevy will be a rotational player and not a starter this season, this is something to keep a close eye on. After this season the Tennessee Titans will have to either give Tart a new contract or move on, and if they view Peevy as a solid replacement for him it could change their offseason strategy.