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Zach Brown to be heavily scrutinized Monday

All eyes on the third year WLB from North Carolina.

Justin K. Aller

Last year, everything pointed to Zach Brown having a big year. He had come into his stride late in the 2012 season with some nice turnovers and a constant presence behind the line of scrimmage. His supporting cast of Colin McCarthy (expected starter) and Akeem Ayers were healthy and looked poised to make an impact. New defensive coordinator(ish) Gregg Williams was much more aggressive than past coaches, which boded well for penetrating linebackers like Brown. Finally, Jurrell Casey and company looked like strong presence on a defensive line that was young and talented.

Fast forward a year, and looking back it is hard to remember Zach Brown really making any splash plays after week one against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, it should be said that most players hit the "sophomore slump" in their second year, and do look much better in year three for whatever reason. That being said, with a new coaching staff looking exclusively at last year's tape, a lot is riding on the next few days for Brown who is competing for the second ILB job.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Whiz says Z Brown under the gun because some of what he did on tape last year was not good</p>&mdash; John Glennon (@glennonsports) <a href="">July 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Ken Whisenhunt said he expects to find out a lot more about team when full pads go on for first time Monday <a href="">#Titans</a></p>&mdash; Jim Wyatt (@jwyattsports) <a href="">July 27, 2014</a></blockquote>
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Zach Brown has all the potential in the world, and I still think he is the man to beat for the job. However, Chance Warmack and that offensive line will be looking to prove themselves after a tough 2013. Not only that, but Taylor Lewan at left guard could be going up to the second level often. If Zach Brown doesn't bring his A-game, there is a chance that he doesn't start off particularly strong in team drills.

However, I have preached the fact that Ray Horton knows how to maximize his talent and if he can get Brown to play up to his potential, it would be a huge boost to that defense.