We hit the quarterback on Sunday? - Wesley Hitt
The front office has sunk some high picks into the defense. How come they're not getting a return on their investment?
We're going to continue our look at the talent on the Titans roster. You can find Part 1 here. While the offensive side of the ball gives me some optimism, I don't have the same feeling about the defense. In fact, I think once we're done with looking at the roster we'll see that there are actually several good players here . Certainly enough that I will argue its the coaching staff that is limiting our defense. Let's get to the positional breakdowns:
DE: Kamerion Wimbley, Derrick Morgan, Scott Solomon and Jarius Wynn
There is no depth here and that's the biggest problem. Kamerion Wimbley looks like a good signing and Derrick Morgan has become a solid defensive end. After that? I quite honestly have no idea who Jarius Wynn is.
DT: Jurrell Casey, Sen'Derrick Marks, Mike Martin, Karl Klug, DaJohn Harris
The level of talent at this spot is fairly impressive for such a struggling team. This is one of the front office's strongest areas of work. Casey, Martin and Klug have all experienced various levels of success early on in their Titans careers. The coaching staff should get credit for their work with the young guys, though I will at least question their use of the rotation. I certainly thought Klug had done enough to get more playing time this year.
LB: Akeem Ayers, Zach Brown, Colin McCarthy, Will Witherspoon, Patrick Bailey, Tim Shaw, Xavier Adibi
We have one of the youngest linebacking units in the league, and fortunately for us they look like they have a bright future. Akeem Ayers is one of my favourite Titans. I love his versatility. He has been our most consistent linebacker and is in my opinion one of the few bright spots on our terrible defense. It has taken a long time for the coaching staff to figure out how to use him properly- and truthfully I'm not sold they are still getting the most out of him. Colin McCarthy has played well, but injuries have been an issue. That is obviously not the fault of the coaching staff. Zach Brown has had some good moments this year. I'm still a skeptical he turns out to be a consistent producer for the team, but right now the early results have to be considered at least promising. Let's hope he isn't another in a long list of guys with potential that never panned out.
CB: Jason McCourty, Alterraun Verner, Ryan Mouton, Coty Sensabaugh, Tommie Campbell
When infinitystealth and I were debating the roster yesterday, I initially said McCourty was having a rough year. I changed my opinion by deciding to put more of the blame on the safeties (that's you Michael Griffin!). I don't think anyone will argue that the talent at this position isn't acceptable. McCourty and Verner are statistically solid corners. Once again I'm not even sure we're getting the most out of them. The secondary schemes have been questionable at best. The rest of the group has struggled to make much of an impact.
S: Michael Griffin, Jordan Babineaux, Robert Johnson, Al Afalava
This has to be the biggest mark against the front office on the roster. They handed Michael Griffin a big contract in the offseason only to see his level of play remain the same from the past few years. All the others have sucked too. The constant rotation and benching of the safeties indicates that the coaches aren't happy with their play at all.
Every time I look at the roster, I find myself at least getting a slight boost in optimism. I think the front office has done a good job providing players, though like any team there are mistakes. Jerry Gray is not going to have a job at the end of the season, and that makes me optimistic as well. A coordinator change should improve this unit immensely.