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Titans Fan

Is Zach Mettenberger the Future for Tennesse? posted by Titans Fan

NFL rookies have a difficult time adjusting the speed and caliber of talent that the game presents, but none fewer have a harder learning curve than quarterbacks. The sheer volume of the playbook, reading complex defenses and blitz schemes, understanding not only your job but the receivers, backs, and lineman.

No wonder most rookies start as a back up to watch a veteran work their magic as if it were second nature, OR get a season QB whose in the twilight of his career to mentor while the rookie is thrust into the starting role.

And after the Titans squared off the against the Ravens on Sunday, it’s hard to be optimistic about Zach Mettenberger as a franchise quarterback for this Tennesse team. He, like a lot of other pocket QBs out of college, got by with game managing and a big arm. But that doesn’t work in the NFL. You either need to be a mobile, dual threat QB like Vick or RGIII, or read defenses like the back of your hand (Peyton Manning).

Yet all season long, Mettenberger has shown the ability to do neither as he simply stands, concrete footed, in the pocket and take sacks as he fails to read coverage and underneath routes that are presenting themselves to him. Having been sacked 5 times this game simply killed what little momentum the Titans had on offense.

Zach Mettenberger not only requires a lot of time in the pocket, but he also has inconsistency within his reads and the flow of the offense. But when he is ‘on’, he’s on. But with the speed of today’s game. Can you really afford to wait for a QB to be on? While it’s too early to tell, Mettenberger looks like the same problem ridden QB that we saw back in college.

Continue reading "Is Zach Mettenberger the Future for Tennesse?"


Titans Fan

The 2014 Tennessee Titans posted by Titans Fan

The Tennessee Titans were in a position to draft quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater or Johnny Manziel but elected not to because they wanted to see if Jake Locker can still be the franchise quarterback they’ve hoping he’ll be. The eight pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, Locker has been inconsistent and if he is unable to improve his play, so goes the Titans.

Another issue many critics have with Locker is his health. He has missed 14 games in the last two seasons. If Locker can stay healthy, then he’ll have weapons to make the Titans offense more formidable. The team has gotten rid of two locker room headaches—Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt, replacing them with second round pick Bishop Sankey. The Titans do have a good receiving trio in Kendall Wright, Justin Hunter, and Nate Washington.

Aside from Sankey, the team drafted Taylor Lewan during the first round. Lewan is expected to start on the right side, relegating veteran Michael Oher as the back-up.

Other players returning to the Titans are Andy Levitre who lived up to the massive contract he signed in the previous offseason, and sophomore Chance Warmack who surrendered a disappointing seven sacks last season. They’ll be joined by sophomore Brian Schwenke.

The Titans have their issues in defense. Jurrell Casey would be a poor fit in the 3-4 defensive scheme that the team plans to adapt this year. Another good rotational player with solid upside, Mike Martin, is also anticipated to get lost in this scheme.

The safety position of the team is quite secured with returning starters Michael Griffin and Bernard Pollard. Both these guys are not stars but expect steady performances from them game in, game out.

Continue reading "The 2014 Tennessee Titans"


Titans Fan

The Ultimate NFL Fan Guide to Preparing for the 2014 Season posted by Titans Fan

The NFL is the most popular sport in the United States, and the upcoming season is only a month away. Every die hard sports fan already loves the NFL, but it has gained even more popularity in recent years due to fantasy football and sports betting. Fans love to prove that they know more about the game than everyone else, and there is no better way to do that than by wagering money. Savvy bettors will use a system like the award winning sports betting systems from Rich Allen. If you're serious about putting money on games this season, then you need to start preparing now for the upcoming season. Serious sports bettors are already getting ready for the season and so should you. So here's a guide to getting ready to bet on the NFL this year.

Study the Rookies

Every NFL season sees several rookie players make a big impact on their team and the league. The emergence of Keenan Allen last year allowed the San Diego Chargers come out of nowhere to claim the last playoff spot in the AFC. Andrew Luck was able to do the same thing for a last place Colts team two years ago. It is guaranteed that several rookies are going to make a major impact on their team this season, and by figuring out who these star rookies are is a great way to gain an edge in your bets. Some of the rookies that look poised to make a big impact this season include Kelvin Benjamin, Bishop Sankey and Jadaveon Clowney.

