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Training Camp Preview: Breaking Down the Defensive Line Position for Titans

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TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: DEFENSIVE LINE

In camp: DL Jurrell Casey, DL DaQuan Jones, NT Bennie Logan, DL Austin Johnson, DE David King, DE Matt Dickerson, DE Connor Flagel, DT Mike Ramsay, DE Julius Warmsley, DL/OLB Kevin Dodd.

Offseason developments: Casey played in his third straight Pro Bowl, and he’s enjoyed another impressive offseason. The Titans shook some things up in the middle of the defensive line, adding veteran Bennie Logan while parting ways with Sylvester Williams. Jones, who signed a contract extension, spent the early part of the offseason recovering from last season’s biceps injury, and he was limited in offseason work in May and June. The Titans released defensive lineman Karl Klug. The team waived Antwaun Woods, and added a number of undrafted free agents, including Dickerson. Dodd can play on the line and also at outside linebacker. After missing OTAs, he returned for the minicamp in June. But he’s going to have to show something in training camp to earn a roster spot, and playing time.

In the spotlight: Logan. The Titans know what they have in Casey, one of the NFL’s most disruptive players. Adding a player like Logan should help the defensive line, and Casey, even more. Logan is a big and nasty player, a guy capable of creating plenty of havoc on his own in the middle. The sixth year pro played last season with the Chiefs after playing four seasons in Philadelphia. While offensive linemen deal with Logan, it should free up Casey to do even more damage with fewer double teams.

Battle to watch: Dickerson vs. King vs. Warmsley. Prior to the 2017 season the Titans added King, another former Chief, and he played in seven games. Warmsley spent the second half of the 2017 on the team’s practice squad after spending time previously with Houston, Seattle and Miami, and was re-signed in January. Dickerson, meanwhile, is an intriguing prospect who could surprise some folks. The UCLA product is big (6-5, 292), and he moves well. And he’s a contender to make the 53-man roster.

Keep an eye on: Jones. It was quite a finish to the 2017 season for Jones, who had 3.5 sacks in two games before suffering a season-ending injury. Jones proved to be a tough guy to block before his injury, and his development earned him a contract extension. After limiting him during the offseason, the Titans expect Jones to pick up in 2018 where he left off. If he does that, the defensive line should be quite a force across the board.

Next up: Linebackers.

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