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Tennessee Titans hire Lou Spanos and drop draft hint?

Why a linebacker coach could make a difference on draft day.

Stephen Dunn

The Titans have hired Lou Spanos, who was the UCLA DC until a few hours ago. So what could this mean for the Titans?

First of all lets take a look at his current linebackers, two of which will be available in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Anthony Barr OLB

Barr has played linebacker for just two years, and under the guidance of Spanos he has transitioned exceptionally well. The converted running back has accumulated 23.5 sacks in the last two years. That exceptional number is partly to do with Barr's impressive athletic potential, but partial credit should also go to Spanos who took the third best running back on the team and made him arguably the best linebacker in the nation.

Jordan Zumwalt MLB

Zumwalt is the unheralded linebacker on the team. While Barr is crashing the edge, Zumwalt is crashing the middle of the field. Ball carriers unfortunate enough to cross paths with Mr. Zumwalt end up regretting it almost immediately. He is a head-thumper and could be available for the Titans in the fourth round if they are lucky and want a more traditional linebacker.

Draft day

Besides this being a huge value hire considering the job he was doing in UCLA as the DC, it is also a huge issue for the draft. If Barr falls to the Titans in round one, Spanos should be able to make the argument that he is the ideal hybrid DE/OLB that this team needs to solidify its pass rush. Barr would have to transition very little, and he would have a comfort level with the terminology.

Also, if the Titans want a two-down linebacker to be an enforcer on defense, Zumwalt is a linebacker that just plays angry and one that could be a tone-setter on a Ray Horton defense.

Another huge hire for the Titans, and Tommy Smith and Ruston Webster just keeps looking better and better as the Titans future in the front office.