The Tennessee Titans decided to address a need of theirs today, their pass rush. The Titans finished the season tied at 16th with 39 sacks, in terms of total defense, they were near the bottom of the league. They are playing a 3-4 defense and while they had talent up front in Jurrell Casey and Sammie Hill, they needed more production from their edge rushers.
Enter Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan, the duo is expected to improve upon that sack total next season. Morgan was drafted by the Titans in 2010, he was taken 16th overall that year. In the transition from a 4-3 defense to a 3-4, Morgan tied his career high sack total with 6.5. He has 23 total sacks in his five year career and the Titans need that number to go up this coming season. Morgan’s deal is for four years, worth $30 million dollars.
Former Washington Redskin linebacker Brian Orakpo also signed with Tennessee today, ending his tenure in Washington. The 13th overall pick in the 2009 draft has tallied 40 sacks to this point in his career. His time in Washington is hard to define by most, he’s shown flashes of talent but struggled mightily the past couple of seasons. Injuries definitely played a huge role in those struggles, but they can’t all be to blame. Orakpo had trouble using his hands to shed blockers, he’s a powerful rusher, but doesn’t have the typical counter moves that elite pass rushers have. Of those 40 sacks, 28.5 came in the first three seasons. Orakpo received a $32 million dollar deal with $13.5 million guaranteed.
Tennessee hopes that the pairing of these two pass rushers, couple with the defensive lineman up front can inject some much needed life into an average pass rush. If all goes well, the Titans will be happy that they put these two former first round picks together.