Who's stood out on the defensive side of the ball so far?
So far, we're still waiting for the "light to come on" for this new-look Titans defense. The defense as a whole has been a day late and a dollar short, starting out especially slowly in each of their first three games. There hasn't been a ton of pressure on quarterbacks, and there has been a dearth of turnovers as well. That aside, here are my top performers through camp and three games.
Jurrell Casey, DT
Casey is the clear blue chip player on the Titans defense, and despite claims that he was not a good fit in Horton's 3-4, he's been effective in the pre-season. The Titans apparently share that evaluation with contract extension talks ongoing. Alongside a sack outside of the pocket, Casey has forced the issue plenty, collapsing the pocket and flushing the signal-caller into other defenders.
Wesley Woodyard, ILB
The Titans have struggled to put pressure on the passer through three games, which is disappointing considering the personnel they have on board at the linebacker position. Woodyard, a guy who was brought in to be an athletic inside backer, has been the only defender not named Jurrell Casey to put any significant pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Woodyard is a perfect fit for Horton's system, and he should be the primary guy at inside linebacker in 2014. In camp Woodyard has shown he can play sideline to sideline, especially when tracking runners out of the backfield, as well as playing down hill between the tackles against the run.
Zach Brown, ILB
Despite a fairly good camp by all standards, Brown was quieter in the first few games of the pre-season, before getting stuck-in against the Falcons. While still not without error, Brown was physical and active, racking up a team leading 8 tackles (5 solo). He was also a solid generator of pressure in a game that few else were.
Daimion Stafford, SS
The second year safety Daimion Stafford has had an excellent camp and pre-season. Along with showing tight coverage on in the deep secondary, he's also shown a willingness to play down hill and tackle with physicality. The added depth behind an older safety group is welcomed, and he has displayed some encouraging signs over the past few weeks. He definitely deserves mention as one of the standouts thus far.