Titans defense has been underrated for many years. The secondary has been improving since Jon Robinson took office. One part of the team that has been solid for many years if underappreciated has been the front seven. Ever notice defenses over the years such as the Baltimore Ravens? Dean Pees can take much of the credit for many of those years as their defensive coordinator. In the AFC South, the Texans defense has overshadowed the Titans for many years. They were the powerhouse when it came to defense until the Jaguars took that position in the 2017 season. The Titans are going to bring the Jaguars and Texans competition for the best defense in the division in the 2018 season. The biggest reason for the defense being as solid as it will be this year is due to revamped front seven.
Revamped Front Seven
The 2018 NFL draft Jon Robinson decided to add two new players to the Titans front seven. He stole them in the draft as they were projected higher than what he got them at. Inside linebacker Rashaan Evans who was the Titans first-round draft pick will bring youth and energy to the position. Evans is going to compete with Woodyard (31 years old) and Compton (28 years old) who is also new to the Titans through free agency for a starting position this season. Harold Landry was the Titans second-round pick this year.
Landry will likely be in the mix with Orakpo and Morgan at OLB and brings youth and speed to the position. Landry will end up replacing Orakpo in the next couple seasons on the depth chart as the starter. Jon Robinson is looking for key pieces to keep the core of his defense solid. Guys like Woodyard, Orakpo, Casey, Morgan, and Compton who are in their late twenties and early thirties are still solid players but in football years are aging veterans.
Did You Know
Fun fact: Thanks to OLB Derrick Morgan, the majority of the Titans front seven have found a secret weapon! They’ve found a boost in energy by going vegan! With the exception of a few guys like Will Compton who recently said on the Titans Official Podcast who he was a special guest on with Taylor Lewan. That he loves to eat meat but he does prefer grass-fed all organic meat.
Imagine trying to break through a wall of massive, strong giants every thirty to sixty seconds for sixty minutes! The defensive line goes to war in the trenches every play against massive offensive linemen. The defensive line’s job is to disrupt plays at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield. Titans have a great group to get it done! The leader of the crew is none other than number 99 Jurrel Casey! This man deserves every ounce of respect for not only being a great football player but a great person. He is a beast on and off the field. In his seven years in the NFL as a Titan, he has only missed two games. He has combined for 774 total tackles and 39 sacks in 110 games played. That is just over seven tackles per game and just under three sacks per game.
Sorry, You Can’t Run Here
Bennie Logan a newcomer to the Titans is a solid DT/NT that just played against his new team last year in the playoffs when he was on the Chiefs. Bennie Logan is entering his 6th year in the NFL playing for the Titans and will be a great addition aside Jurrel Casey.
Austin Johnson will be entering his third season in the NFL at the young age of 24. He is a part of the youth on the D-line and will look to take some reps getting into the mix to give some of the veterans a rest during the games. Coaches speak highly on his ability to grow within the team and make a name for himself this upcoming year.
Daquan Jones another up and coming defensive linemen who just re-signed with a 3-year deal. Became a proficient pass rusher towards the end of the 2017 season and should improve on his skills and stats this 2018 season with the help of coach Dean Pees.
The Titans have the Tools and talent to have a great front seven. There is still one player out there Titans could add to make the D-line even more solid. Johnathan Hankins has not signed to a team yet. He has been linked to the Titans in the past months. After Suh signed with the Rams, many thought Hankins was going to be our guy. Then when we signed run stuffer Bennie Logan. Many thought Hankins would sign with another team by now. To many peoples surprise, he is still available. Coach Vrabel and Jon Robinson could add Hankins because he is a great Defensive lineman who specializes in helping to stop the run and could rotate on the line for the 2018 season and add depth to the D-line.
It will be interesting to see how coach Pees does uses the great D-linemen already on the roster. Titans front seven is versatile and quick. Look for the Titans to have a top 10 ranked defense in the 2018 season under this new coaching staff and the firepower that Titans added in the secondary along with the front seven!
Edward Oliver IV is a writer covering the Titans for @FPC_Titans. You can contact him there or directly @OliverThe4th on Twitter. #Titanup