Titans Position Analysis: DT

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Now that Albert Haynesworth is in the fold, it’s time to take a look at what other players will be in the middle of the Titans’ defensive line.
First, the good news. Tony Brown, who started all sixteen games last year, is back. The bad news, though, is that the remaining defensive tackles on the roster have a combined total of 0 career starts. So, who are these guys who will play regularly every game and even start if Haynesworth gets hurt again?
Kevin Vickerson is the doyen of the group, having played four of the last five regular season games last year and also appearing in the playoff game against the Chargers. The remainder of his NFL career-2005, 2006, and the first half of 2007-was spent on the practice squad. Also around is Antonio Johnson, the Titans’ 5th round pick last year who missed all of 2007 after an injury early in training camp. Finally, Barry Booker, an undrafted rookie out of Virginia Tech, rounds out the list of defensive tackles on the Titans roster.
Given the Titans normally keep 4 DTs, and there are two reasonably good DTs on the roster, what the heck is going on? I’m cautiously optimistic when it comes to Johnson’s prospects, though it’s perhaps not the best strategy to rely on a player who missed all of the previous season with a major knee injury. Vickerson, though, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he didn’t make the roster this year, and Booker is, well, an undrafted free agent.
The NFL.com roster adds another body at DT in Isaac Snell, who the team lists at guard. Alternatively, the team lists eight defensive linemen on the roster, so one or more of them may play some defensive tackle. Of those, perhaps the most likely candidate is Jason Jones, as we mentioned around the time of the draft.
Still, it’s surprising to me, even with the reduced 80-man roster, that the Titans won’t keep another DT around for at least injury and depth purposes. If Jim Washburn is indeed a miracle worker, now would be an excellent time to demonstrate his skills.

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One Response to “Titans Position Analysis: DT”

  1. cld12pk2go Says:

    Al, Tony, Antonio, and Jason will likely be the 4 we keep.

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