Sammie Lee Hill wasn't the most coveted free agent on the market, but he could play a valuable role in the Titans defensive plans going forward (but more on that later).
Hill is listed as a 6'4 329 lb. defensive tackle, and most would assume that he is a sluggish space eater that will rotate out after first and second down but don't be fooled by his size, he can be very effective on third downs too. According to Pro Football Focus, Sammie Lee hill has tallied 43 QB hurries over the last three years, and hasn't had less than 12 in any of those seasons. Most impressively, he was only used as a rotational player thanks to heavy investments in Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley.
Hill gives the Titans a prototypical 1-tech for their 4-3 scheme, which is something that has been an issue since the departure of Albert Haynesworth. Stop-gap defenders like Sean Smith and Sen'derrik Marks were adequate, but Hill blends the best of both of these two players. Imagine The girth of Smith with the feet and (occasional) aggressiveness of Marks.
Everything about him leads me to three possible conclusions about how he will change the Tennessee defense.
1. Optimistically: At roughly 3.5 million per year, Hill gives the Titans their replacement for Albert Haynesworth. Proving to be a nasty interior mauler that prohibits teams from running the ball up the guy. Hill's presence encourages Jerry Gray and Gregg Williams to blitz Akeem Ayers and Zach Brown who have shown some flashes of brilliance as occasional rushers, and the Titans all of the sudden have the ability to bring pressure from any where on the field.
2. Pessimistically: Hill shows that he was the third rated DT by the defensive stats of the Lions for a reason. Hill shows that he benefited more from who played around him and the up-field scheme that Detroit encourages their linemen to play. Hill earns a rotational spot but proves too easily winded and becomes a liability against teams that can run a no-huddle offense.
3. Realistically: Hill becomes the starting 2-gapping 1-technique that eats up space and blockers inside forcing teams to assign double-teams to him, freeing up Jurrell Casey and Karl Klug to exploit one-on-on match ups. Hill's role is as a "series player" instead of someone who only fits into certain down & distance, and Mike Martin joins him in rushing situations.
The scenarios aren't mutually exclusive and fans could see a blend of any of these by the end of the season, but obviously I lean more toward a blend of the realistic and optimistic. The Titans were too eager to sign him early for me to believe that he won't have the inside track on the starting job.
Let me know your feelings on how he should be used and if you love, like, don't care, or hate this signing!