Titans 2023 Training Camp Preview: A Look at the Safeties

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TRAINING CAMP PREVIEW: SAFETIES

In camp (8): Kevin Byard, Amani Hooker, Elijah Molden, Josh Thompson, Mike Brown, LJ Davis, Matthew Jackson, Tyreque Jones.

Offseason developments: The Titans worked most of the offseason without Byard, and did some experimenting in his absence. Molden isn’t listed as a safety on the team’s positional roster, but he worked at the position in offseason work as the team expanded his possibilities. After ending last season on Injured Reserve, Thompson worked in the offseason at safety as well. The Titans signed Brown off of Cleveland’s practice squad late in the 2022 season, and he returned this offseason. Jackson and Jones signed with the team as undrafted free agents after the NFL Draft, while Davis joined the team after a rookie minicamp tryout. Meanwhile, former Titans safety Lonnie Johnson Jr. signed with the Saints while Andrew Adams, Josh Kalu and A.J. Moore all became free agents and have not signed elsewhere.

In the spotlight: Byard. The veteran safety has been Mr. Dependable for the Titans since being drafted in 2016. Byard has played in 114 straight games, and over that stretch he’s tallied 27 interceptions while being the quarterback of the defense. During the course of the offseason there was plenty of chatter about Byard’s contract, or about his whereabout during the team’s OTAs. The two sides have now reportedly agreed to a restructured deal. No one ever doubted Byard’s work ethic, or his desire to be the best player he can be in Tennessee. Byard believes his offseason workout plan helped prepare him for what’s ahead, and it’s certain he’ll head into the 2023 season with a hungry mindset – as usual.

Battle to watch: Back-up spots. Byard and Hooker bring experience and veteran leadership to the back end. The work they’ve put in over the years should pay off this fall. After those two, spots are there to be had. Molden’s versatility gives the team some added flexibility, but the team’s depth here is currently young and inexperienced and jobs are there to be won. There’s also room for more competition.

Keep an eye on: A veteran addition. I’m not going to name the list of safeties still available, but I suspect the team’s front office and coaching staff are plenty of aware of who these guys are right now. So far, the Titans haven’t brought back some of the experienced back-up safeties on the roster from a year ago. There’s a chance none of them return. But the hunch here is another safety will join the mix at some point in the not so distant future.

Source: TennesseeTitans.com
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