The Tennessee Titans defense came into 2017 a little bit softer on the defensive side of the ball than they were a year ago. The defensive line became more aggressive, but it was the pass rush that was the most obvious change. The pass rush has always played a huge role in the Titans defensive success, and the team didn’t just focus on the pass rush. It went a step further and decided that the team needed to make its defensive front play harder and more physical, and that came with more of an emphasis on getting to the quarterback.

This past week, the Tennessee Titans announced their defensive strategy for the 2012 season. One of the main points of emphasis for the defense was a more aggressive pass rush.

7. July 2021

Turron Davenport


    • He did a story on the Eagles for USA Today.
    • Reported by the Ravens in the Baltimore Times.
    • Played football at Cheney University.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee. — The 2020 season has been full of disappointments for the Tennessee Titans defense. Their meager 19 setbacks in the regular season were the fewest by a playoff team in the last 40 years. Opponents were able to make 51.8% of their third-down chances last season, more than any other team. The defense allowed opponents to score touchdowns on 69.2% of their visits to the red zone.

After a series of measures to address those shortcomings in the offseason, the question now is whether the defense is better, worse or the same. (See a similar picture of the offense).

Here’s an analysis of the Titans’ defense by position for 2021:

Protection line

Additions : Denico Autry, Ebri Jones, Nakuan Jones, Bruce Hector

Losing: Jadevon Clowney, Daquan Jones, Jack Crawford, Matt Dickerson.

Review: Jeffery Simmons, Tyr Tart, Larrell Murchison.

Better, worse, or the same? It’s the same thing. The addition of Autry gives the defensive line an immediate boost. He’s not as versatile as Clowney, but Autry is just as much of a pain in the ass for opponents. Pairing him with Simmons at center would make this unit better. But the team’s depth suffered with the loss of Jones and Crawford.

Tartt has shown promise in limited games and should be a good replacement for Jones, especially as a running back. Murchison has continued to improve since his debut season and provides the Titans with the versatility they need in the offense.

The Titans are counting on Bud Dupree to bolster their pass rush. Donald Page/Tennessee Titans

Outside midfield

Additions : Bud Dupree, Rashad Weaver.

Losing: Clowney

Review: Harold Landry, Derick Roberson, Wyatt Ray, Tuzar Skipper

Better, worse, or the same? Better. Dupree is the type of tight end the Titans desperately needed the past four seasons. The effect is not limited to carrying bags. Dupree is also a very good defender against the run. The Titans hope Dupree’s aggressive style of play transfers to Landry, who is ready to take the next step as a pass rusher.

At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, the rookie Weaver brings length to the position and should be a starter in the rotation. A healthy Roberson will also improve the outside linebacker group this year.

Internal field environments

Additions : Monty Rice, Ola Adeniyi, B.J. Bello

Losing: Will Compton, Daren Bates.

Review: Jayon Brown, Rashan Evans, David Long Jr.

What you need to know about the Tennessee Titans:

– Titans free agent signings
– Free agent coverage | More NFL
– Analysis of each Titans draft pick
– Guard scores for each team
– McShay’s preferred pick for all 32 teams
– Titans schedule for 2021 | All games

Better, worse, or the same? Better. Brown’s return is the main reason the Titans will have a stronger group of midfielders this season. His all-around play has made him one of the Titans’ most consistent defenders over the past three seasons. If the Titans can find a way to utilize Brown’s pass defense abilities, he will greatly improve the defense as a whole.

Because Evans is playing in the same defense for the second consecutive season, he should be able to have similar success as he did in 2019, when he threw 111 interceptions and 2.5 sacks. Evans is a classic linebacker who diagnoses and destroys, and he has experience hitting on fourth downs and in field goal situations. A better understanding of defenses and schemes should allow Evans to play faster this season.


Additions : Brady Breeze, Mathias Farley.

Losing: Kenny Vaccaro.

Review: Kevin Bayard, Amani Hooker, Dane Cruickshank, Chris Jackson.

Better, worse, or the same? It’s the same thing. Hooker became a fixture this season after the team fired Vaccaro. The third-year linebacker threw four interceptions in multiple subsets last season. Cruickshank will be the third fullback this season after returning from injury.

The Titans have not made any significant gains at safety through free agency or selection. They hope Bayard has a good season and helps improve a secondary that allowed 36 touchdowns last season.


Additions : Janoris Jenkins, Caleb Farley, Elijah Molden, Quenton Meeks.

Losing: Adoree Jackson, Malcolm Butler, Kareem Orr, Desmond King.

Review: Christian Fulton, Breon Borders

Better, worse or the same: Better. Jenkins is one of the best acquisitions the Titans have made this season. He could very well replace Butler in the left corner and can score by intercepting the ball. Fulton will play at the right cornerback position after Jackson’s departure.

The sophomore will compete with Farley once the freshman completes his rehab from his back surgery in March. Molden, Fulton and Chris Jackson will also battle for the nickel position. Judging by the potential, this group is better than last year’s cornerbacks.

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