Kevin Vickerson will have a tough row to hoe

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I know that Titans’ defensive line coach Jim Washburn likes Kevin Vickerson. He kept Vickerson as the fourth defensive tackle on the roster last year, even though I thought Antonio Johnson was the better player. Mookie didn’t survive the final cut at the end of training camp, ended up on the Titans’ practice squad and was later signed by the Colts, starting four games for them.
 
Making the roster will be even more difficult for Vickerson this year. Jovan Haye, Tony Brown and Jason Jones are all ahead of him on the depth chart and second-round draft pick Sen’Derrick Marks is also expected to make the team. Bear in mind that in case of injuries at DT, the Titans have an insurance policy in DE Dave Ball, who can move inside to play DT.
 
The one big advantage Vickerson has is his size. Three of the other four DTs all weigh in at 290 or less while Vickerson is listed at 305. He’s the big body, the space eater, which Washburn would like to have on the field in short-yardage situations.

This leads to the question, “will the Titans keep five defensive tackles this year?”
 
Drexel recently speculated on the possibility of the Titans keeping five defensive ends,  which doesn’t bode well for keeping five DTs. It would buck recent history if nothing else.
 
Tom wrote an interesting piece the other day on the value of a DT to the Titans. Great stuff that raises some excellent points, but while the Titans appear to value DTs in the Mike Reinfeldt era more than in the Floyd Reese era it doesn’t mean they value them enough to keep five.
 
Keeping four defensive tackles has been the norm even though Albert Haynesworth was not a model of dependability injury-wise. So why should Tennessee keep five of them now?
 
Barring injury to one of the top four on the depth chart, Kevin Vickerson will have a tough row to hoe from now until September.
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4 Responses to “Kevin Vickerson will have a tough row to hoe”

  1. Scott Says:

    It’s unfortunate because he has been a solid player, but the decision to draft Marks in the second round has to be seen as an indictment of Vickerson. Going into the draft, one of the questions was whether the Titans needed to spend a high draft pick on a 300 pound + run stopping DT or whether they believed Vickerson could be that guy. Drafting Marks means, barring injury to one of the top four, that Vickerson will be cut at the end of training camp. I just can’t see the Titans keeping 5 DTs on the roster this year.

  2. Iain S. Says:

    Good comment Andrew. I replied to Drexel’s comments recently with concern about the size difference between Albert and Jason. I suppose your article answers my question. The big guy to plug the middle may be Vickerson. However, I get the sense that you’re not sold on him. Me neither although I’d like to be. If not him then who? Maybe I’m being naive. 290 lbs is enough to stop me and maybe Haynesworth at 330 is overkill but I don’t think so. We’ve seen the Munchak line find a yard when it matters and the d-line stop it. While Collins did an admirable job, he didn’t have to put the team on his shoulders like Marino did… and he never won a superbowl. So what do you think, should we be concerned about 3rd and short?

  3. Morgan_Washburn Says:

    I believe that Kevin will have a decent chance of making the team. His experence should give him an edge with recognition of plays and as you mentioned he is the biggest DT the Titans have. Every team needs that big man up front to plug the hole. Speaking of DT’s, its official, the Titans have filed the tampering charges against the Skins. Fisher is on the rule committee so he know the rules in and out. Should have a good chance of picking up extra draft picks next year.

  4. Andrew Strickert Says:

    Hey guys, thanks for the comments and the kind words.

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