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Heading Into Year Three, Versatile Titans DB Elijah Molden Ready to Do More


NASHVILLE – Elijah Molden first walked in the doors at Ascension Saint Thomas Sports Park in 2021 as a third-round draft pick of the team.

In a snap, the Titans defensive back is already in year three, and he can hardly believe it.

"It doesn't feel it," said Molden, shaking his head.

With the experience, Molden has a better understanding of what to expect heading into the 2023 season.

But he's hardly comfortable, and he doesn't want to be.

"There is (a comfort level), but at the same time I am trying to elevate my game," Molden said. "I don't ever really want to come in and be lackadaisical or too comfortable. So, what that means to me is learning a new position and testing the limits every day."

The versatile Molden has worked at a number of spots during his first few years with the team on defense and on special teams, and when he's played, he's performed well.

Unfortunately, Molden has also dealt with injuries, including a persistent groin injury that nearly sidelined him for all of the 2022 season. A year ago, Molden played in just two games, with one start, playing in 16 games, with seven starts, in his rookie season in 2021.

Molden said he's feeling better physically, but he admitted it's been tough mentally with the adversity, and setbacks.

"It's been really tough," said Molden, who tallied 60 tackles and an interception as a rookie. "It's hard to explain. I feel like my family and a couple of other people really know what was going in and the deal behind everything. I just want to put it behind me, really. I am feeling a lot better now and I am definitely on the up-and-coming, and the Titans have been really helpful in the transition from rehab to action and now back on the field practicing."

This offseason, Molden has worked some at safety.

It's something Molden's coaches spoke to him about at the end of last season, and head coach Mike Vrabel discussed it with reporters during OTAs.

"We've actually played him in the back part of the field a little bit," Vrabel said of Molden. "I think that will be good for him. It will help him expand that role and expand his versatility. So, he can easily come down and play nickel. He was our [punt protector] on the punt team (in OTAs). So those are three valuable roles for a young defensive player. We need every player we can get out there healthy and being able to use that versatility.

"We talked about it in the offseason and just where we may need some depth," Vrabel continued when discussing giving Molden some experience at safety. "It's more or less to try and give guys another role outside of just a nickel, or maybe we're in a game and we're playing a lot of defense and you need a safety. So instead of having him always just being a corner conversation, [we] figured it would translate from the nickel back to safety."

Molden said he's willing to do whatever is asked of him.

Molden ended the offseason work on a high note, making an interception on the final day of OTAs.

"In this league," Molden said, "it's like the more versatile you are, the more you're able to help out and be able to play anywhere."

The countdown to year three is ticking.

"I'm just really happy to be out here and have some fun again," Molden said. "Starting to feel healthy and all those things … I'm starting to come back and feel like myself again."

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