The talk all offseason was about the Titans improving the pass by signing Bud Dupree to an $80 million deal.
Unfortunately, Dupree has begun the 2021 season slowly as he continues to recover from a torn ACL he suffered last year as a member of the Steelers.
The team was confident Dupree would get his legs back under him rather quickly, but his knee issue seems to be lingering into the regular season. Dupree carried the ”questionable” tag all week long ahead of Sunday’s game against the Colts. Dupree was active for the divisional contest after his pregame workout seemingly went well, but Dupree didn’t take the field for a single snap, and was seen nursing an ice pack over his knee on the sidelines.
Luckily for the Titans, another former Steelers pass rusher has stepped up to the plate in a major way. Tennessee signed Ola Adeniyi in March of 2021 to a one-year deal. Adeniyi is earning a base salary of just $920,000 and counts for just one million towards the cap.
The Titans are getting excellent value on that deal thus far. Adeniyi has largely outperformed his contract through three weeks, recording 2.5 sacks in his past two games. He took advantage of his opportunity against the Colts. Adeniyi played more snaps on defense than he’d usually play given Dupree’s absence. Adeniyi answered the call by routinely being in the backfield. Adeniyi gave the Colts’ offensive line fits all day long while pestering a hobbled Carson Wentz on a consistent basis.
After the win, Adeniyi spoke of the confidence head coach Mike Vrabel has shown in him.
“When I came here, they told me I could carve out a role for myself, and that’s what I came here to do,” Adeniyi said. “We had Bud down today and guys had to step up. Coach Vrabel even said it, I don’t care where you came from as long as you produce and do what you have to do.”
Having flown under the radar since joining the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 2018, Adeniyi is embracing a chance of scenery while taking advantage of an opportunity to play a bigger role on defense.
Adeniyi will look to keep the good times rolling against a banged up Jets O-line in Week 4.