Fifteen pounds lighter and hungrier than ever, Titans defensive tackle Jurrell Casey is out to wake up his doubters.
After a career year (10.5 sacks, 90 tackles) in which he was snubbed for the Pro Bowl, Casey has recommitted himself to getting lighter on his feet so that he’s more nimble and able to play in a 3-4 defense.
"It’s a new season, a new goal,” Casey told The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt. “Even if I would have made (the Pro Bowl) last year, I still have to go out there and prove I can do it again another year," Casey said. "At the end of the day, I still have to go out there and compete and get to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro as many times possible."
Casey and the Titans have been in talks regarding a contract extension, but nothing is imminent, according to the report.
If Casey can prove to be a reliable pass-rushing threat and disruptive in the new scheme, it should give the team more incentive to get an extension done as he’s entering the final year of his rookie deal.
"He’s a heck of a player," defensive line coach Giff Smith said last week, via ESPN.com. "I told (Casey) when we got here, he’ll actually get more one-on-one situations out of our spacing than he would out of a 4-3 spacing. … Our deal is to get him in as many as we can. I think he puts stress on offensive linemen, he’s a difficult guy to block.”
With defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy and Geno Atkins earning more than $10 million average per year, Casey is a significant bargain as he’s slated to make only $1.4 million in 2014.