Jurrell Casey: Rookie Jack Conklin Can Make Me Better

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Jurrell Casey is a five-year NFL veteran with 79 games experience. He's played in a Pro Bowl, and is regarded as one of the league's top defensive linemen.

It's safe to say he's learned a few tricks of the trade over the years.

But Casey is looking for more. He said he's looking forward to learning from a rookie offensive lineman Jack Conklin, the team's first-round pick out of Michigan State, this offseason.

"At the end of the day, if he is as good as they say – and obviously they took him in the first round – he is going to make me better,'' Casey said. "And that is what I am always looking for -- going out there against great competition and someone who is going to make me better as a player and is going to teach me some things.

"Every time they come in younger, they have something new. And I am looking forward to some challenges and to see how they are going to help my game."

Conklin, who started 38 of 39 games at Michigan State and was selected eighth overall by the Titans, should butt heads plenty with Casey in practices.

In 2015, Casey started all 16 games at defensive tackle, and tied for the team lead with seven sacks. Casey ranked second on the team with 11 tackles for loss, and a career-high 28 quarterback pressures, while also racking up 86 tackles. He played in his first Pro Bowl last season after turning down previous opportunities.

The rookies reported to the team on Monday, and will hold a rookie minicamp later in the week, beginning on Friday. The veterans and rookies will work together in organized team activities later this week, which will set the stage for next month's minicamp and training camp in July.

Casey, who has recorded 28 sacks, and totaled over 70 tackles in all five NFL seasons, said he's looking forward to it.

"I think they made a great pick with Jack,'' Casey said. "What they are looking for, he's a guy for that fit.

"I always love when they bring in an offensive line rookie. I always put it on my shoulders to go out there and make sure they are prepared when it is time for Sunday. It is not necessarily to go out there and dominate him. It is more to make sure he gets better and get ready to play when it is time for Sunday."

Casey has spent the first few weeks of the offseason program working with the veterans.

During a break while on the Titans Caravan, he said he's liked the excitement.

"I can see the improvements from last year. A lot of guys are coming out there and they are hungry,'' Casey said. "Everybody has been ecstatic about everything that's been going on. Everybody is happy about the changes, everybody is happy about what the front office is doing around the building. The guys have been coming in and putting a full effort into anything. No one is complaining, no one is worried about the different changes. We have hard-nosed coaches on the staff now … and they want the best for the team. I think everybody is loving that approach."

TitansOnline.com looks back at DT Jurrell Casey's 2015 season. (AP Photos)

Titans TE Delanie Walker and DL Jurrell Casey compete at the 2016 Pro Bowl. (Photos: AP, NFL, Dwight Spradlin)

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