BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA - NOVEMBER 17: Quarterback Logan Thomas #3 of the Virginia Tech Hokies runs with the ball as linebacker Zach Brown #47 of the North Carolina Tar Heels chases at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray joined the 1st Quarter on 102.5 The Game this morning, and he had some interesting things to say about Zach Brown. From the top of the interview, it really sounded like he is planning on Brown being the weakside linebacker from jump. It sounds like Will Witherspoon will have an uphill battle in training camp.
He also talked a lot about the plays Brown can make in space. It is obvious that one of the biggest reasons they drafted him is because of the advantage he gives them from a match-up standpoint. Gray talked a lot about the "chess match" that is an NFL football game. He pointed to the fact that they can stay in their base defense more with Brown out there because he can cover a running back or a tight end down the field.
Gray also mentioned that having Brown out there will free Akeem Ayers up to get after the quarterback more. We will probably see Ayers used a lot differently this year than we did last. When they drafted him, they talked a lot about the multiple things he could do for the defense. Then the season rolled around and he just played linebacker. That is probably due to him not having much time with the coaching staff because of the lockout.
While the Titans didn't spend a high pick on a pass rushing defensive end, it sounds like they did address the pass rush by adding guys like Brown and Mike Martin because they will allow Gray to do different things with the players he already has.
Click here to listen to the whole interview with Jerry Gray