Jim Wyatt, Senior Writer/Editor, TitansOnline.com
Titans rookie linebacker Harold Landry has made strides during his first month on the job in the NFL. The team’s second-round pick said he wants to make the Titans proud for drafting him in the 2018 NFL Draft.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Harold Landry has been on the job with the Titans for roughly a month, and he’s spent part of his time watching the veterans around him.
On a daily basis, linebackers Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan show how things should be done, he said.
“They definitely handle their business as pros — you can see it every single day as they take care of their bodies,” Landry said. “And then when we come out here on the field, they never mess up even though we are getting different looks from the offense. From experience, they just know how to adjust to different formations the offense gives us. Learning from them has been a big help.”
At the same time, Landry knows others are watching him as well.
As a newcomer, that goes with the territory, especially when you’re a second-round pick who arrived with an impressive resume, and high expectations.
“I definitely want to make the vets here proud, and make the front office and coach Vrabel and all the coaches out here proud for selecting me in the draft,” Landry said. “So every day I definitely come out here and bust my ass because I want to definitely make an impact as a rookie and be able to help this team win a Super Bowl.”
Landry, selected 41st overall by the Titans in the NFL Draft, has flashed during OTAs alongside Orakpo, Morgan, and some of the team’s other outside linebackers.
Morgan, for one, said he’s been impressed by Landry’s ability, and willingness to learn. He wants to help him, and loves hearing he’s being watched by him.
Landry set the Boston College single-season record with 16.5 sacks in 2016, and he racked up 26 sacks in his career. Landry’s 47.5 career tackles for a loss rank second in Boston College history while his 22.0 in 2016 were second all-time in a single season.
“He has a lot of natural ability,” Morgan said of Landry. “And just like anybody that comes in, you just have to help them evolve their game and polish it up a bit to be ready to go. As a rookie, you have to be able to adapt, and be willing to learn, and he does that, so we definitely appreciate that.
“Look around, I remember Seattle had a plethora of rushers, where they had guys moving all around the defense. So the more the merrier. We want to give problems on each side.”
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said Landry is learning something each day.
In addition to Orakpo, Morgan and Landry, outside linebacker Aaron Wallace has made strides durng offseason work, while rookies Sharif Finch and Tobenna Okeke have competed to push second-year Titan Josh Carraway and Gimel President, who was claimed off waivers earlier this offseason from the Texans.
Kevin Dodd worked at Saint Thomas Sports Park during the early stages of the offseason program, but Vrabel confirmed this week he hasn’t been around of late.
“I think these guys realize that the speed is different and they just can’t run around the edge, and that’s the thing we’re talking to them a lot about,” Vrabel said. “Just having some different pitches as it relates to rushers, with him, and Finch, and Fresno (Tobenna Okeke). We’ve got three young guys that we’re happy to work with. Josh is still a young player that started to do some things last year, but is still developing. It’s been nice to get A-Wall (Aaron Wallace) back from his injury.
“So really, those are the young guys. With A-Wall missing all of last season, he’s still a relatively young player. So, we’re looking for a good, competitive group that can provide some depth behind Rak and Morgan.”
Landry said he’s making progress.
The Titans wrap up OTAs on Thursday, and then they’ll be on the field for a three-day minicamp next week.
Training camp is due to start in late July.
“I think it is definitely going good,” Landry said. “As we continue to install, I have to keep learning the defense and when we get on the field I am not thinking about my responsibility and more just playing fast. There’s things you can always clean up. I am just out here trying to get better.
“And it’s great to have the vets to learn from. When you hear from other guys around the league, it is not like everywhere. Every single vet in here, they care about the young guys and they have been helpful to all us young guys. I know the vets have our backs.”