Titans move up in ESPN’s latest NFL power rankings

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The Tennessee Titans are moving on up in the latest version of ESPN’s NFL power rankings.

After sitting at No. 10 in the last version of the NFL power rankings released following the draft, Tennessee has moved up to No. 9, jumping the San Francisco 49ers in the process.

ESPN’s Turron Davenport was responsible for the write-up, and in it he breaks down why outside linebacker Harold Landry is on the hot seat in 2021.

Post-draft ranking: 10

Person on the hot seat: OLB Harold Landry III

The Titans expected last season to be a breakout year for Landry after he finished with nine sacks in 2019. Landry worked to add a complementary move to his speed rush, but it didn’t get results and his production decreased to 5.5 sacks. New outside linebackers coach Ryan Crow isn’t allowing Landry to use his patented speed rush in camp, which is challenging him to develop another way to get to the QB. This is a contract year for Landry, so he needs to prove himself worthy of an extension.

As Davenport notes, Landry, who is in the final year of his rookie contract, is working on developing new moves after being challenged to do so by outside linebacker’s coach, Ryan Crow.

Earlier this week, Landry said it’s working and he is discovering new moves, but he hasn’t stopped working on his best one, which is his speed rush.

“It has definitely brought to light new moves that I can use that I know can work,” Landry admitted. “But I’ll still work that move on the side because if you don’t use it, you lose it. So, I make sure that I keep working that while discovering new moves as well. It has been good; I accepted the challenge and it has been going well.”

Landry is in a much better position to thrive than he was last season thanks to having more help around him in outside linebacker Bud Dupree and defensive lineman Denico Autry, two major offseason acquisitions.

On top of that, one would hope that the Titans will be sending him after the quarterback much more this year, as the Boston College product was called to drop back far too often last season.

As a whole, the Titans have looked great so far this preseason, dominating both of their exhibition opponents to the tune of a 57-6 combined score — and they’ve done so without deploying several key starters.

Granted, those performances were against all backups and players who won’t make their respective teams, but such results are the best-case scenario in preseason games.

Tennessee will close out its preseason on Saturday night in Nashville versus the Chicago Bears. Head coach Mike Vrabel hinted that we could see more starters in that contest, albeit for a minimal number of snaps.

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