Learn New Rosters

NFL teams gain a lot of new players through free agency signings in the off-season. It can be difficult to keep up with all of the players changing teams while you are focused on other sports, but several of these players are going to completely change the dynamic of their new teams. All of the players in new cities are established NFL players, so it should not take much time to project their impact on their new team. Taking a day to learn every team's new roster will go a long way in helping you make good bets at the beginning of the season. DeSean Jackson, Toby Gerhart, Maurice Jones-Drew and Rashad Jennings are just a few players that should have an impact on their new team.

Continue reading "The Ultimate NFL Fan Guide to Preparing ..."


Joe Anello

Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three posted by Joe Anello

Welcome back everyone! I would have posted this last night but the lack of sleep Monday night really caught up with me. Now I’m back and ready to pick apart the transactions of days two and three of NFL free agency. Let’s get that money man!

OG Gosder Cherilus signs a 5-year, $34 million deal with Indianapolis Colts.
Additional signings: OG Donald Thomas (4 years, $14 million), LB Erik Walden (4 years, $16 million), S LaRon Landry (4 years, $24 million)

This is a group of Colt signings that I didn’t discuss in the day one recap because I was exhausted and there were too many to address. Cherilus was overpaid, but I get it. Thomas’ deal is tolerable and revamps the interior of their line. I don’t feel confident that Walden’s contract will prove to be money well spent. Still, signing Landry as well gives Chuck Pagano a play-making safety in his secondary. The Colts are spending, but not as crazily as the Dolphins.

WR Wes Welker signs a 2-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos

Okay, I have a LOT to say about this deal. I took to Twitter to express my thoughts shortly after the news broke, but I felt utterly hindered by the 140-character limit. I was really upset by the news that New England only offered Welker $10 million (including incentives). He’s only been one of the hardest workers on your team for the past six seasons and this is how he gets rewarded? EFF YOU PATS.

Welker’s caught 100 balls in his entire run with the Pats and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down. So imagine my surprise when I heard the Broncos only had to pay him $12 million… for two years!  If he, in this odd-as-hell receiver market, shouldn’t get more than $6M a year, I obviously don’t know football.

Continue reading "Free Agency 2013: Days Two and Three"


Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 51, Titans 20 posted by Joe Anello

Dude.

Yes, that is the only word necessary for the introduction to Chicago’s dominant blow-out win over the Titans on Sunday. Special teams got the scoring train rolling early and the offense fed coal engine late with some help from a defense that forced five turnovers on the day. Let us recap this glorious event.

 

(7-1) Chicago Bears 51

(3-6) Tennessee Titans 20 

Sunday’s contest had an auspicious start for the Bears. On the Titans’ very first play from scrimmage, Matt Hasselbeck found Kenny Britt wide open over the middle for a big gain. As he manages to do so often, Charles Tillman came over to make the tackle… and strip Britt of the football. From it only got worse for the Titans as Sherrick McManus blocked a punt which landed in the arms of Corey Wootton, who ran it in for the game’s first touchdown. Following a safety (due to a J’Marcus Webb penalty) and free kick, Chicago backed up the Titans offense, making them punt deep from their own territory, which Devin Hester returned 44 yards to the eight yard line. Matt Forte took that short field and turned in a one-play TD drive as he carried a pile of defenders over the goal line. Up 14-2, Brian Urlacher was not content, picking off a Hasselbeck pass on the next drive and taking it back 46 yards to paydirt. Tillman then victimized Chris Johnson with the dreaded ball-punch, forcing another fumble. Cutty and the offense got back on the field and finished a drive with a 13-yard score to Brandon Marshall. Following that insane barrage of action, Chicago held a 28-2 lead at the end of the quarter. They never looked back.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: Bears 51, Titans 20"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans posted by Joe Anello

After squeaking by the Panthers in a game they had no business winning, the Chicago Bears continue their southern trek in week nine by heading to Tennessee. The Titans are led by veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck, who continues to fill-in for the injured Jake Locker. No more time to waste! Let’s preview this game!

(6-1) Chicago Bears at

(3-5) Tennessee Titans 

The Offense

Mike Tice’s offense will have to contend with an aggressive and physical Titan defense that has actually given up the most yards in the NFL. (Yeah, they’re that bad.) Whether through the air or on the ground, Tennessee will be at a decided disadvantage. That means Brandon Marshall (yet again) will have the edge over corner Jason McCourty. Kellen Davis figures to factor into the gameplan as well, since he should be able to find the openings behind a simply decent linebacking unit. The Titans have a solid front four though, the most dangerous of which being rusher Kamerion Wimbley. Wimbley’s caused problems for the Chicago o-line before, so chipping him to make sure he doesn’t get confident early is key. (And obviously we need to keep Jay upright.) Get ready J’Marcus Webb.

