MOBILE, Ala. – The question was served up to Titans general Jon Robinson using his own words as the lead-in.
Robinson, heading into fourth NFL Draft as the team's GM, has consistently preached he’s looking for tough, dependable, accountable, and team-first players.
So, in discussing this year's offseason personnel focus, he was asked if the team needed more nasty players. Robinson paused, and then delivered his answer with a slight grin.
“We’re looking for smart, fast, and nasty,” Robinson replied. “Maybe I’ll add 'nasty' to my (list).”
As the interview continued here at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, however, Robinson kept the nasty conversation going.
Yes, he’s looking to win in the trenches. And he's looking for more “wolves.”
“With those lines of scrimmage, the meaner and the nastier you are within the confines of the whistle, and the snap, the better,” Robinson said.
“We’ve certainly had our fair share of it. We have some tough, nasty guys on our football team. But it is like anything else – if you can have more tough, and nasty guys, the better.
“It is like a pack of wolves,” Robinson continued. “I wouldn’t want to mess with a wolf, but if you have three or four wolves and you add another four or five wolves, I’d rather go into a fight with seven or eight wolves instead of three. You kind of like your chances a little bit more.”
Robinson and Titans coach Mike Vrabel spent Tuesday watching practices, a day after spending the evening talking to prospects here at the Senior Bowl. The Titans are well represented, as members of the coaching staff and scouting staff are out in full force.
Next month, the contingent will head to Indianapolis for the NFL Combine.
The NFL Draft will be April, in Nashville.
“We talked to probably four or five guys (Monday night),” Robinson said of the prospects. “You only get 60 of those interviews at the combine, so if you can talk to 15 guys here at the Senior Bowl, plus your 60, you’ve got 75. So it allows you to talk to some guys at the combine that you wouldn’t have gotten to. So that certainly helps.”
So what does Robinson look for in practices here at the Senior Bowl?
He’s keeping a close eye on the competitive portions, like the 1 on 1s, the 7 on 7s, and the pass rush drills. He’s watching to see how players interact with their teammates, and coaches. He wants to see them compete.
He makes it sound like the strength of the draft matches up pretty well with the team’s needs.
“Much has been made about the defensive front seven,” Robinson said. “There is really good depth on the front seven of the defense. I think there’s good offensive linemen. It’s a heavy tight end crop. There’s some pretty good backs in the draft.
“I think there’s some good value at receiver. There’s certainly some guys at the top, but I think maybe in the later rounds, too, we already have kind of our sights set on, if you will, or earmarked as guys who can help our football team.”
And, of course, he’s looking for nasty players.
“Oh, yes,” Robinson said. “There are some wolves in this draft.”