The Tennessee Titans continue to add bodies into a defensive line rotation that will be significantly restructured before the 2012-13 NFL season begins in September 2012. John Glennon of The Tennessean has reported that the Titans have signed Leger Douzable to a one-year contract. Douzable confirmed this signing via his Twitter account.
At 6-4 and 284 pounds, Douzable is a versatile defensive lineman who can play end or tackle. After roaming around practice squads, Douzable made his regular-season debut with the St. Louis Rams in 2009. He spent the past two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Douzable has 57 career tackles with one sack and one pass deflection in 43 games over the past three seasons.
Ironically, that one sack came against the Titans in Week 16 of the 2011-12 season. As a member of Jacksonville, Douzable enjoyed a career game that also included five tackles in a 23-17 defeat on Christmas Eve. The Jaguars had 29 players on injured reserve heading into that contest. That created the opportunity for more playing time for Douzable.
The Titans are restructuring a defensive line that only had 28 sacks from one season ago. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the only team with a lower total (23). Titans general manager Ruston Webster realizes that the defense must apply more pressure on opposing quarterbacks, especially now that Cortland Finnegan signed with the St. Louis Rams this offseason.
Dave Ball and William Hayes are amongst the defensive linemen who haven't been re-signed. The Titans also lost Jason Jones when he signed with the Seattle Seahawks. Free agency was used with adding Lamar Divens and Kamerion Wimbley into the rotation. While Divens might not be anything more than a body for training camp, Wimbley is expected to be the dominant pass-rusher that the defense so desperately needed.
That doesn't mean they can't use another pass-rush specialist. A team can never have too many solid defensive linemen, especially in a four-man front.
I think Douzable could be a respectable option for depth. I don't see him starting over Derrick Morgan, Wimbley or any other defensive linemen that might be pursued in the first two rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft. I almost feel like this is some sort of bargain replacement for Jones. I'm interested to see how he's used by defensive coordinator Jerry Gray.
Fans should expect the Titans to pursue more defensive linemen as draft day approaches on April 26.
Joshua Huffman graduated from Middle Tennessee State University as a marketing major in 2009. He's been a Middle Tennessee resident from 1986-88 and 2001-present. He lived in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin from 1988-01 and for approximately eight months in 2009-10 as he completed a 20-game volunteer position with the USHL's Green Bay Gamblers. His favorite sports organizations include the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Cubs, Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans. He can be found on Twitter HERE.
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