NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans defensive backs have contributed seven total sacks in 2018, which is the highest total in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings (6.5) and Chicago Bears (six) rank second and third, respectively.
Cornerback Logan Ryan leads the group with three, while safety Kenny Vaccaro has two sacks. Safety Kevin Byard and cornerback Malcolm Butler have each recorded a sack this season.
The most sacks recorded by the team's defensive back group in the "Titans era" (1999–present) was eight sacks in 2014.
Ryan said the Titans DBs are gunning for the record. On Friday, he said timing is important in getting to the QB, but said it's also important to understand the offense's protections, and the defense's plan with pre-snap reads and disguises.
"I love it," Ryan said of blitzing opportunities. "It's a way to make an impact. If I'm not getting a lot of targets in coverage, or I'm having a slow day out there and I'm covering my guy and I'm not getting the ball a lot, my way to make an impact that game is blitzing and tackling and helping the team win.
"We love them, and we're trying to break the record for the Titans this year."
Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees said he never has trouble finding volunteers to rush the quarterback.
"There are certain guys who have a knack for timing things up – Ed Reed was always one of those guys, and I think Logan is one of those guys," Pees said. "I think Kevin is one of those guys…
"Everybody wants to blitz – they all want to blitz. I can tell in the room when we're drawing one up, and if a corner is going to be involved, you can kind of see the light in the corner's eyes. They kind of like doing that stuff."
The Titans practiced in a steady rain on Friday, and a rain-soaked Titans coach Mike Vrabel wasn't upset about it.
In his mind, Mother Nature did the Titans a favor.
"I imagine it's going to be similar to this – 90 percent chance of rain," Vrabel said of Sunday's game vs. the Giants at MetLife Stadium. "It will probably be a little windier, and around 40-something degrees, which I would imagine that's about what it is today.
"So it was nice."
Linebacker Brian Orakpo (elbow), running back David Fluellen (knee), tight end Cole Wick (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday's game vs. the Giants.
Titans receiver Tajae Sharpe (ankle) returned to practice after missing on Thursday, and was listed as limited in the Injury Report.
Safety Dane Cruikshank (knee), tackle Taylor Lewan (shoulder) and safety Joshua Kalu (hamstring) were all full participants on Friday.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota (abdomen) was limited in Friday's practice.
The Tennessee Titans take the field for practice on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018 at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)