NFL

The Titans’ $1.07 Million Star Is Their New Albert Haynesworth

The Tennessee Titans have found a gem of a player in second-year defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons.

Referring to the 19th overall pick from last year as a “gem” might not sound correct. But Simmons is quickly becoming one of the NFL’s best defensive tackles and is reminding Titans fans of Albert Haynesworth, except without the stomping.

In a troubling year for the Tennessee Titans’ defense, Simmons has emerged as a player that Mike Vrabel needs to build around.

Jeffery Simmons is in his second NFL season

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A two-time All-SEC selection at Mississippi State, the question when Jeffery Simmons entered the league wasn’t if he would go in the first round, but when?

The Tennessee Titans answered that question with the 19th overall selection, scooping up Simmons. In nine games and seven starts as a rookie, Simmons had two sacks, four tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.

Simmons missed the first month-plus of his rookie season while recovering from a torn ACL. The rookie had three tackles and recovered a fumble in three playoff games.

Simmons is enjoying a stellar 2020 season

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Jeffery Simmons hasn’t encountered the sophomore wall just yet — and at this point, he’s on pace to fully avoid that point.

In seven games this season, Simmons has 28 tackles, two tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits, three pass breakups, and a forced fumble. Simmons has also recovered two loose balls.

Simmons has been a significant bright spot on a disappointing Titans defense. Tennessee cut pass-rusher Vic Beasley, who was midway through a one-year, $9.5 million contract, earlier this month.

Beasley had three tackles and a forced fumble in five games.

Former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney has no sacks and only three tackles for a loss in seven games. Clowney missed Week 9 with a knee injury, and it is not yet known if he will face Philip Rivers and the Colts in Week 10.

The Tennessee Titans have a rising star in Jeffery Simmons

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Jeffery Simmons proved in Week 9 why the Tennessee Titans, understandably, are so excited about his future.

Tennessee led 10-0 against a struggling Bears team with 4:54 in the third quarter, but quarterback Nick Foles had Chicago inside Titans territory. Foles threw to running back David Montgomery on a short pass, but Montgomery slipped and Simmons forced the ball out. 

Desmond King, the Titans’ newest cornerback, scooped the ball up for a 63-yard touchdown. Tennessee held on and won, 24-17, to maintain their pace in the AFC playoff race. 

Simmons called it a “great team win” on Twitter.

“The energy was on another level today!” Simmons wrote. “We back at it Thursday! I need y’all back in Nissan ready to turn it up another notch!!”

The 6-2 Titans have four challenging games ahead. Tennessee hosts Indianapolis on short rest in Week 10 before a November 22 showdown with Lamar Jackson and the Ravens in Baltimore. 

The Titans travel to the Colts in Week 12 and return home the next week to host Baker Mayfield and the Browns

If the Titans split two of those four games, they will be in excellent playoff shape come their Week 14 trip to Jacksonville. 

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