Obviously Chicago needs to find its balance again today with Matt Forte and Michael Bush out of the backfield. Tennessee gives up a lot of yards on the ground, (over 140 per game), so Tice can’t afford to get pass-happy this week. (Though I feel like I can say that about every game.) Between the two backs we need to see about 30 carries in order to establish a ground attack and a valid play-action game as the contest draws on.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago ..."


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 4, 2012 posted by Joe Anello

Week four in the NFL did a lot to clear up our impressions all 32 teams, as we now have a four game sample size from which to judge them. Our three undefeated teams managed to continue their winning ways and our shockingly winless squad kept disappointing. Let’s review the weekend’s best action!

(4-0) Atlanta Falcons 30
(1-3) Carolina Panthers 28

It took a last second field goal, but the Falcons overcame their defensive lapses to get to 4-0. Carolina gave them all they could handle, but Matt Ryan calmly led his team on a drive from their own one with barely over a minute left in regulation for the game-winner. And now they get to reap the benefits of sitting pretty atop the NFC South.

(2-2) New England Patriots 52
(2-2) Buffalo Bills 28

For about a half, this game looked interesting. And then the Patriots woke up. Tom Brady remembered how awesome Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski are, finding them a combined 14 times for 233 yards. And the Bills remembered that they can’t hang with the Patriots and proceeded turn it over a whopping six times. Things were righted today in the AFC East.

(3-1) Minnesota Vikings 20
(1-3) Detroit Lions 13

Uh… don’t look now, but the Vikings are atop the division. The Lions? Yeah they’re on the bottom. Mikel LeShoure crapped out in his second career game, returning the Lions to their normal state of “no running game.”

 

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 4, 2012"


Joe Anello

My Many Musings on the Manning Maneuver posted by Joe Anello

The cloud that’s hung over the NFL for months ended today when the story broke that Peyton Manning would be signing with the Denver Broncos. The ramifications are not just limited to the Broncos however. They are far-reaching across the NFL landscape. Here are my thoughts on the biggest free agent signing in NFL history.

Why it’s an idiotic move for Manning:

The Broncos are still a massive rebuilding project away from legitimately contending in the AFC. Even if they bring in ALL of Peyton’s fellow aging ex-Colt teammates, their best hope is to win the AFC West. Beating the likes of Pittsburgh, New England, and Baltimore is going to take more than slapping the 2007 Colts back on top of an already shaky offense.

Former Colt center Jeff Saturday is already scheduled to visit Denver this weekend, starting the process of bringing Manning’s buddies to town. Dallas Clark will probably be next on the list to make a stop in the Mile-High City, ensuring that John Elway will do anything for his new legend. Even if they do make a push to bring in Pittsburgh’s Mike Wallace, the Broncos are supposed to be a run-first team under John Fox. This system will need to undergo an overhaul now that Denver has an actual quarterback. He can’t run this offense like Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow ran it. (Nor should he.)

What this means for the Broncos:

It means they’re still a playoff team. Beyond that, they’re good for another couple wins thanks to Manning’s presence. The offense will be improved by leaps and bounds, which will hopefully be enough to take the pressure of a defense that carried the team too often last year. No more will the Broncos be forced to win 15-12 skirmishes. I’m not convinced they’ll have even a top five offense with the pieces that have currently in place, but perhaps a shrewd maneuver or two will lean me in their direction.

Continue reading "My Many Musings on the Manning Maneuver"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Week 14, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

Heart attacks were felt across the nation on Sunday (especially by me), leading to plenty of hospitalizations. While you’re incapacitated, why not get the full scoop on week 14’s heart-stopping action?

 

(10-3) Houston Texans 20
(7-6) Cincinnati Bengals 19

So maybe the Texans aren’t absolutely screwed with T.J. Yates at quarterback. Who knew? They probably won’t make a lot of noise in the playoffs depending on the seeding, but they should stay competitive. Unfortunately for Cincy, there may be too many “respectable losses” on their record.

