Will potential superstars finally make the leap?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Two big name Titans defenders that need to make the leap this year.

Tennessee is about to undergo a unique defensive shift. Players like Jurrell Casey, Wesley Woodyard and Zach Brown are great 4-3 pieces, and have been promised that they will get chances to shine. On the other hand, players like Ropati Pitoitua, Al Woods, and Kamerion Wimbley all look like players better fit in the 3-4. With a brilliant mind like Ray Horton at the helm, I would expect he finds ways to make everyone comfortable. However, two players need to shine in their respective defenses to really prove that they can be leaders of the defense long term.

(Note: Obviously both of these players will get looks in both defenses, but each one has one that fits their strengths better than the other.)

4-3: Derrick Morgan

Morgan has looked like a great fit as a three-down defensive end in a 4-3 scheme since he first put on a Titans uniform. However, an inability to actually finish the rush and take the quarterback down has lead to him being a yearly disappointment. If this year he can find a way to capitalize on Jurrell Casey's growth and Horton's tendency to blitz, this could be his year.

3-4: Akeem Ayers

When Akeem Ayers is healthy and rushing the passer, his bend and closing speed are outstanding. He finds ways to get his hands in throwing lanes and routinely beats tackles on the edge. The issue is, Ayers just had surgery on both his knees. If he doesn't make the next step this year, the Titans will be looking for another edge rusher in both free agency and the draft.

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