Speaking to media on Wednesday, a day before the Titans’ first practice of 2013 training camp, Derrick Morgan talked of a hunger.
The appetite wasn’t because Morgan shed more than five pounds this offseason to play at 265 this year. It was because a bad taste lingered from Tennessee’s 6-10 mark in 2012.
The Titans made multiple coaching and personnel moves to get better, and players used their free time to improve their own game. Morgan said he’s “100 percent” confident that the whole team is better than the one that reported to camp last year.
“I see the changes we made and just the intensity that we brought to practice,” Morgan said. “Guys are hungry. I know I am. We’re tired of losing. Last year was a miserable season for me. I know it was for a lot of people. I know we don’t want to feel that way in January, so we’re going to do whatever it takes to be playing come playoff time and be in New York for the Super Bowl. We have the same goals, so we’re going to work toward them.”
Morgan wanted to lose the weight at the suggestion of pass rush specialist Keith Millard so Morgan can be “more agile, more quick.” He also said he trained “more specifically on football stuff” this year than say between 2010 and 2011 when he was recovering from an ACL injury early in his rookie season.
Personally, Morgan’s most complete season came in 2012 when he started all 16 games and had 66 tackles (35 solo), with 6.5 sacks, 19 quarterback pressures, five tackles for loss and five passes defensed. Those numbers were career highs in every category, expect QB pressures (he had 20 in 2011), and he wants to build momentum and move the Titans forward.
He’s not alone in that regard. Cornerback Jason McCourty said Tennessee was able to do productive work during its offseason program, and that progress created “the most excitement I’ve had going into a training camp since I’ve been here.”
“As a player here, it makes it a lot of fun. We’re going in and there’s going to be a different level of practice. You guys saw it in (organized team activities) and mini-camp,” McCourty said. “We’re looking forward to raising our game. We know when you’ve been losing you have to do something if you want change, so we’ve already made the changes on the roster. Now, it’s up to us as players to go out on the practice field, compete and get better.”
Tags: Derrick Morgan, Tennessee Titans
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