Press clippings and on-paper predictions don’t get you too far in the NFL.
It is performance on the field, obviously, that makes the difference between winning and losing.
There have been media outlets and analytics websites who say the Titans have one of the best rosters in the NFL. And while players don’t exactly put a lot of stock in numbers crunching, some of the most tenured Titans admit when they look around the locker room, they see the best assembled team they have played on since coming to Nashville.
“I would say that since I’ve been here, it is the most talented,” said Pro Bowl tight end Delanie Walker, who is beginning his fifth season in Tennessee. “On both sides of the ball, we’re pretty deep. Everyone is behind somebody. I think that’s a good look for this organization.”
Jurrell Casey, who joined the Titans as a third-round pick in 2011 and weathered the bad times for a good portion of his tenure, not only was rewarded with a new $60 million contract extension, but now is pleased to be surrounded by plenty of talent on both sides of the football.
“We’ve got a good group of guys on our side of the ball, and on the offensive side of the ball, this is the most weapons I have ever seen on this team. The talented o-line and the weapons they’ve got to help Marcus (Mariota) out is unbelievable,” Casey said.
Walker agreed that things have changed drastically for the better in Tennessee in a short time. Off-season free agency yielded cornerback Logan Ryan, safety Jonathan Cyprien and nose tackle Sylvester Williams among other. Young talents like receivers Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor, tight end Jonnu Smith and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson were selected in the draft. And when there were still a couple of holes left after the off-season work, Jon Robinson brought in proven veterans in receiver Eric Decker and linebacker Erik Walden.
“It’s come a long way. When I first got here, we did pretty decent with (Mike) Munchak, but then a few years after that, we fell down. And last year, we came back to 9-7., so it’s come a long way. I’ve seen a lot of changes so far,” Walker said. “People say when you have a roster like this, you should be successful. But we’re ignoring the noise, we don’t care what people are talking about, because they’re talking about the team from last year. We want to be different than last year.”
Defensive end Karl Klug, like Casey, is from the draft class of 2011. He likes what has been assembled inside the Titans locker room as well. When asked if the 2017 Titans are the most talented team he has been on, Klug replied, “I think that’s probably fair to say. I think we all feel that way. Going to practice, I think we all feel like we’ve got a good team. We’re deep and we don’t have many holes.”
Linebacker Derrick Morgan, one of the longest tenured Titans, having been a first-round choice in 2010, says the window of opportunity is opening for this club.
“There are solid players on both sides of the field. We’re ready to make our run. There’s no excuses,” Morgan said. “We have everybody in this building that we need to do exactly what we want to do. The foundation has been set, the standards are in place, and we’ve just got to work day in and day out.”