Each offseason, every NFL team focuses on at least one area in need of an upgrade. So what aspect of the Tennessee Titans is looking better these days?
Training camp begins later this month for all 32 NFL teams. So that means another preview series from End Zone Score. Dating back to early March, we have taken time to look at each club’s best offseason addition. We even dabbled into some pertinent and historical numbers and previewed an up-and-coming player for each franchise.
Contrary to popular opinions, no team in the league is perfect. That’s why there’s a constant search for talent when it comes to this game. Each club has done its best to bolster its roster. So in this instance, we are going to take a glance at each franchise and pinpoint the department in which it made the most strides this offseason. We have looked at the AFC East, NFC East, AFC North and NFC North. We started the AFC South with the defending champion Houston Texans. Now it’s time for the Tennessee Titans.
This offseason, general manager Jon Robinson addressed the league’s 30th-ranked pass defense in various ways. Free agency brought safety help in the form of Johnathan Cyprien (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Brynden Trawick (Oakland Raiders). There are also high hopes for Kevin Byard, who finished tied for fourth on the club with 51 tackles as a rookie this past season.
But it was the cornerback spot that needed an upgrade after a year in which the Tennessee Titans gave up 269.2 yards per game through the air. Mike Mularkey’s squad gave up 35 offensive touchdowns – the vast majority from opposing passers (25). Meanwhile, the club managed only 12 interceptions despite a pass rush that came away with a very-respectable 40 sacks.
Enter Logan Ryan, late of the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. He’ll be paired with either veteran Brice McCain, second-year prospect LeShaun Sims or 2017 first-round pick Adoree Jackson (USC). This due to the fact that the organization opted to part ways with veteran Jason McCourty this offseason. Ryan is Pro Football Focus’s 17th-ranked cornerback while McCain sits at No. 36. The latter made 10 starts last season and is ideal in the nickel role, so it’s a major plus if Sims (2 starts in ’16) or Jackson can develop this summer. The Titans also signed free agent Demontre Hurst (Chicago Bears) this offseason.
Off a 9-7 season, the Tennessee Titans have high hopes this fall. As good as their offense is looking these days with quarterback Marcus Mariota, running back DeMarco Murray and a quality offensive line, it matters little if the defense can’t stop the opposition. Legendary coordinator Dick LeaBeau has some good pieces to work with here and it all depends on how fast this group rounds into form.