Titans Post-Draft Positional Breakdown: Defense

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by TitanJeff, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    The defense stayed on the field too long with glaring holes at Strong Safety and at MLB when McCarthy was out. Overall, the talent was inexperienced and/or inferior in most games. Opposing QBs completed over 66% of their passing attempts with almost a 93 passer rating. It resulted in one of the worst seasons for a Titans defense in franchise history.

    DE - Morgan made strides in '12 and Wimbley played better late in the season. Both have to start faster as lack of defensive pressure was a repeated theme much of last season. Frankly, Morgan needs to look like a first-round draft pick and become the kind of player opponents scheme against. The Titans added Lavar Edwards in the draft who will provide depth but we may see another DE signed before camp opens. How much will Ayers be used at DE next season? It's possible the Titans may move Ayers around in passing situations and bring him from anywhere they feel he creates a mismatch. He was productive last season and seems to be a natural pass-rusher.

    DT - The Titans are hoping Casey and Martin continue to improve and that Sammie Hill is the run-stopping space-eater the Titans haven't had lately. Pitoitua was also added but probably for no more than depth. After a big rookie season, Klug disappeared much of '12 due, in part, to less opportunities as the Titans struggled to put opponents in obvious passing situations. Many were hoping the Titans would add to this unit through the draft but the opportunity never presented itself. IMO, this is the unit which I'm the most concerned about heading into '13. Casey and Martin need to have big seasons. The Titans have to find a way to generate pressure from the middle.

    LB - Ayers and Brown gave Titans fans reason to be optimistic about the future of the LB unit. Both look loaded with talent and upside. McCarthy played well when he played which was too little in '12. It's hard to be optimistic he can give the Titans 16 games which is why they brought in Moise Fokou. I thought MLB might be a position the Titans addressed in the draft. The Titans did add WLB Gooden who seems to be a Brown clone meaning Williams/Gray may have plans on using the two together in passing situations. If McCarthy can stay healthy, this unit could become one of the better ones in the AFC.

    S - The most glaring issue among many last season was the horrible play from the safety position. The Titans quickly added George Wilson before free agency began and then Pollard soon after. Pollard and Wilson add attitude and experience and I'll be interested to see how both will be used. Pollard will likely start with Wilson coming in for short yardage situations. Griffin is coming off another bad season but, in his defense, was asked to play SS because the coaches felt Robert Johnson was too good an athlete to keep on the sidelines. Problem was, Griffin stunk at SS as did Johnson at FS. The hope is that, with better talent at SS, Griffin can become the ball hawk he once was and live up to his payday. To put it bluntly, he has to play better or he needs to be released.

    Behind them are a lot of question marks. Markelle Martin was a draft value but hasn't been healthy. Johnson seems to have the tools but didn't produce. The Titans took Daimion Stafford late in the draft but he'll need to stand out on special teams to gain a roster spot and could be destined to land on the practice squad.

    CB - McCourty and Verner should both continue to improve. Wreh-Wilson looks to be someone who the Titans may eventually want to start on the outside opposite bigger receivers so Verner can move back to the nickel where he seemed to thrive as a rookie. I'm pulling for Sensabaugh to step up and make a challenge for the nickel spot this season. Khalid Wooten will need to make the roster with his special teams play as it may be down to him vs Tommie Campbell who, despite a lot of hype going into last season, didn't see much of it translate to the field. Campbell has big speed but his penalties on special teams were too frequent.

    With the addition of Gregg Williams, it'll be interesting to see how the defense changes. It should certainly mean a more aggressive style of play despite him teaming up with Gray who often played extremely conservative last season—especially with the secondary.

    The hope for Titans fans is that the young talent on the defense such as Casey, Martin, Ayers, McCarthy and Brown will all benefit from another year of experience and the addition of Pollard and Wilson will add experience and attitude. The bulk of improvement from the defense will be these guys getting individually better, better schemes and having the Titans offense keep them off the field for longer stretches.
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  2. JCBRAVE

    JCBRAVE Tweet me @JCBRAVE

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    Good assessment of the defense. I can't wait to see how far our LB's have come since last year. Thats by far the best bunch we have anywhere on this team.
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  3. TitansWillWin2

    TitansWillWin2 Starter

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    Hate to break it to you but sammie hill was a better pass rusher than run stoper in Detroit!
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  4. The Hammer

    The Hammer Straight Ridah

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    I think DT also could come a long way. Mike Martin did a lot for a 3rd round rookie. Much like Jurrell Casey before him. Adding two big-bodied guys should only help both of them and may help Klug bounce back to his rookie form.
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  5. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    True. But that might be more because of who was playing ahead of him. He's a biggun.

    “He is a big, athletic inside player. He should help us in the run game and he gives us a different body type,” said Titans General Manager Ruston Webster.
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  6. Titans2004

    Titans2004 Starter

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    The heart of the defense is young. Can they continue to improve and can they stay healthy?

    The defense really can only get better given how putrid they were last year. Although I still think the offense holds plenty of the blame for its inablilty to sustain drives.
    #6
  7. oilerstruck

    oilerstruck Hall of Fame

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    What FAs are still out there worth looking at? Freeney? Arbraham? Who?
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  8. TitanJeff

    TitanJeff Kahuna Grande Staff

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    At DE? If he can be signed for the vet minimum, Israel Idonije.
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  9. The Hammer

    The Hammer Straight Ridah

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    I hope not. Do not need another broken down, over-the-hill vet. Do not need another Hutch.
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  10. The Playmaker

    The Playmaker pineapple pizza party

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    If the Titans don't go out and grab another DE then totally expect a lot of hybrid schemes that include Ayers at DE because I don't know how we can go through a whole season with just those back ups. I'm not actually too worried about the DT position, Hill is a space eater and will help us in the run game while Casey and Martin are just going to continue to improve. McCarthy has to stay healthy this year or else I think we need to start looking at someone else to be the long term answer. Expect Michael Griffin to get his head out of his...and start playing better. CB situation scares me a bit, I don't like the idea of currently having 2 solid starters and then hoping a rookie or one of these other guys can play. Would've rather gone out and got a vet but maybe Wreh-Wilson can knock Verner inside.

    Overall there are some question marks, like for every team, but with the young talent we have mixed now with the vet players we have a good thing going here. With an offense that can eat more of the clock now expect these guys not to fall over in the 4th like they did last year and actually make even more big plays with Williams here. I'm still more excited to watch our offense but our defense will be really fun to watch.
    #10