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One of the biggest frustrations with the Tennessee Titans’ previous system was that the cornerbacks did not play press coverage, giving the opposing receivers more space in the short part of the field, which often led to easy first downs.

But under new defensive coordinator Dennard Wilson, those days are over. Before Wednesday’s practice, Wilson made it very clear that Tennessee’s cornerbacks will put pressure on receivers at the line of scrimmage.

“I think it’s pressure or less,” Wilson said, according to Paul Kuharsky. “And I want them to get in front of the receivers and challenge the receivers. At the end of the day, in this game, it’s easy for the quarterbacks to complete balls when they have open access.

“So I want to create hesitation at the line of scrimmage and make them earn it the hard way by throwing the 50-50 ball. Everything else we’re going to question.”

When asked if the Titans cornerbacks had any choice in the matter, Wilson clarified that this was not the case.

“From day one, we’ve been pushing everything, period,” he replied.

It’s true that the previous coaching staff didn’t have anywhere near the talent of the Titans’ 2024 cornerbacks, but the fact that they didn’t even attempt press coverage only made things more frustrating.

Wilson elaborated on his philosophy, explaining, among other things, that it is more about what the coaching staff values ​​than what the cornerbacks are comfortable with.

“Listen, the offense does a great job of creating different formations, right?” he said. “A lot of offenses that spread you out are wide apart. They’re going to line up and pressure, you want to play body to body. But what the offense does is they shrink the formation and make you back off. When you see guys playing behind coverage, a lot of times it’s because of the coverage you’re playing and you have zone vision, so you have to back off.

“For me, it’s not about the DBs or players being afraid to do it, it’s about what you emphasize. And the players do what you emphasize. It’s what you want from a game perspective. And then you have to teach the techniques and make the cornerbacks understand the leverage and their help. If they know exactly where their help is, they can take advantage of certain leverage and take away certain routes.”

After having a coaching staff that was more insular than Fort Knox, it’s very refreshing to hear such detailed answers from the new guy.

Whether it’s that or the new approaches of this coaching staff, it’s abundantly clear that these will not be the same Titans we’ve seen over the past six years.

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