Is Moise Fokou the Pannel Egboh of 2013?

Colin McCarthy is poised for a big year - Don McPeak-US PRESSWIRE

Are the Titans once again engaging in "motivational" propaganda designed to push a young player? The Moise Fokou talk reeks of it.

Look I really like the Titans signing of Moise Fokou during the offseason as the linebacker position in 2012 was another area of great concern. He should provide a much needed boost to the depth at a position where the Titans struggled in 2012. Having said all that, is he REALLY going to push Colin McCarthy for his job in 2013? If McCarthy is healthy (the key issue here) then I seriously doubt he is in real danger of losing his job at middle linebacker.

This situation reeks of the Pannell Egboh smokescreen of 2012. Egboh was allegedly pushing Derrick Morgan and took first team reps in training camp. He might take his job you guys! Ultimately, Egboh would be waived by the Titans on November 5, 2012 having played all of 53 snaps. Morgan on the other hand would play all 16 games, 930 snaps (81%) and position himself as an exciting young defensive end to watch in 2013.

Despite a DUI arrest early in the offseason, it is unlikely Fokou will get waived by the Titans anytime soon. At the very least he is needed to provide depth and play on special teams which is an area where he has excelled during his previous 4 seasons. Whether or not he is going to transition to a starting role is another issue indeed. Is that likely? Let's take a look.

A former Maryland Terrapin, Fokou was a selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 7th round of the 2009 draft. He played sparingly his first season, making an appearance in 9 games playing primarily at the strongside position. He would play 211 snaps (29.9%) and register 26 tackles, 1 batted pass and 1 quarterback hurry in his rookie season. In 2010, Fokou would again play primarily the SAM position. He logged 426 snaps (42.1%), 38 tackles, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hit, 1 quarterback hurry, and 1 batted pass. In 2011, he would play both SAM and WILL in 10 games, with 228 snaps (34.5%), 21 tackles, and 1 quarterback hit. He spent the 2012 season with the Colts playing in their 3-4 base defense at both the RILB and LILB spots. He played 405 snaps (35.6%) and registered 37 tackles, 1 sack, 4 quarterback hits and 3 quarterback hurries.

A former Miami Hurricane, Colin McCarthy was drafted by the Titans in the 4th round of the 2011 NFL draft. It didn't take McCarthy long to replace Barrett Ruud in the starting lineup at middle linebacker and he instantly became the leader of the defense. McCarthy has generally worn the defensive mike as well.

In his first season, McCarthy would 11 games, 542 snaps (68.6%) and register 63 tackles, 2 quarterback hits, and 2 quarterback hurries. 2012 was clearly a disappointing year for the second year player, who would only play 7 games, 388 snaps and register 35 tackles. McCarthy is expected to be healthy for 2013.

I like Fokou as a player and I think he brings a lot of athleticism to the position. He is clearly going to be a great addition to the Titans defense. However, I do question whether the Titans really do intend to replace their defensive leader in Colin McCarthy with a player who hasn't played middle linebacker and has never been more than a role player in his career. I don't like the idea of rotating them either as you need a defensive leader who rarely leaves the field to wear the defensive mic.

I could be wrong but this situation reminds me of 2012 where the Titans engaged in some "motivational" propaganda to push Derrick Morgan. If healthy, Colin McCarthy should be the clear choice to start at the MIKE position, and he should be poised to have a strong season.

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