Titans’ LB duo lands smack-dab in the middle of PFF’s rankings

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The Tennessee Titans are set to sport a talented and exciting inside linebacker duo in 2022 with David Long and Zach Cunningham, but where do they rank as compared to others in the NFL?

According to Pro Football Focus’ Seth Galina, the pair ranks 16th. Here’s what he had to say about both:

Zach Cunningham, if nothing else, stops the run. He’s aggressive, has a quick trigger and finds the ball carrier. He’s not great in other facets, but stopping the run is still an important aspect of the position. David Long, meanwhile, was playing at a solid level before an injury forced him to miss most of the second half of the 2021 season. 

A 2019 sixth-round pick of the Titans, Long is entering his second season as a full-time starter after securing the role in 2021. The West Virginia product is also entering the final year of his rookie deal.

While he’s been more known for his ability to play against the run, Long did make strides in coverage last season. His completion rate (70.7 percent) and QB rating allowed (61.0) were both career-bests.

Cunningham fell into the Titans’ lap via waivers after the Houston Texans cut him last season. He immediately secured the starting role alongside Long, further making both Rashaan Evans and Jayon Brown expendable.

Cunningham needs to improve in coverage in 2022, but he did lead the Titans in tackles area during his five games (including playoffs) with the team in 2021, and he remained an impact run defender, also.

Beyond Cunningham and Long, it’ll be interesting to see the strides 2021 third-round pick Monty Rice makes in his second season.

Rice, who saw his rookie campaign end early because of injury, is set to play a backup role in his second season, and could be auditioning for a starting role in 2023.

This ranking from PFF is fair considering this duo hasn’t had much time together, but there’s plenty of reasons for optimism that Long and Cunningham could jump up this list by the time 2022 ends.

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