(10-3) New Orleans Saints 22
(7-6) Tennessee Titans 17

If the Titans weren’t in the middle of a playoff chase, I’d say it was time to start Jake Locker. Though with Hasselbeck’s injury, it might happen anyway. Kudos to the Saints for not falling into the “Trap of the Week.”

(5-8) Philadelphia Eagles 26
(4-9) Miami Dolphins 10

Oh Tony Sparano, we hardly knew ye. Wait, I did. You were a mediocre coach. Its obvious management was waiting for him to lose just ONE more game after that streak of wins they went on. Dropping one to the Eagles wasn’t going to cut it.

(8-5) New York Jets 37
(5-8) Kansas City Chiefs 10

Sparano wasn’t the only coach let go today, as Todd Haley was relieved of his duties in Arizona following this shellacking. When you make Mark Sanchez look good… nothing good can follow. The Jets inch closer to the playoffs with a surprisingly lop-sided win.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Week 14, 2011"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Week 13, 2011 posted by Joe Anello

The weeks are rushing by in the NFL with the playoff picture beginning to take shape. Two 11-game streaks could push their way to 12 and an NFC contender tries to get by without one of their biggest stars.

 

(6-5) Tennessee Titans at
(5-6) Buffalo Bills

I gotta say, the only reason I’m putting this one on here is that the Titans could actually sneak their way into contention for a wildcard slot if the Jets and Bengals lose. That shouldn’t be a tremendous feat against the Bills, who are stumbling mightily.

(0-11) Indianapolis Colts at
(8-3) New England Patriots

This is crazy. A 20.5 point line for a professional game? That just proves how utterly hopeless the Colts have been this season. I don’t expect it to be close… but that’s a very large number. Very. Large. Still, with Dan Orlovsky starting for Indy it could be a safe bet.

(7-4) Cincinnati Bengals at
(8-3) Pittsburgh Steelers

The Bengals have had two shots to make statements against the Ravens and Steelers but have failed to deliver. Round two against the AFC Champs takes place on Sunday as the Bengals try to hang onto their playoff hopes. Look for things to be different this time around as Andy Dalton should hopefully have A.J. Green for the entire game.

(7-4) Atlanta Falcons at
(8-3) Houston Texans

Uh… who’s Houston starting at quarterback again? T.J. Yates? …It would be REALLY hard for me not to take Atlanta here. I’m not saying Yates is awful, but first starts are hardly ever stand-out performances. The Falcons are quietly winning but need a noisemaker for anyone to start taking them seriously.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Week 13, 2011"

Tennessee Titans News

View All Tennessee Titans News


Titans agree to terms on 1-year deal with WR Hakeem Nicks (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


Greg Cosell's draft preview: Dante Fowler should be Titans' pick at No. 2 (Shutdown Corner%2

