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Bigger, Stronger OLB Rashad Weaver Anxious to See His Hard Work Pay Off on Field for Titans


NASHVILLE – Rashad Weaver chuckled when asked what he sees when he looks at his rookie photos.

"The boy looks a little frail," Weaver said with a smile. "He looks a little slender."

The Titans outside linebacker doesn't look that way now.

With some hard work – he spent a good chunk of his offseason working with a trainer known as "Monster Maker" – Weaver feels bigger and stronger than ever.

But it didn't come easy.

"That entails workouts for three hours in the weight room, where you lay on the ground and say: 'I hate this' every day," Weaver said. "And on the off days you go run hills, 50-yard sprints up the hills that's working your speed and your leg strength and your drive.

"But I know it's working, because I can feel the difference. And, the easiest way to know something is working is when you see the difference or other people see the difference in you and they make remarks about you.

"For someone like me, it just makes me want to keep going."

Weaver, a fourth-round draft pick by the Titans in 2021 who is now heading into his third NFL season, is looking to make a bigger difference for the team in 2023.

He plans to do it by taking advantage of the work he's put in away from the facility, combined with the work during the team's offseason program, including OTAs and minicamp.

A 6-foot-4, 259-pounder, Weaver played in 16 games for the Titans in 2022, and he totaled 5.5 sacks, 39 quarterback pressures, and 27 tackles. It came one season after his rookie year was cut short after just two regular season games because of a broken leg that had him getting around on a scooter for a long stretch.

When last season ended, Weaver said he went into "hibernation mode," sleeping for nearly two weeks to let his exhausted body recover.

He then went to work.

Weaver said most of his focus this offseason has been on his lower body strength, although he'd packed some muscle mass on his upper body as well while working at an old gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, before returning to Nashville to work at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park.

And when he watched film of himself this offseason, he took notes.

What he saw was a guy who wasn't always able to finish because of what he felt was a lack of lower body strength. Surgeries in recent years to repair a torn ACL and then the broken leg proved to be big hurdles.

"The biggest thing for me (to focus on) was strength, and that's where I put a lot of work in this offseason," Weaver said. "I'd never been a huge weight room guy, but coming off leg injuries in the past, those are things that knock your leg strength back.

"So now I can go out here and really bully guys and have play strength and play through contact and finish a lot of things that were really just right there last year, and really be better overall. … These are grown men out there."

Weaver now feels like he's one of those grown men.

Heading into Year 3, he looks and feels more explosive.

He wants to see it play out on the field.

"I made it here for a reason," Weaver said. "So, it's up to me to do what I do with the opportunity."

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