TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: LINEBACKERS
In camp (15): OLB Cameron Wake, OLB Harold Landry III, OLB Kamalei Correa, ILB Wesley Woodyard, ILB Jayon Brown, ILB Rashaan Evans, ILB Riley Bullough, ILB Daren Bates, OLB Sharif Finch, OLB D’Andre Walker, OLB Gimel President, LB Nigel Harris, OLB LaTroy Lewis, ILB David Long Jr., OLB Derick Roberson.
Offseason developments: The Titans signed Wake, who played his first 10 NFL seasons with the Dolphins, in free agency. The Titans added Walker in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, and Long in the sixth round. The Titans also added free agent Bullough, formerly with the Buccaneers, and Roberson as an undrafted free agent. The Titans saw veteran Brian Orakpo retire the day after the 2018 season, and veteran Derrick Morgan announced his retirement last week. Will Compton remains a free agent, and has spent part of his time hanging out on a bus. Speaking of buses, Evans broke the team’s unofficial record for most trips on the Titans Caravan, and from the look of things this offseason, he’s also covering more ground in practices in Year 2.
In the spotlight: Wake. Talk about a physical specimen. The 6-foot-3, 263-pound Wake has massive arms (see above photo) and is sturdy and smart. After racking up 98 sacks in 10 seasons with the Dolphins, the Titans now expect him to wreak havoc in Tennessee. Wake is motivated to prove those who think he’s declining wrong. In addition to his work on the field, Wake is already making his presence known in the locker room as well. Several of the team’s younger players have credited Wake for his leadership skills, and for sharing advice.
Battle to watch: Evans vs. Brown vs. Woodyard. The Titans have a good problem here. They have three inside linebackers – the veteran Woodyard and the rapidly improving Evans and Brown – battling it out to see who gets the most snaps. Woodyard is coming off a 124-tackle season, and Brown finished with 107 stops in 2018. And, as alluded to previously, Evans has made strides in the defense. While the team has made some other additions inside, including Long and Bullough, this threesome will set the tone and it will be watching them in camp.
Keep an eye on: Landry. A second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Landry flashed during his rookie season and finished with 4.5 sacks and 18 quarterback pressures. Landry has added some weight this offseason – roughly 6-7 pounds – while also doing homework to make himself even more effective against NFL offensive tackles. The Titans are counting on several edge rushers to make an impact this fall, but the athletic Landry has the potential to make the biggest jump in his second NFL season.
Next up: Cornerbacks.
TitansOnline.com looks back at the NFL career of former Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, who signed with the Titans as an unrestricted free agent. (AP Photos)
TitansOnline.com looks back at linebacker Jayon Brown's 2018 season. (AP Photos)
TitansOnline.com looks back at linebacker Wesley Woodyard's 2018 season. (AP Photos)
TitansOnline.com looks back at linebacker Rashaan Evan's 2018 rookie season. (AP Photos)