After a promising rookie campaign that closed out with Colin McCarthy bringing home Rookie Defensive Player of the Week honors in December 2011, the Tennessee Titans middle linebacker now recovers from a 2012 season cut short by ankle injury.
This young linebacker unit, featuring outside backers Zach Brown and Akeem Ayers, comes completely from Tennessee’s draft classes from the past two years, and the Titans are surely happy to know that McCarthy should be good to go by training camp, regardless of whether free agent signing Moise Fokou overtakes him on the depth chart.
“I feel a lot more confident,’’ McCarthy said, via Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “I feel good mentally, and now it is just a matter of hitting somebody. Most importantly, I have to prove to myself (I am ready). When you get injured or have a setback like I did, you may question things. Last year I did all the necessary things to make sure I was ready to go, and had a good preseason and then I had an injury. I am taking the same mentality I had last year into this year. I’m excited and will be ready to go.”
McCarthy will have his work cut out for him following a season that saw him fall to 49th in Pro Football Focus’ inside linebacker grading, even with him missing the final five games and only tallying 388 snaps.
“I’ll be excited, I’ll be hungry, I’ll be a lot of things,’’ McCarthy said. “It was a rough year for me last year, playing through the injury and battling with that and not being able to be out there, and seeing the way we struggled sometimes on defense, it was tough. “But it’s a new season, and that’s behind me. My injuries are behind me, and I have to prove to the naysayers and the people who think that injuries are a concern … I have to put those to rest.”