Everyone has an opinion on what the Tennessee Titans should do with the second pick. Should they go with a quarterback? Or take USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams? I'd have a different answer if I was making that pick for the Titans. I'd take Florida outside linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler. I think Fowler is the best defensive prospect in the draft. When I watch film of college prospects, I like to watch a couple games on a prospect, move onto other players, and a couple weeks later watch a couple more of that prospect. I don't want my first impression to carry through six or seven games in a row on a player. I'm glad I took that approach with Fowler. Early on, I saw a few flaws. I saw a troubling tendency when he was at defensive end to play too high at the point of attack and get moved by tackles and tight ends. He was engulfed by big tackles. I wondered if he had the size and girth to play defensive end. The more I watched, the more I liked of Fowler, to the point where I'd take him over any other defensive player in the draft. Fowler has n atural athleticism and flexibility, good balance, lateral quickness with explosion, closing burst and speed –all the traits you look for in an NFL pass rusher. He's still a projection as a pass rusher (remember, all college players are projects) but he is just scratching the surface of what he can become. But he f lashed explosive traits with a quick first step and excellent closing speed; Fowler has a chance to be a multi-dimensional pass rusher who can win with quickness, power and speed. He was even deployed at times as a coverage defender, and he had the athleticism and natural movement to do that effectively. He's really a p lus athlete with quick feet and fluid athleticism, and a competitive playing personality . There are still a few questions. I don't think he can transition to an NFL defensive end; he's n ot big enough to even match up to tight ends in the run game. C an Fowler transition to the NFL as a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3? Can he develop into a run-and-hit linebacker? I think his best transition position will likely be 3-4 outside linebacker. Rushing the quarterback is his best skill and that’s always a priority in the NFL. I see similarities to Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston when they were coming out of college. There are a ton of tools to work with when it comes to Fowler. He has a lot of athletic and explosive traits to work with, He has a chance to be a high level NFL pass rusher –my sense is he will be a better pass rusher in the NFL than he was in college. Here is a look at some of the other edge defenders in this draft (and there are many good ones): Shane Ray, Missouri Ray mostly played defensive end at Missouri, and he has t he natural explosion off the ball you look for in a pass rusher. He won a number of times because he was first off the snap. He s howed the initial burst to beat the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle and the body flexibility to bend the edge and close with speed. Ray is v ery strong and powerful for his size; he plays a violent, explosive game with tremendous passion. He is c ompetitive with a bit of nasty edge, the kind of player that doesn’t accept getting beat. Even though he was 245 pounds he also worked as a "3 technique" tackle in passing situations and was effective in that role too. Against guards he used excellent hand usage and technique and was often too fast for them. Still, his best NFL position is probably 3-4 outside linebacker. If he ends up at 4-3 end, the best comparison for a player his size might be the Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis. Randy Gregory, Nebraska Gregory can do a little of everything because he's so athletic. His excellent movement flexibility, loose and fluid hips reminds me of a basketball player. He also has p oint of attack strength to stalemate and set the edge in the run game. Gregory is a high-level athlete who can rush the quarterback or play in coverage. To me, he's an even better prospect than Jadeveon Clowney, who went with the first pick last year. He's a better athlete with more flexibility and explosive movement traits as an edge player. I think he best projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker in a base defense, but he can align in a three-point stance at defensive end in sub packages and rush the quarterback. Gregory will need to get stronger but has the body type to gain weight without losing his outstanding athletic traits. Vic Beasley, Clemson Beasley can't play defensive end in a 4-3. He just doesn't have the size for it and would not hold up. Beasley isn't a point of attack player. He n eeds space to operate most effectively; the more room he has off the ball the more he can utilize his quickness and speed. Beasley does have explosive closing speed as a pass rusher, and an outstanding short area acceleration. he also has a nice array of pass-rush moves for a young player. Bu t this point he's a quickness/speed/explosion pass rusher, because he does not have the body frame or strength yet to be a speed-to-power rusher. The question is can Beasley develop into a Von Miller type of player? That comparison may be valid. Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Kentucky I really like Dupree. The more I watched him, the more I really liked his traits as a player and a pass rusher. Dupree just moves differently than most guys. He's a really good athlete. Athletically a good comparison might be Jamie Collins of the New England Patriots, and I don't take that lightly because I think Collins is an exceptional athlete. Dupree is a little different than most of the players on this list because he wasn't a designated pass rusher for Kentucky. He was utilized often in coverage, even in sub packages. He was asked to fill multiple roles with a lot of different responsibilities in Kentucky's defense. Yet, if you line up Dupree and tell him to rush the quarterback, I sense he could turn into a good NFL pass rusher. Dupree must play stronger to make an immediate impact in the NFL, as he did not play to his size and explosiveness consistently. And at this point no real moves as a pass rusher. But he s howed the natural athletic movement and off-the-ball burst to develop into a quality pass rusher in the NFL, if a team wants to use him in that way. Eli Harold, Virginia My i nitial sense is Harold not quick enough to be an edge pass rusher and not strong enough to be a power rusher. He's not a true bend-the-edge pass rusher. He did not show the flexibility to get low and skim the edge. Also, at this point he is not strong at the point of attack in the run game; he did not show ability to stalemate or defeat blocks. How does Harold project with coaching, NFL training and experience as an edge pass rusher? That will determine his draft position. What is his upside? I do not believe he should be a first day choice in the NFL draft. He's a significant projection as a pass rusher. At this point I see similarities to Erik Walden of the Colts, a base 3-4 outside linebacker who also plays in the nickel as edge rusher, but isn't a great rusher. - - - - - - - NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league . [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Greg Cosell's draft preview: Dante Fowler should be Titans' pick at No. 2 (Shutdown Corner%2

