NASHVILLE – Want a scouting report on Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons?
Well, how about this from a guy who played alongside him in the trenches in 2019:
"He came in and wrecked shop," defensive lineman DaQuan Jones said of Simmons. "I'm just excited for him to come out there fully healthy (this year) and do what he does best -- be a big, dominant player."
Jones cut to the chase when discussing Simmons.
Simmons, selected in the first-round of the 2019 NFL Draft, cut some weight this offseason to get ready for the 2020 season.
The result is a leaner, stronger player who aims to make an even bigger impact in his second NFL season.
"My goal (this offseason) was to especially cut down the fat on my body," Simmons said on a video conference call earlier this week. "I'm not sure exactly where I was at first, but I feel like I've made a big change with my body weight. I felt like my knee made a lot of progression from when I first started playing to the end of the season, but at the end I knew that I needed to do a little more strengthening and just maintenance stuff after the end of the season.
"Still now, I'm trying to stay on top of it, make sure that I'm just ready to have this team win games. I'm feeling great, my body is feeling great, my knee is feeling great."
And that's great news for the Titans.
Simmons, taken with the 19th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, played in nine games last season, with seven starts.
He finished the season with 40 tackles, two sacks and 14 quarterback pressures, with two tackles for a loss. He also played in all three of the team's playoff contests.
Simmons spent the first six weeks of the 2019 season on the Non-Football Injury list while recovering from an ACL injury he suffered last February. Earlier this offseason, Simmons said he ditched the knee brace he wore last season, and this week he said he's identified ways he can be better this fall.
Watching film, he said he didn't look like himself a year ago.
"With an ACL injury or meniscus injury, it's a lot to get back to," Simmons said. "Some people say they're not themselves for a year or two. But when I went back and watched film, I knew that wasn't me. I know what type of guy I am. I know that I'm going to be able to bend. I knew that especially when I'm getting a block I can put my foot in the ground. There was a lot of stuff that I didn't see on film that I know I could do, especially this upcoming year, stuff that I've been working on. That's just the whole point of it. I had an injury for sure, but at the same time that's the whole point of this year here. To see how much I can grow from that this past year."
The 6-foot-4 Simmons revealed earlier this offseason he dropped 10 pounds from his playing weight of 320 from a year ago, and during the video conference call on Monday, he said he's managed to keep it off.
Simmons said he reported to training camp at 310, and he plans to play around that size in the fall.
He's ready to throw his weight around following an offseason after the team traded away teammate Jurrell Casey.
"Personally, I don't feel like there's any pressure on me to try to be Jurrell or be anyone else -- I'm just trying to be the best Jeffery Simmons I can be," Simmons said. "The best version of being disruptive on the front of the line, being a leader on and off the field, in the community and so far on. Like I said, I'm not trying to match what Jurrell did, but my thing is I am going to bring the best that I can, whatever that may be. Like I said, leadership, my play on the field, and then off the field, too.
"I have a lot of goals for myself and my goal, especially, first off to help the team however I can to win a Super Bowl. Of course, we're going to go game by game, and give it my all. (I just want to) be a very disruptive guy in the middle of the pocket, affect the quarterback and all of that. I'm just excited to see how much growing I can accomplish from this point on to the end of the season, especially from last year. I'm excited about this year I feel like I've got a lot – I wouldn't say to prove, not to anyone else, but a lot to prove to myself because I have a lot of high standards for myself. This past year coming in hurt, I wasn't expecting that. But at same time, everything happens for a reason. But I'm excited for this year just to be on the field and get back working."
Titans Online looks back at defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons' 2019 rookie season (Photos: Donald Page)