Titans DL Angelo Blackson Wants to Play Faster in Second NFL Season


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Angelo Blackson sprinted around the practice field on the final day of the team's minicamp earlier this month looking like a sprinter trapped in a defensive lineman's body.

He was part of a four-man relay team, and his performance was pretty impressive – especially for a 300-pounder.

"One of my goals this offseason was to get faster,'' Blackson said. "I've dropped a few pounds. I wanted to add a little more speed to my game."

Blackson, of course, won't be making many long-distance runs from his position on the defensive line. He wants to impact play with quick bursts, and he feels like he improved during his first full NFL offseason.

A 6-foot-4, 318-pounder, Blackson was a fourth-round draft pick by the Titans out of Auburn in last year's NFL Draft. He played in all 16 games for the Titans last season, finishing with 19 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two quarterback pressures.

He was pleased with his offseason progress.

"It has been great,'' he said. "(I've) just been trying to improve on the things I know I needed to improve at and trying to take it step by step, day by day.

"Some technical things, pads level, hand placement – I've been working on a lot of things. But the biggest thing is more the approach from the IQ, from the pre-snap, being able to read formations better."

Blackson has worked at both defensive end positions this offseason, and said he's also worked some at nose tackle.

Coach Mike Mularkey praised Blackson as he flashed during his rookie season.

"What he can do along the line of scrimmage,'' Mularkey said Blackson, "I think he is more athletic than a lot of the guys he is going up against. He is extremely good with his hands.  The combination of that…I think he is going to be a good player."

Blackson believes he's faster, and he's in better condition heading into Year 2.

He's already looking forward to training camp, which begins the end of July.

"(Year One) was different, but like everybody, you need to adjust,'' Blackson said. "You just have to learn the mental, and be a mental player and put yourself in a better position pre-snap.

"I'm just taking it day by day and improving at the things I need to improve at. And when camp comes around I want to do my best and put my best foot forward."

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