Everyone has an opinion on what the Tennessee Titans should do with the second pick. Should they go with a quarterback? Or take USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams? I'd have a different answer if I was making that pick for the Titans. I'd take Florida outside linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler. I think Fowler is the best defensive prospect in the draft. When I watch film of college prospects, I like to watch a couple games on a prospect, move onto other players, and a couple weeks later watch a couple more of that prospect. I don't want my first impression to carry through six or seven games in a row on a player. I'm glad I took that approach with Fowler. Early on, I saw a few flaws. I saw a troubling tendency when he was at defensive end to play too high at the point of attack and get moved by tackles and tight ends. He was engulfed by big tackles. I wondered if he had the size and girth to play defensive end. The more I watched, the more I liked of Fowler, to the point where I'd take him over any other defensive player in the draft. Fowler has n atural athleticism and flexibility, good balance, lateral quickness with explosion, closing burst and speed –all the traits you look for in an NFL pass rusher. He's still a projection as a pass rusher (remember, all college players are projects) but he is just scratching the surface of what he can become. But he f lashed explosive traits with a quick first step and excellent closing speed; Fowler has a chance to be a multi-dimensional pass rusher who can win with quickness, power and speed. He was even deployed at times as a coverage defender, and he had the athleticism and natural movement to do that effectively. He's really a p lus athlete with quick feet and fluid athleticism, and a competitive playing personality . There are still a few questions. I don't think he can transition to an NFL defensive end; he's n ot big enough to even match up to tight ends in the run game. C an Fowler transition to the NFL as a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3? Can he develop into a run-and-hit linebacker? I think his best transition position will likely be 3-4 outside linebacker. Rushing the quarterback is his best skill and that’s always a priority in the NFL. I see similarities to Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston when they were coming out of college. There are a ton of tools to work with when it comes to Fowler. He has a lot of athletic and explosive traits to work with, He has a chance to be a high level NFL pass rusher –my sense is he will be a better pass rusher in the NFL than he was in college. Here is a look at some of the other edge defenders in this draft (and there are many good ones): Shane Ray, Missouri Ray mostly played defensive end at Missouri, and he has t he natural explosion off the ball you look for in a pass rusher. He won a number of times because he was first off the snap. He s howed the initial burst to beat the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle and the body flexibility to bend the edge and close with speed. Ray is v ery strong and powerful for his size; he plays a violent, explosive game with tremendous passion. He is c ompetitive with a bit of nasty edge, the kind of player that doesn’t accept getting beat. Even though he was 245 pounds he also worked as a "3 technique" tackle in passing situations and was effective in that role too. Against guards he used excellent hand usage and technique and was often too fast for them. Still, his best NFL position is probably 3-4 outside linebacker. If he ends up at 4-3 end, the best comparison for a player his size might be the Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis. Randy Gregory, Nebraska Gregory can do a little of everything because he's so athletic. His excellent movement flexibility, loose and fluid hips reminds me of a basketball player. He also has p oint of attack strength to stalemate and set the edge in the run game. Gregory is a high-level athlete who can rush the quarterback or play in coverage. To me, he's an even better prospect than Jadeveon Clowney, who went with the first pick last year. He's a better athlete with more flexibility and explosive movement traits as an edge player. I think he best projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker in a base defense, but he can align in a three-point stance at defensive end in sub packages and rush the quarterback. Gregory will need to get stronger but has the body type to gain weight without losing his outstanding athletic traits. Vic Beasley, Clemson Beasley can't play defensive end in a 4-3. He just doesn't have the size for it and would not hold up. Beasley isn't a point of attack player. He n eeds space to operate most effectively; the more room he has off the ball the more he can utilize his quickness and speed. Beasley does have explosive closing speed as a pass rusher, and an outstanding short area acceleration. he also has a nice array of pass-rush moves for a young player. Bu t this point he's a quickness/speed/explosion pass rusher, because he does not have the body frame or strength yet to be a speed-to-power rusher. The question is can Beasley develop into a Von Miller type of player? That comparison may be valid. Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Kentucky I really like Dupree. The more I watched him, the more I really liked his traits as a player and a pass rusher. Dupree just moves differently than most guys. He's a really good athlete. Athletically a good comparison might be Jamie Collins of the New England Patriots, and I don't take that lightly because I think Collins is an exceptional athlete. Dupree is a little different than most of the players on this list because he wasn't a designated pass rusher for Kentucky. He was utilized often in coverage, even in sub packages. He was asked to fill multiple roles with a lot of different responsibilities in Kentucky's defense. Yet, if you line up Dupree and tell him to rush the quarterback, I sense he could turn into a good NFL pass rusher. Dupree must play stronger to make an immediate impact in the NFL, as he did not play to his size and explosiveness consistently. And at this point no real moves as a pass rusher. But he s howed the natural athletic movement and off-the-ball burst to develop into a quality pass rusher in the NFL, if a team wants to use him in that way. Eli Harold, Virginia My i nitial sense is Harold not quick enough to be an edge pass rusher and not strong enough to be a power rusher. He's not a true bend-the-edge pass rusher. He did not show the flexibility to get low and skim the edge. Also, at this point he is not strong at the point of attack in the run game; he did not show ability to stalemate or defeat blocks. How does Harold project with coaching, NFL training and experience as an edge pass rusher? That will determine his draft position. What is his upside? I do not believe he should be a first day choice in the NFL draft. He's a significant projection as a pass rusher. At this point I see similarities to Erik Walden of the Colts, a base 3-4 outside linebacker who also plays in the nickel as edge rusher, but isn't a great rusher. - - - - - - - NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league . [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports


