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New Titans DC Dennard Wilson Aims to Coach With "Enthusiasm Unknown to Mankind"


NASHVILLE – Since Dennard Wilson was hired as defensive coordinator of the Titans, the team has made some key additions to bolster the defense.

Former Bengals cornerback Chidobe Awuzie was acquired in free agency, and then the team traded for former Chiefs cornerback L'Jarius Sneed.

Linebacker Kenneth Murray Jr. (Chargers) and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (49ers) are intriguing new pieces, and the coaching staff will work to get the most out of them following the departure of starters Azeez Al-Shaair and Denico Autry.

At the same time, teams across the division have gotten better. The Texans, the defending AFC South champs, for instance, recently acquired former All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He'll join what was already a formidable offensive unit.

Wilson, hired by head coach Brian Callahan back in February, said he's focused on the Titans.

"Really, I don't focus on what other teams have," Wilson said. "To me, they're nameless faces. We are going to play a certain style. We are going to play with confidence. So, it doesn't matter who they have on (the other) team. It's 11 versus 11, and in terms of the defense, it's 11 versus 1 – it's 11 versus the ball.

"So, you can get a whole lot of receivers, a whole lot of weapons. But there's only one ball. And it's our job to surround the football and take it away."

Wilson, who has 12 years of NFL coaching experience, arrived in Tennessee with an impressive resume.

He spent one season (2023) in Baltimore as Defensive Backs coach, and prior to joining the Ravens, Wilson spent two seasons with the Eagles, first as Defensive Backs coach (2021) and then as Defensive Passing Game Coordinator/DB's (2022). Before that, Wilson spent four seasons (2017-20) with the Jets as Defensive Backs coach (2017-18) and Passing Game Coordinator/DBs (2019-20).

Wilson entered the NFL as a coach in 2012 with the St. Louis Rams as a Defensive Quality Control coach. In 2015 he was elevated to Defensive Backs coach. Prior to joining the NFL coaching ranks, he spent four years (2008-11) as a pro scout for the Bears.

On Wednesday, during the first week of the team's offseason program, Wilson smiled big when discussing some of the team's new players, and the returning ones.

He knows the defense is a work in progress, on paper, and ultimately, on the field. New players will be added via the draft, and free agency.

Earlier this week, the first slide he showed his new players on power point read: Opportunity is now here.

Wilson said he plans to "coach the hell out of is players."

He's loves the early interaction as the process begins.

"It's been outstanding. It's been great," Wilson said. "The first couple of things, this week, it's about a building block, it's about creating a foundation, it's about establishing culture. It's about setting a precedent about where we are going, what we need to get there, and how we are going to get there. And have been extremely receptive. As a coaching staff, myself included, we come out here and try to have enthusiasm unknown to mankind, to get these guys to come back and want to be coached, and want to be around us. So it has been very receptive. Guys are buying in, guys are learning every day, and we're just stacking bricks and stacking bricks until we build a wall that is strong."

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