A Stronger, More Mature OLB Derick Roberson Aims to Make a Bigger Impact for Titans

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NASHVILLE – The highlight of Derick Roberson's NFL career came during a Week 16 game in 2019 against the Saints, when he sacked quarterback Drew Brees not once, but twice.

In doing so, Roberson became the first Titans rookie with two or more sacks in a game since 2014.

Roberson's contributions in his first two seasons have been more sporadic, however, and he wants to do something about it.

"I really haven't made big noise like I want to yet," Roberson said. "What I have done to this point, that's cool. But I want do to more, and I want to build up that trust with the coaches, so they know when somebody goes down, I can go in and fill the spot like the starter.

"I am as hungry as ever. It is year 3, so I am real hungry."

Signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2019 NFL Draft, the 6-foot-3-inch, 250-pound Roberson appeared in six games, including all three postseason contests, as a rookie in 2019 and he posted three sacks.

In 2020, Roberson played in eight games, and he was credited with six tackles and four quarterback pressures, along with a fumble recovery.

Roberson said he's more serious about things at this point in his career, and defensive coordinator Shane Bowen has noticed.

"I think Roby has had a really good spring; I've been pleased with him," Bowen said. "I think he came back, and he's changed his approach a little bit. He has been more serious about everything, more committed. I think as he's gotten older, he's matured, and started to figure out what the league is. You are not just swimming from one meeting to the next. I think that things have slowed down for him in that regard. The thing I always preach with him is consistency. I need the same guy every day, play in and play out. We have to know who we are putting out there. If I am going to put you out there for 20 plays, I can't have 5 to 10 of 'I don't know what you're going to do, how this is going to be.'

"So the consistency is what we're looking for with him. But I have been pleased with Roby. I think he has had a good spring, and I am excited for the fall to see how he keeps progressing."

This offseason, the Titans added veteran pass rusher Bud Dupree and drafted Rashad Weaver. Edge rusher Harold Landry returns for the Titans, and he's expected to take another step.

Roberson will be competing with several others for a roster spot, and playing time.

With a few years under his belt, and now 10-15 pounds heavier than he was as a rookie, he feels as ready as ever. And he said he's in perfect health after dealing with injuries during his first two seasons.

"I would say growing up, being in the league going on year three, I've just been working on maturity and taking everything more seriously," Roberson said. "Just locking on and buying in completely. In my first couple of years, I've kind of struggled learning the schemes and stuff, and now I'm learning the playbook better.

"When you are a rookie, you mess up a few times and then you get it right. Now, you have to learn it. No excuses at all. I am really just trying to find a spot, and I'll do it to the best of my ability."

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