The Tennessee Titans lost to the Green Bay Packers in the pre-season opener, but obviously results don’t matter in this case. Let’s look at some of the defensive film to see how certain players performed in this game.
We’ll start by looking at Jackson making a mistake, and showing lack of discipline, which was his biggest weak point from his rookie season. Notice how Jackson turns his hips down field, which leaves him exposed for the comeback route. Jackson is giving a generous cushion to the receiver, yet turns his hips early, which makes this an easy pitch and catch. To add insult to injury, he whiffs on the tackle as well, albeit he does get back into it afterwards.
Jayon Brown won’t like watching this play because he makes a couple of mistakes and causes a touchdown. Brown is tasked with defending the running back on this play, but lines up too far away from his main target. The first mistake here is that he runs into his teammate, causing an open receiver towards the middle, but also slowing himself down on his own pursuit of the running back. The second, and most egregious mistake, comes from taking a terrible angle and letting the player run right by him. He should have used the sideline as an extra defender, instead takes a bad angle here and pays for it.
If he didn’t like the tape from the previous play, he will love it for this one. The most important part of the play is actually made by Gimel President, who rushed the passer and got a hand on the ball. Brown does a much better job of following the football than the Packers’ receiver, and gets an easy interception. What’s great about this play is the crossover by Brown on the Packers’ player right after intercepting the pass, as he runs back towards the sideline. If anyone is an old ESPN fan, imagine Chris Berman saying “Whoooooop” right as he crosses over the player, and rumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’ up the field.
Forget what happens on this play, I want you to watch the right defensive end, where Harold Landry is lined up. In the scouting article for Harold Landry (Click Here for Link), I mentioned that he has an excellent dip and bend move. One of the things I wanted to watch in this game is if Landry was developing new moves, and this is just a great move. He rushed up-field and then uses his inside hand to all but throw the tackle to the side. The guard comes and blocks off Landry, but this just a great move by Landry and a great sign for the future.
So why was the previous play great? This play is a direct result of it. In the previous play, Landry rushed up the field, cut inside, and blocked off the tackle with his arm. This happens two plays later on the same side, and the tackle is now reluctant to move quite as much up field. Landry goes back to his bread and butter and absolutely blows by the tackle, and uses his elite dip and bend move to get the sack and fumble. If Landry can make progress in incorporating other moves into his arsenal, he could be a monster. This sack is a direct result of his move in the previous example.
Anyone that read the site would know that I was a fan of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (Click Here for Link) prior to the draft, so that one hurt. He’s going to be a good player, and if this is a better throw, probably would have been a touchdown.
Conclusions and Takeaways on Defense:
- Harold Landry, if healthy, will be in play for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Sacks are always an attractive stat, and he will get them in bunches. He’s absolutely great at the dip and bend, and if he starts incorporating other moves, then the Titans got a steal. As per my scouting report on him, prior to the draft, I would have taken him in the first round.
- Kenny Vaccaro looked good on run defense, but I didn’t find plays to highlight. He had outside contain on a couple of them, but I would like to see him play a bit more.
- Adoree’ Jackson’s hip discipline concerns me, and I hope he corrects it. He has all the talent to be a shut down corner back in the league, but gives away his intentions with his hips at times.
- Jayon Brown is going to be a better cover linebacker than Avery Williamson, but he needs to work on his tackling angles in space.
- Cornerback depth isn’t great, the Packers torched the secondary with sub-par QB talent, although I love their young receiving core.
- The Packers followed through with a plan that should have been executed by the Titans. They added Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling to infuse size and speed for their offense. They are both very talented, and either would have fit in well with the Titans.
- Most of all, there weren’t any major injuries, which is always welcome.
Thanks for reading, and please check back with us for Titans updates. I know these aren’t as comprehensive as the regular season reviews, but the lack of coach’s tape makes it harder to dissect. Please remember to like and follow on Twitter as well.
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