Our second player spotlight will focus on Jurrell Casey, who put Titans D-line back on the map in 2013. The big man produced 10.5 sacks (2nd most by a DT in 2013) and added another 10 QB hurries on his way to an All-Pro selection. Casey also notched a highly impressive 90 tackles from the DT spot. He also recorded three passes defensed, as well as a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
The play below showcased one of the many ways he dominated from the position. This strip sack sealed a Titans win against the Rams, and ensured he was a guy OC's have to game-plan for.
Casey's quick hands and good leverage made this play. It was clear to me that he was a different animal than in previous seasons, despite him playing solidly his first two years. A nagging injury last year apparently affected his game more than we knew.
Beyond his play on the field, Casey has an incredible work ethic, and that effort shows in his play. He had this to sayabout his Pro-Bowl snub:
“I’ve got to prove myself around the league,” Casey said as the season ended. “Obviously it wasn’t the respect that I think I deserve, but I’ve got to go out there and earn it.”
You've got to love that attitude. Something tells me that he will do just that next year. There is little doubt to me, however; that Jurrell Casey is the best lineman the Titans have had in many years, and is the kind of player who can alter an opponent's game-plan single-handedly. I think he has a pretty good shot to beat Keith Millard's DT sack record in the near future. Here's to having a ball watching him tear it up in 2014.