Tough. Physical. Dependable. Team-first. That’s the direction and identity the Titans have had since Jon Robinson took over as general manager in 2016. Former head coach Mike Mularkey really instilled those qualities in the players and Robinson sent the message through cutting guys like Justin Hunter and Dorial Green-Beckham and bringing in his own guys like Kevin Byard and Logan Ryan who embody the philosophy.
The Titans are reportedly taking a look at former DL Ndomukong Suh tomorrow in Nashville. They’ll meet with the free agent to determine if that’s a path they’d like to go down. They cut DL Karl Klug today in what many fans made out to be “making room for Suh”, although I don’t believe the two moves have any relation to each other, even if they do sign Suh.
While I know that Suh could help the Titans on the field on Sundays, I question whether or not he fits the identity that this team has set and if they’d be willing to risk the culture they’ve built by signing a guy who was reportedly released from Miami because they are trying to build a better locker room culture.
I don’t know that Suh is a terrible locker room presence, but I do know that his actions on the field do not always embody the “team-first” attitude that Jon Robinson is looking for. He’s known for his dirty play and 15-yard personal fouls. Fouls similar to those of OL Taylor Lewan, who was on the verge of having a serious problem with coaches and management because of his on-field behavior. Lewan straightened up. Can Suh?
I have no problem giving folks the benefit of the doubt and hoping that they learn from their mistakes, but Suh has had a lot of time to learn, and he just hasn’t. The most recent incident, coming just last October, he grab Ravens QB Ryan Mallet by the throat and pushed him down. He’s also known for stomping guys, playing well after the whistle, and really costing his team when it matters.
Team-First? Don’t know.
I’m not sure how the guy is in the locker room. Here is a post last year from CBS where his teammates defended him against the “dirty player” label he’s been given over the course of his years in the NFL.
He doesn’t check all the boxes on Jon Robinson’s basic check list, and for that reason, I don’t think he’ll be a Titan, but crazier things have happened and having his former defensive line coach here could be a game-changer. I think the meeting with the Titans is much more than a formality, and Suh will seal his fate one way or the other in Nashville tomorrow. Maybe he’ll bring his “A” game.