It’s a down time right now in the off season. The draft is over, mini camps and OTA’s have not started yet, so it’s a good time for predictions, right? Over the next five weeks, we’re going focus on five Titans who will have the biggest impact on the team in 2018.
It has been a very long time since the Tennessee Titans have had a legitimate shutdown cornerback. Yes, the Titans have had solid cornerbacks in the past. Samari Rolle in the early 2000’s. Cortland Finnegan, Alterraun Verner, and Jason McCourty were all great in the latter years. The key word though is “in the past.”
Throughout the last few years, the Titans have struggled out wide on defense going through the likes of Coty Sensabaugh, Brice McCain, B.W. Webb and Perrish Cox (Typing that makes me want to puke). Adding Logan Ryan and drafting Adoree’ Jackson have bolstered the secondary, but Jon Robinson didn’t have a true No. 1 cornerback. Until now.
On March 13th, Malcolm Butler was signed to a five-year, $61M deal. Butler, who was an undrafted free agent out of West Alabama has spent the last four seasons with the Patriots.
Obviously, Butler is most known for his interception at the goal line to win the Super Bowl against the Seahawks in 2016. But, he is more than just that though. He is a guy who will go find the ball while on defense, be aggressive, and is not afraid to line up against the number one wide receiver.
Tackles – 209
Interceptions – 8
Pass deflections – 50
Forced fumbles – 4
Sacks – 2
Signing Malcolm Butler was a breath of fresh air for Titans fans. A well-liked guy on and off the field, who is gritty and has a team first attitude that Jon Robinson wants. He also has those New England ties that we know Robinson likes.
Butler helps out the Titans defense in more than just one way. First, he fits in with Dean Pees philosophy. Pees can put him on the outside and let him guard DeAndre Hopkins, TY Hilton and Marquise Lee twice a year along with the other great NFL No. 1 receivers. We know that Fantasy Football owners always played the wide receivers the Titans were playing that week because it usually meant a big day and a lot of points. Sad, but true.
Also, it now allows Logan Ryan to shift back inside at the slot position where he has played his entire career. Ryan had to line up outside last season as he was the No. 1 corner. Now with Butler and Jackson on the outside, Ryan in the middle and Kevin Byard and Johnathan Cyprien roaming in the back, the Titans have a legitimate secondary that quarterbacks have to be cautious of.
I think all Titans fans are expecting a big year out of Malcolm. He has the ability to have an impact each week with shutting down receivers. His a fantastic player and still a Top 20 cornerback in this league and that is what puts him on our list of five Titans who could have a big impact in 2018.