The Tennessee Titans are a team that has relied heavily on a stout defense in passed years. In 2008, they ranked seventh in yards allowed and second in points allowed. The defense shutdown opposing running backs and created many turnovers in the passing game.
Coming into the 2009 season, the same was expected. However, one extremely important piece was missing: Big Al. Without a dominant defensive line, the defense as a whole suffered.
Without a disruptive force under center, running backs went five yards without being touched and I have never seen quarterbacks have so much time in the pocket. With that in mind, our secondary got thrashed and we finished with one of the worst defenses in the league.
In a year when the Titans boasted a fierce offense, especially with the return of Vince Young, the playoffs looked to be closer than ever, then the once-feared defense failed. There were games when even if we scored 100 points (just saying) the other team would of just put up 101.
Coming into 2010, the defense looks to make a big turn around. Now that the Titans bolster an offense that can get in to the end zone frequently, the defense only needs to really prevent the big plays. I however see much more from the Titans 2010 defensive players.
With the addition of Derrick Morgan in the draft, the Titans added a good pass rusher who will make up for the departure of Vanden-Bosch. Also, Jason Jones should be able to stay healthy all season and rack up the sacks with the help of Tony Brown. Brown was quietly one of the league's top defensive tackles leading the league in quarterback pressures. William Hayes and Jacob Ford are two good defensive end who should add support in rotations.
Due to the improved defensive line, our defense as a whole should improve. The linebacking core will get help form veteran Will Witherspoon, and Stephen Tulluch shows promise coming into his second season as a starter.
Now what I see as the biggest thing coming from this improved defense is the secondary. We finally have replaced Harper, who was targeted all year due to his age and inability to cover speedy wide receivers.
Now that we should have a decent rush, the quarterbacks will have less time to make good reads. That being said, we will once again see Griffin and Finnegan flying around snatching balls out of the air.
If all works out, we could see the defense of the 2008 season meeting the offense of the 2009 season. That sounds like a playoff contending team to me.
I can't wait for the season to start and see how this all turns out.