2015 NFL schedule: Top 10 must-watch games of the regular season (Shutdown Corner)

As much as we love every NFL game, they're not all created equal. Sure, we'll watch the Tennessee Titans face the Jacksonville Jaguars (twice ... gulp) but there's a little more excitement for the marquee games on the 2015 NFL regular-season schedule. With that, here are the top 10 must-watch games of the NFL regular season (all times Eastern): 10.* Tennessee Titans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Week 1 Sept. 13, 4:25 p.m. (CBS) This one gets an asterisk because of what might happen next week. Yes, these were the two worst teams in the NFL last season. But you wouldn't be interested in seeing No. 1 pick Jameis Winston starting for Tampa Bay against No. 2 pick Marcus Mariota for the Titans in each player's NFL debut? It's on the list if the draft plays out like that. If not ... 10. Seattle Seahawks at Arizona Cardinals, Week 17 Jan. 3, 4:25 p.m. (Fox) It appears the 49ers could take a big step back, so the Seahawks need a new NFC West rival. How about the Cardinals? Arizona was really good before Carson Palmer’s injury last year. Maybe the Cardinals will get another shot to take the NFC West from the Seahawks in Week 17, and maybe they'll be reasonably healthy this time around. 9. Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles, Week 14 Dec. 13, 1 p.m. (CBS) This will be the Chip Kelly-LeSean McCoy Bowl after the Eagles traded McCoy this offseason, and McCoy has had some pointed things to say about his former team. But it’s also a really good game between two intriguing teams. 8. Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 13 Dec. 6, 8:30 p.m. (NBC) [read full article]

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Greg Cosell's draft preview: Dante Fowler should be Titans' pick at No. 2 (Shutdown Corner%2

