NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- For some time, we’ve heard about how Derrick Morgan is on the verge.
The Tennessee Titans' defensive end gets close, causes disruptions, gets the quarterback off his spot and helps someone else get a sack. He’s tied for the team lead with six quarterback pressures.
But he doesn’t get many sacks himself. He’s got two in seven games this season and 12.5 in 42 career games.
Morgan was drafted 16th overall in 2010. He suffered a torn ACL in his fourth game in his rookie year. Recently he’s been dealing with a shoulder injury and it kept him out of the Oct. 20 loss to San Francisco.
None of that changed his expectations or his feelings about the results he’s getting.
“It’s going to show up, it has to, you know? That’s why I am here,” he said of sacks. "I’ve got to definitely get better, keep getting better and I will. I am as motivated as ever, with or without the sack numbers, I know I’ve got to get better with it. My pass rush, it’ll come, I’ve just got to keep going to work like I’ve been and it’ll come ...
“I do get frustrated. I’m working my butt off all week and not getting the results I want to get. I’m in a little bit of a rut right now, you can’t go in the hole, you’ve got to keep on working, work your way out.”
I like the attitude, but I also have to wonder. If a guy in his fourth season remains a guy who gets close a lot but doesn’t get sacks, is that simply what he is?
“I don’t think Morgan is a complete pass-rusher, but I think he’s a good pass-rusher,” Greg Cosell of NFL Films said recently on The Midday 180 in Nashville.
Said ESPN's resident scout Matt Williamson: "He seems like a close-but-no-cigar guy to me and really has been for the majority of his career. That isn't a terrible thing and he is disruptive, but just never seems to consistently get home."
While coach Mike Munchak said the Titans need more from Morgan, he was also quick to offer an example of impact.
“Last week, the first sack [Jurrell] Casey had was Morgan doing a great job of forcing the quarterback back to him,” Munchak said. “Then on the fumble, he’s there to recover the fumble on Jurrell’s sack. So, he’s right around the action. He’s real close to it ...
“When you miss, you get out of that flow for a little while. Now he’s back into it. He needs to play these next eight weeks, and we need him to finish plays. He’s there, and he’s got to close and finish them. I know he can’t be too anxious because he is rushing well, he’s a guy we count on, and we need him to step up this week.”