- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Titans are examining a lot of options on the defensive line.
They've signed Al Woods already. They are slated to meet with Antonio Smith and Pat Sims is slated to visit Thursday, Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reports. Jason Hatcher is also a target. Reportedly they are also interested in re-signing Antonio Johnson.
It's not as if the Titans will sign all of them. But it appears they would like to restock the line.
Jurrell Casey, an outstanding 4-3 defensive tackle, is certain to be part of things going forward. I've thought he'd be a 3-4 end, but Greg Cosell of NFL Films says he'd be better cast as a penetrating nose tackle. I've thought another tackle, Sammie Hill, would translate into a nose, but Cosell projects him as an end.
I asked Ken Whisenhunt about where, if the Titans had a game right now, Casey and Hill would line up in a three-man line.
"In the game," he said, cracking a smile. "I know Jurrell has the flexibility to play inside and outside. And that gives us the opportunity for a lot of things with him. Sammie has done some good things just from what I've seen on tape. At different points in time they could line up in different spots. With Ray [Horton], hey he'll do anything. Those guys may be standing up. We're not going to tie ourselves into something."
Of the other returning linemen:
Derrick Morgan would likely play at least some as a standup outside linebacker, probably close to the line of scrimmage.
Ropati Pitoitua is very much a 3-4 end.
Kamerion Wimbley, if he's back despite salary concerns, becomes an outside linebacker, a position he's played in the past in a 3-4.
I don't know how Mike Martin, Karl Klug or Lavar Edwards would fit in the new front. Woods is likely to knock one of them off the roster and they are in increasing jeopardy every time the Titans add a lineman.
With holdovers and newcomers, there should be hearty competition among the group in camp.