Everyone has an opinion on what the Tennessee Titans should do with the second pick. Should they go with a quarterback? Or take USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams? I'd have a different answer if I was making that pick for the Titans. I'd take Florida outside linebacker/defensive end Dante Fowler. I think Fowler is the best defensive prospect in the draft. When I watch film of college prospects, I like to watch a couple games on a prospect, move onto other players, and a couple weeks later watch a couple more of that prospect. I don't want my first impression to carry through six or seven games in a row on a player. I'm glad I took that approach with Fowler. Early on, I saw a few flaws. I saw a troubling tendency when he was at defensive end to play too high at the point of attack and get moved by tackles and tight ends. He was engulfed by big tackles. I wondered if he had the size and girth to play defensive end. The more I watched, the more I liked of Fowler, to the point where I'd take him over any other defensive player in the draft. Fowler has n atural athleticism and flexibility, good balance, lateral quickness with explosion, closing burst and speed –all the traits you look for in an NFL pass rusher. He's still a projection as a pass rusher (remember, all college players are projects) but he is just scratching the surface of what he can become. But he f lashed explosive traits with a quick first step and excellent closing speed; Fowler has a chance to be a multi-dimensional pass rusher who can win with quickness, power and speed. He was even deployed at times as a coverage defender, and he had the athleticism and natural movement to do that effectively. He's really a p lus athlete with quick feet and fluid athleticism, and a competitive playing personality . There are still a few questions. I don't think he can transition to an NFL defensive end; he's n ot big enough to even match up to tight ends in the run game. C an Fowler transition to the NFL as a weak-side linebacker in a 4-3? Can he develop into a run-and-hit linebacker? I think his best transition position will likely be 3-4 outside linebacker. Rushing the quarterback is his best skill and that’s always a priority in the NFL. I see similarities to Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston when they were coming out of college. There are a ton of tools to work with when it comes to Fowler. He has a lot of athletic and explosive traits to work with, He has a chance to be a high level NFL pass rusher –my sense is he will be a better pass rusher in the NFL than he was in college. Here is a look at some of the other edge defenders in this draft (and there are many good ones): Shane Ray, Missouri Ray mostly played defensive end at Missouri, and he has t he natural explosion off the ball you look for in a pass rusher. He won a number of times because he was first off the snap. He s howed the initial burst to beat the outside shoulder of the offensive tackle and the body flexibility to bend the edge and close with speed. Ray is v ery strong and powerful for his size; he plays a violent, explosive game with tremendous passion. He is c ompetitive with a bit of nasty edge, the kind of player that doesn’t accept getting beat. Even though he was 245 pounds he also worked as a "3 technique" tackle in passing situations and was effective in that role too. Against guards he used excellent hand usage and technique and was often too fast for them. Still, his best NFL position is probably 3-4 outside linebacker. If he ends up at 4-3 end, the best comparison for a player his size might be the Indianapolis Colts' Robert Mathis. Randy Gregory, Nebraska Gregory can do a little of everything because he's so athletic. His excellent movement flexibility, loose and fluid hips reminds me of a basketball player. He also has p oint of attack strength to stalemate and set the edge in the run game. Gregory is a high-level athlete who can rush the quarterback or play in coverage. To me, he's an even better prospect than Jadeveon Clowney, who went with the first pick last year. He's a better athlete with more flexibility and explosive movement traits as an edge player. I think he best projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker in a base defense, but he can align in a three-point stance at defensive end in sub packages and rush the quarterback. Gregory will need to get stronger but has the body type to gain weight without losing his outstanding athletic traits. Vic Beasley, Clemson Beasley can't play defensive end in a 4-3. He just doesn't have the size for it and would not hold up. Beasley isn't a point of attack player. He n eeds space to operate most effectively; the more room he has off the ball the more he can utilize his quickness and speed. Beasley does have explosive closing speed as a pass rusher, and an outstanding short area acceleration. he also has a nice array of pass-rush moves for a young player. Bu t this point he's a quickness/speed/explosion pass rusher, because he does not have the body frame or strength yet to be a speed-to-power rusher. The question is can Beasley develop into a Von Miller type of player? That comparison may be valid. Alvin "Bud" Dupree, Kentucky I really like Dupree. The more I watched him, the more I really liked his traits as a player and a pass rusher. Dupree just moves differently than most guys. He's a really good athlete. Athletically a good comparison might be Jamie Collins of the New England Patriots, and I don't take that lightly because I think Collins is an exceptional athlete. Dupree is a little different than most of the players on this list because he wasn't a designated pass rusher for Kentucky. He was utilized often in coverage, even in sub packages. He was asked to fill multiple roles with a lot of different responsibilities in Kentucky's defense. Yet, if you line up Dupree and tell him to rush the quarterback, I sense he could turn into a good NFL pass rusher. Dupree must play stronger to make an immediate impact in the NFL, as he did not play to his size and explosiveness consistently. And at this point no real moves as a pass rusher. But he s howed the natural athletic movement and off-the-ball burst to develop into a quality pass rusher in the NFL, if a team wants to use him in that way. Eli Harold, Virginia My i nitial sense is Harold not quick enough to be an edge pass rusher and not strong enough to be a power rusher. He's not a true bend-the-edge pass rusher. He did not show the flexibility to get low and skim the edge. Also, at this point he is not strong at the point of attack in the run game; he did not show ability to stalemate or defeat blocks. How does Harold project with coaching, NFL training and experience as an edge pass rusher? That will determine his draft position. What is his upside? I do not believe he should be a first day choice in the NFL draft. He's a significant projection as a pass rusher. At this point I see similarities to Erik Walden of the Colts, a base 3-4 outside linebacker who also plays in the nickel as edge rusher, but isn't a great rusher. - - - - - - - NFL analyst and NFL Films senior producer Greg Cosell watches as much NFL game film as anyone. Throughout the season, Cosell will join Shutdown Corner to share his observations on the teams, schemes and personnel from around the league . [read full article]

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