NASHVILLE – Titans defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons thinks less could mean more.
As in less weight, more production.
On Wednesday, Simmons discussed his plan of playing – and staying – at a lower weight in 2022.
Coming off a Pro Bowl season, he thinks the payoff could be bigger on the field.
"Playing in the trenches, all that weight on them joints and stuff like that takes a toll on the body," Simmons said. "If I can keep playing at a consistent level and weight, I think it will help me later in the season from getting banged up. I feel good when I'm light. I still feel strong, I still feel like myself.
"I think me being consistent right around, maybe 295 (pounds), or 300, maybe in that range I think that will feel good for me and I can help the team the best way I can by staying healthy."
Simmons said he planned to play at a lighter weight on a consistent basis last year, but he ended up playing in the "312 to 315" pound range.
Most of the questions for Simmons during his media availability on Wednesday focused on his contract.
Earlier this offseason, the Titans exercised the fifth-year option for Simmons, which keeps him under contract with the Titans through 2023. Simmons, who did not take part in the on-field work over the past two days, made it clear he plans to be on the field for training camp, at the start of training camp.
"I am here to play football," Simmons said. "I have a team around me that handles my contract situations and my future and all that. So, I am focused on training. I am focused on getting ready for the season. I am focused on how much I can improve."
A first-round draft pick of the Titans in the 2019 NFL Draft, Simmons is coming off his first Pro Bowl season.
Simmons recorded a career-best 8.5 sacks in 2021, and he led the Titans with 58 quarterback pressures. Simmons also ranked second on the squad with 12 tackles for loss.
Simmons led or tied for the team lead in sacks four times in 2021, and he led or tied for the team lead in quarterback pressures eight times in 2021. Simmons registered a career-high three sacks at the L.A. Rams on November 7.
Simmons wants to make a bigger difference again this fall, even if he's a bit smaller.
He's talked with his uncle, former Cowboys and Redskins lineman Jason Hatcher, about ways to improve his game. He also attended Von Miller's Pass Rush Summit, where he spent time with some pass rushing greats, watching film and finding ways to better his technique.
"There's a lot of things I want to work on to take my game to the next level," Simmons said. "Trying to be more disruptive, get up the field more, try and keep my feet moving, not just in the pass game, but also in the run game. My biggest thing this offseason is even in the run game, how can I keep my feet moving to make contact. It's the small details that can take my game to the next level.
"My job is to be the best version of Jeffery Simmons for the Tennessee Titans."