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Five Guys: Titans Introduce Five Free Agent Signings on Monday


NASHVILLE – One by one the newest Titans strolled up to the microphone on Monday, each one with a different journey to get to Music City, but all a part of the same plan moving forward.

"It felt like a good fit from the get-go," new Titans tackle Andre Dillard said after signing with the team. "I knew I wanted a fresh start after my four years with the Eagles, and it feels like they really believe in me here, and I believe in myself and my abilities that this is a place I can come and help the team."

Dillard (6-5, 315) joins the Titans after playing from 2019-22 in Philadelphia, where he played in 43 games with nine starts (8 at LT, 1 at RT). He's expected to compete for the starting job at left tackle with the Titans.

Along with Dillard, four other free agents – OL Daniel Bruskill, LB/special teams ace Luke Gifford, LB Azeez Al-Shaair and DL Arden Key – officially signed with the Titans on Monday and were introduced to reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park.

"I am 100 percent beyond grateful for this entire opportunity," Dillard said. "The emotions I felt (signing here) pretty much well surpassed what I felt when my name was called at the draft. It is still kind of sinking in right now. This is definitely a good place for me. I am just beyond excited about what's to come here."

Brunskill (6-5, 300) joins the Titans after spending four seasons (2019-22) in San Francisco with the 49ers.

Brunskill logged starts at every offensive line position – 1 LT, 1 LG, 8 C, 28 RG, 4 RT – over his 42 starts for the 49ers, and he'll compete for a starting spot at guard.

"We haven't really gotten into the specifics on what position (I'll play) or anything like that," Brunskill said. "At the end of the day it's just how do we get on the field, and how we play. I got starts at all five, and I don't mind playing any position, just whatever position gets you on the field.

"I am just excited to be here and to be a Titan."

Gifford (6-3, 242) joins the Titans after playing four years (2019-22) with the Cowboys. He was a standout on special teams, leading Dallas with 12 special teams stops and a forced fumble in 2022.

In his career at Dallas, Gifford totaled 40 tackles on defense and 30 special teams stops in 46 games.

"I am super-exited," Gifford said. "I know that wherever I go, my role is going to be first to just dominate on special teams and then do whatever I can to help the team, hopefully whether that's a little bit linebacker here and there, or whatever they see for me is what I'll do. I'm excited about it for sure.

"I could tell (the Titans) have value in me, and thought a lot of me. And the opportunity to do more on defense is something I've wanted to do, and I think this is a good place for it. I think I kind of identify with the organization and the way they play football. So yeah, this is a great opportunity for me."

Al-Shaair (6-2, 228) played 56 games, including 31 starts, for the 49ers after joining the team as undrafted college free agent.

Over his four years (2019-22) with the 49ers, he totaled 199 tackles, two sacks, 11 tackles for loss, two interceptions, seven passes defensed, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.

"I think it's a great opportunity, and I am grateful to be here, to be a Titan," Al-Shaair said. "Obviously linebacker right now is a position of need, so I am grateful to be able to come in here and show everybody what I am about, and what I am going to bring to the table."

Al-Shaair is an aggressive, hard-hitting linebacker. His best season came in 2021, when he set career marks in starts (13), tackles (103), fumble recoveries (2) and sacks (2.0) and matched career-highs in interceptions (1) and forced fumbles (1).

"I've always had a high motor," Al-Shaair said. "That linebacker group that we had (in San Francisco), we felt like we ran the show. At the end of the day, the defense is going to play good if the linebackers play good. And that's the type of mentality I am trying to instill here as well: If the linebackers are playing good, then everybody else is going to eat. So I just feel like that running, that hitting, that whole mentality that you have to bring, it has to be like that. You have to set the tone and make sure everybody knows: 'It's not going to be a pushover. It's not going to be an easy game."

Key (6-4, 240), originally drafted by the Raiders in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, played for the Jaguars in 2022 after spending three seasons (2018-20) with the Raiders and one year with San Francisco (2021).

Over the last two seasons in Jacksonville and San Francisco, he posted 11 sacks, 49 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three passes defensed and one fumble recovery in 34 games.

Key said he's fired up to make a difference with the Titans.

"I am a bully on the football field, and I feel like I am going to fit right in with these guys," said Key, who played 17 games (with three starts) and totaled 27 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 38 quarterback pressures, five tackles for loss and a fumble recovery with the Jaguars last season.

Key's pressures ranked second for the Jaguars and over the last five weeks of the season, he posted 25 pressures, which ranked second in the league (Nick Bosa) over that timeframe.

"(I feel like) I am going to do great (here). We're going to get to the quarterback. They pass rush over here, (so) we're going."

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