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Titans Believe They're Deeper, Stronger On Defense

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Posted at 10:10 PM, Aug 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-07 23:10:01-04

The Tennessee Titans' goal on defense in the offseason was simple: Create more depth and better competition.

The Titans' defense was solid enough, especially early in the 2015 season. But as injuries took their toll late in the season, the defense's play slipped. Tennessee still ranked 12th overall on defense, a somewhat surprising statistic for a team that went 3-13.

The Titans had 39 sacks in 2015 and return their front seven intact from last season.

That group was led by Pro Bowl lineman Jurrell Casey (seven sacks) and pass-rushing linebackers Brian Orakpo (seven sacks) and Derrick Morgan (4 1/2 sacks in just 10 games). But after Morgan got hurt, the pass rush dropped off considerably.

Tennessee has used free agency, the draft and the waiver wire to address the depth issue of a defense that is now under the exclusive control of venerable coordinator Dick LeBeau.

The Titans drafted defensive tackle Austin Johnson and linebackers Kevin Dodd and Aaron Wallace. They also added veteran linebackers in Sean Spence and Nate Palmer as potential backups and role players.