NASHVILLE – Jayon Brown is returning to the Titans, and he couldn't be more fired up about it.
"I am so happy to be back to the team that drafted me and believed in me from Day One coming into the league with (GM) Jon Robinson," said Brown, who agreed to terms on a new deal with the Titans. "And knowing the system that Coach (Mike) Vrabel runs, and with our D.C., with Shane Bowen, just the familiarity with the team and the city that I know, the fan base, it is like I am coming back home."
What's made Brown smile even bigger is the excitement he's seen from Titans fans reacting to the news.
"I've been seeing some of the mentions on Twitter," Brown said. "I don't think I've gotten this much love in a very long time."
Yes, the Titans are bringing back a key piece to their defense in Brown. On Friday, the team officially reached a deal with the franchise's fifth-round draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, a player who has developed into playmaker in the NFL.
Brown, who was scheduled to hit the open market on the first day of free agency on Wednesday, instead opted to return to Tennessee, where he has played in 56 games over the past four seasons, with 33 starts.
"I would love to play in Tennessee my whole career, and hopefully it goes that way," Brown said. "I can't tell the future, but Tennessee is a place I've grown to love, coming from southern California. I am so comfortable with the city, and our program, and I know what is expected out of me, being a leader, being a playmaker, being a great tackler.
"I am excited to come back to my linebacker coach, Jim Haslett, as well. I still have a lot to learn from him as well, with all the knowledge he has about the game."
Since entering the NFL, Brown has tallied 367 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 35 quarterback pressures, 17 tackles for a loss, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and 28 passes defensed.
Brown tallied 76 stops and a sack, with an interception and four quarterback pressures, in 2020 before suffering a season-ending elbow injury in the team's win at Baltimore in November.
Brown racked up a career-high 117 tackles in 2019, when he also had a sack, seven quarterback pressures, four tackles for a loss with an interception and fumble recovery.
On an evolving defense, Brown's stability in the middle will be key. Brown said he's noticed some of the new additions on the defense in free agency, "and I'm looking forward to playing with those guys on the field."
Brown said he's healthy, and ready to go.
"I am fully cleared, and I can't wait to get back and show everybody this injury is not going to affect me," Brown said. "I am going to act like I never left and try and be better than ever.
"Coming off the season I had last year, I feel like I have so much to improve on. So yeah, I am so hungry to come back for another year and give it another shot to defend out AFC South title, and go to the Super Bowl."
Top Photos of Titans LB Jayon Brown during the 2020 Season.