Every time I try to turn on the all-22 tape and watch a random player on the Titans' defense, I get totally blinded with the brilliance and domination of Jurrell Casey. Every. Single. Time. True story -- last night I turned on the tape to find some of Deiontrez Mount's limited snaps last season, I came away with ten Jurrell Casey GIFs. The guy is a total monster and gets hardly any recognition. I'm here to try and change that.
The really interesting thing about him is that his frame is far from ideal. A squatty 6-1, 305 pound frame isn't what you want to see out of your five tech ends, but Casey makes up for it with agility, quickness and powerful hands.
If we're being honest, Casey is really playing out of position. A move to a 3-4 base when Ken Whisenhunt came to town forced Casey to play a little different role, but he's absolutely thrived in every way.
Every time I watch the Titans defense, I'm totally mesmerized at Casey's talent. I ended up watching all of Casey's snaps from the first half of 2015 -- here are some highlights.
Watch him take on a chip and a double team at the same time here, only to blow through all of it for the sack. It was a pretty pathetic effort by the Buccaneers' front, but Casey's relentless motor shows here. He's a bowling ball. He wrecked the entire play.
Casey's hands are special -- some of the best in the league. Look at him shed the block as soon as he pops up off the ground here. He finds himself free and puts a foot in the ground to get to the running back before he can get to the edge.
This poor guard just has no chance. Casey pops out of his stance and gets under his right side in a flash. He never even let the guard get engaged on him and was around him in the blink of an eye. Casey brings pressure right up the middle, forcing Luck to get rid of the ball instantly. Look how fast he accelerates after he pops through the line.
I've always jokingly said that Jurrell Casey could play the role of an edge rusher. It would look kind of funny seeing a 6-1, 300 pound dude lining up standing wide of a tackle, but that's exactly what we see here. Casey's quickness and explosion allows him to get around the edge and actually put a lot of pressure on Luck here. Watch the hands, too. He smacks the right tackle's hands down, keeping them from making contact with his frame. This allows Casey to get around the edge and close the gap on the passer. This is impressive stuff out of an interior defensive lineman.
I'm not sure any lineman in the league has more impressive lateral agility than Jurrell Casey. Watch the snap below -- he beats former Titan Andy Levitre within a half second, almost without making contact with him.
That extension Casey signed a couple of years ago looks like such a bargain now. Four years 36 million? What a deal! This is without a doubt Ruston Webster's best deal during his time here and maybe his second biggest contribution to the franchise outside of Marcus Mariota (which you could argue was a Ken Whisenhunt pick).
Casey is just 26 years old and is under contract through the 2018 season. He's set to be a free agent at age 29, but he should be able to cash in on another new contract before then. He's the cornerstone of the defense right now and will only get better as the Titans add talent around him. I'm excited to see what LeBeau has in store for him this season as he moves back into the role of the lone defensive coordinator.