Let’s be honest, the Titans game on Sunday was ugly. There is no sugar coating it, it was just downright bad. Having admitted such, we can now take a dive into one of the promising aspects of the game. Wesley Woodyard is 32 years old and in his 11th season in the NFL. On Sunday, Woodyard showed us why he is such a vital cog in our defense. Without Woodyard’s effort on Sunday, there’s no telling what the final score would have been.
Woodyard is coming off of a career season in which he had 124 tackles and 5 sacks. He also averaged over 63 snaps a game, making him one of the most reliable linebackers in the game. Woodyard has actually played in all 16 games for 4 straight seasons, look for him to make that 5 this year.
Making an Impact
Beyond making an impact on the field, Woodyard happened to be named a defensive captain for the team. This shows the immense respect that the players have for Woodyard in the locker room. Doubting his respect? Don’t. Since entering into the NFL, Woodyard has been named a team captain EVERY season. That says something about him in more ways than I ever could.
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With Titans rookies Harold Landry and Rashaan Evans both out for Week 1, more responsibility was going to be on Woodyard. While the Titans may have lacked in defensive pressure, Woodyard certainly didn’t lack in being everywhere at once. On Sunday, Wesley Woodyard played 60 out of a possible 62 snaps for the Titans defense. Byard and Vacarro were the only two Titans with more snaps, at 62. On a day of endless lightning delays, it seemed as if Woodyard was everywhere he needed to be. Woodyard recorded 12 total tackles on Sunday, including 7 solo tackles and registered 1 tackle for a loss.
Being 32 years old and coming off of a career year, some would say that Woodyard is due for some regression. I’m here to tell you that you might want to hold your breath on that regression. Woodyard hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, and unless someone else completely wows the Titans, don’t expect change. As long as the Titans continue using Woodyard, he will keep making an impact. Woodyard has long been known for a run stopper rather than a coverage linebacker. His biggest threat going forward very well could be Jayon Brown, as he is clearly the best coverage linebacker on the team. Competition is never a bad thing, look for Brown’s presence to elevate Woodyards play even further. I look forward to seeing Woodyard continue to be the forgotten linebacker, he plays that part well.