TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: EDGE RUSHERS.
In camp (7): Harold Landry III, Arden Key, Rashad Weaver, Sam Okuayinonu, Caleb Murphy, Zach McCloud, Thomas Rush.
Offseason developments: The Titans signed Key, formerly with the Jaguars, early in free agency, and then added Murphy and Rush as undrafted free agents following the NFL Draft. McCloud, who joined the team’s practice squad late in the 2022 season, signed a futures contract in January and practiced with the team all offseason. The Titans released Bud Dupree early in the offseason, and he signed with the Falcons. Former Titans linebacker Tarell Basham signed with the Bengals. Landry didn’t practice with the team in OTAs or the minicamp while recovering from last year’s ACL injury.
In the spotlight: Landry. A second-round pick of the Titans in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Boston College, Landry made it to his first Pro Bowl in 2021 after racking up 12 sacks and 49 quarterback pressures. While preparing for the 2022 season, Landry suffered a torn ACL on September 1, 2022, and was lost for the season. Landry’s presence was missed on defense last fall. The Titans have given Landry time to heal, and work. His return to the field will be a welcome sight for teammates, coaches and fans.
Battle to watch: Fourth OLB. Barring injury, Landry, Key and Weaver will be on the 53-man roster this fall. We’ve already talked about Landry, and we’ll highlight Key below. Weaver, meanwhile, has gotten noticeably stronger this offseason and is ready to make a bigger difference in 2023. So, who is in line to stick after those three? Okuayinonu has the edge because of his experience from a year ago, and his ability. But some newcomers will also be in the competition, including Murphy, a highly productive player at Ferris State who will try and make a splash in camp.
Keep an eye on: Key. The Titans were well aware of Key before he took the field this offseason. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder tallied 4.5 sacks, 15 quarterback hits and 27 tackles last season with the Jaguars, when he played in 17 games, starting three of the final four during the team’s run to the postseason. In five NFL seasons, Key has played in 71 games, with 13 starts. He’s tallied 14 sacks, 61 tackles and 58 quarterback hits. In Tennessee he’s already brought energy, and his playmaking ability will be on display in camp. He’s a guy who should be fun to watch.