The Tennessee Titans brought in a ton of size on their defensive line this offseason, including free agents Sammie Hill, Ropati Pitoitua and Antonio Johnson in an attempt to bolster the unit. However, the Titans can expect more of the same from a unit that ranked 27th in total defense if it doesn’t get the consistently excellent edge pressure that former-first rounder Derrick Morgan is capable of creating.
“We got some length. We got some height. We’re big,” defensive coordinator Jerry Gray said during minicamp, via The Associated Press. “We got about three or four guys that’s about 315, which is good. Offensive linemen are getting bigger and defensive linemen are getting smaller, and that’s not a good sign when they want to stop the run.”
Morgan stands at 6-3 across from fellow Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley, who at 6-4 was also a first-round selection years back.
“This is a big man’s game, and everybody tends to think it’s a little man’s game,” said Titans assistant coach Tracy Rocker.
Morgan ranked third among 4-3 defensive ends and Wimbley 40th by Pro Football Focus. However, Morgan struggled a bit against division foes in the Houston Texans and oddly the Jacksonville Jaguars in each contest last season. Meanwhile, Morgan ate poor offensive lines alive like in contests against the Chicago Bears and Indianapolis Colts last season. If Morgan can begin dominating the league’s better tackles then we could see him improve markedly upon his nine-sack total.
Word out of minicamp was that Morgan looked excellent, and Tennessee will need consistently strong play out of him to make up for other defensive deficiencies.
“Defensive end Derrick Morgan continues to look good in drills,” Jim Wyatt noted in The Tennessean during minicamp. “On one rush near the goal line, he beat tackle Mike Otto around end for what would have been a sack of Locker.”