Titans film study: Jeffery Simmons, the Broadway Bully

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The Tennessee Titans took Jeffery Simmons with the No. 19 pick in the 2019 NFL draft. He was originally considered a top-five talent, but due to a pre-draft injury and an off-field incident, he slid down the board.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson has shown he is willing to take a risk for supreme talent and that’s exactly what he did when he selected Simmons.

Some were skeptical of the pick. How long until Simmons would play? Would he ever be the guy he was in college after the injury? Is he going to be a problem off the field?

Those were all questions that were being asked, but two and a half seasons into his career, Simmons has answered all of them.

In his first game ever with the Titans he had a sack and a game winning play on the goal line. The wait was only seven weeks. In his second season he blossomed into one of the best interior defensive linemen (IDL) in the NFL.

It wasn’t only the folks in Nashville that took notice, either. Simmons was rated the sixth-best IDL in a preseason ESPN Poll, and he made his first appearance in the NFL Top 100 at No. 78.

It is fair to say those around the NFL knew about Simmons, and Titans fans knew. After Sunday night, the whole world knows now.

Although Sunday’s win against the Los Angeles Rams may have been Simmons’ Mona Lisa, he has been painting destructive works of art all year.

Simmons has 30 tackles, seven tackles for loss (TFL) and 5.5 sacks. The TFLs are as many as he had in his first two years combined, and the 5.5 sacks is a half sack more than his first two years combined.

While Simmons beating his own personal best is impressive, comparing him to the league takes things to another level.

Simmons is currently second in the NFL in sacks by an IDL, trailing only Javon Hargrave, Jonathan Allen and Aaron Donald, all of whom have six sacks. Even more incredible, Simmons now leads the NFL in quarterback pressures by an IDL with 42!

Remember that Aaron Donald guy? Yeah, Big Jeff passed him in total pressures on Sunday.

Speaking of Donald, as mentioned before, Simmons’ magnum opus came against the Rams and opened the eyes of the football world to just how special Jeff is. He almost singlehandedly ruined the Rams’ offensive attack, racking up nine pressures, four QB hits and a career high three sacks!

As we do every week, let’s step into the film room and see how the “Broadway Bully” knocked out the Rams.

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

Simmons is a bully and no good bully is complete without a BULL rush! Simmons has one of the best in the league; he combines his immense power with long arms and great explosion to get wherever he wants.

Poor David Edwards never had a chance. Simmons takes his lunch money with the bully rush and takes down Stafford with ease. We’ve seen the Titans win on stunts and twists upfront, but the ability to win with a straight rush has to terrify the NFL.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Another Simmons sack here. He has great get-off on the snap, but also uses a chop-down move on the center’s arm to create separation. Finally, he pushes off the back of the guard to sling shot himself to the QB. He takes down Stafford and goes to the three count!

Syndication: The Tennessean

Jeff’s third sack was much more of a team effort. Autry makes a great move to get through the middle of the pocket, and although he doesn’t get the sack, he flushes Stafford to Simmons.

Simmons gets double-teamed initially, but fights through and keeps pushing until he eventually finds Stafford. We have talked about the physical attributes Simmons possesses, but add in a relentless motor and you have a dominant big man.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Simmons didn’t always get home, but he got pressure on Stafford all game long.

Two clips in this one; first, he uses two swim moves to beat two Rams linemen and get in Stafford’s face. Second, Simmons executes a loop stunt where Autry and Tart crash down the O-line, giving Simmons an open lane on the outside.

Simmons pressures Stafford and forces him to take the checkdown flat route. The Rams had the fourth-best explosive passing offense in the NFL coming into the game. So, these may not have been sacks or incompletions, but preventing Stafford from hitting the big shot down field is a win in itself.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Simmons was a juggernaut in the pass rush against the Rams, a nice sight considering Jeff made his name as a run defender early. The Rams were forced to pass in the second half due to the score, so not a lot of chances for Jeff to pop in run defense, but he still made an impact.

First clip shows Jeff on a third down in the first half. This is just beautiful technique. He keeps his arms extended, flows with the play, disengages the lineman and makes the tackle — can’t do it any better.

Clip two is just freakish. The Rams try to double Jeff and he just slides past both blockers to get to the ball carrier’s feet.

Syndication: The Tennessean

We have seen Jeff eat in the pass rush and in run defense, but even when he didn’t make the play, he was setting up his teammates for success. He’s a truly impactful defender that not only gets his own, but takes so much attention that he helps his teammates eat, too.

That was never more obvious than in our next clip. The Rams are in the shadow of their own goal post and pressure here could make things very dangerous.

You can see Autry and Dupree crash to the inside. We all focus on Jeff’s power, but his athleticism is insane for a man that size.

Watch him loop around as the others crash. Autry and Dupree occupy the linemen and give Jeff a free run at Stafford. In a “Wentzian” moment, Stafford panics, does a 360 turn and tosses the ball straight to David Long. Not only did Jeff set up Long for a pick, but the offense scored it’s first touchdown of the night on the next play. MONSTER stuff from Simmons.

AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Simmons was responsible for three of the Titans’ five sacks on the night, but he was indirectly responsible for the other two sacks as well. He set his teammates up for big plays all night.

First clip, Simmons and Tart perform an interior twist. Watch as Simmons pulls No. 63 all the way over to the left. This opens up a huge hole up the middle for Autry to get the sack. Jeff didn’t make the play, but he made it happen.

Second clip here, Jeff and Autry execute a simple interior twist. The Rams have No. 63 and No. 55 trying to pass it off. Both of them together could have possibly stopped Autry, but when No. 63 peels off to take Jeff, it opens up the inside route for Autry to get his second sack of the day!

Simmons has ascended to the top tier of defensive linemen in the NFL this season. His improvements in the pass rush have turned him into the ultimate threat.

He can take down your quarterback, piledrive your running back, and even when it isn’t him hitting you in the mouth, his presence is making it easier for his teammates to do so.

Jeffery Simmons is here to take your offense’s lunch money. The “Broadway Bully” has arrived.

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