NASHVILLE – Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons will have two years of NFL experience and some new running mates around him in the defense when he takes the field in training camp.
So, what's key for him heading the 2021 season?
Titans Coach Mike Vrabel answered that question during an appearance this week on the Official Titans Podcast with Mike Keith and Amie Wells.
"Just continue to develop and work the techniques that we feel like are best for him," Vrabel said of Simmons. "I think mentally, he took a huge step as a leader, as a presence on our defense and on our football team. Just being able to withstand the rigors of the season. It is a long season, there's a lot of bodies that bang on him. Those are things that we look at for Jeff."
Simmons, the team's first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, racked up 49 tackles with three sacks, 19 quarterback pressures, three tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and three fumble recoveries in 2020.
This offseason, the Titans have added Steelers edge rusher Bud Dupree and Colts defensive lineman Denico Autry, among others.
Vrabel has liked what he's seen so far in Simmons.
"He is always around the football, which tells you he is playing full tilt to the tackle," Vrabel said of Simmons. "And that is why he comes up with those fumble recoveries, or some tipped passes that have been huge since he's been here with us."