NASHVILLE – The Titans want to get even more bang for their buck in 2020 as it relates to outside linebacker Harold Landry III.
One of the ways to do it? Watching his snap count closer.
A second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft out of Boston College, Landry led the Titans with nine sacks in 2019, and he added another in the postseason. He finished second on the team with 28 quarterback pressures.
But Landry recorded all nine of his regular sacks in the first 12 games, and he went the final four games of December without one.
Looking back, the Titans think Landry played too many snaps. According to Pro Football Reference, Landry played in 85.84 percent of the team's defensive snaps in 2019 – a total of 952 snaps. He played another 25 snaps on special teams.
"He played a lot of plays for us and he did, probably, too much -- that's on me," outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen said on a Zoom conference call last week. "But we've got to find ways to get some other guys that can take some stuff off of him too, and I've got to get those guys developed where we are trusting them, putting them in the game, where we feel like they can make plays for us. I've got to do a better job of not putting so much on him in terms of play count."
Despite not tallying a sack in the final four games of the regular season, Landry was still around the quarterback – he was credited with eight quarterback pressures in the final four games combined.
In the postseason, Landry added a sack of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, and he was credited with eight quarterback pressures in the three postseason games combined despite playing in 98 percent of the team's snaps. Landry played in a whopping 95 of the team's 97 defensive snaps in the team's playoff win at Baltimore.
Landry played in all 19 games, including three postseason contests, in 2019. He finished the year with 89 tackles, and 36 pressures in addition to his sacks, while also tallying five tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Near the end of the season, Landry said he felt like he was making solid progress after recording 4.5 sacks in his rookie season.
In 2019, Landry became the team's first player with a four-game sack streak since 2016, when outside linebackers Brian Orakpo (five games) and Derrick Morgan (four) each accomplished the feat. Landry ended up with a five-game sack streak.
"(I'm) way more developed in using my hands compared to a year ago," he said. "I feel like there is definitely another level I can take. I've left some opportunities out there on the field, but that is part of the game."
The addition of veteran outside linebacker Vic Beasley should help the pass rush off the edge, and the Titans are banking on Kamalei Correa picking up where he left off last season as week. Outside linebackers Derick Roberson, D'Andre Walker, and Reggie Gilbert will also be among those looking to create havoc while taking the pressure off of Landry.
"I think (Harold) is still adamant about developing his body, his strength, his stamina, all of those things," Bowen said. "But in my mind, he played too many plays. I've got to do a better job of not putting so much on him in terms of play count. Hopefully we get him at his best when we need him at his best down the stretch."
Titans Online looks back at outside linebacker Harold Landry's 2019 season (Photos: Donald Page)