Jadeveon Clowney waited until the final few days before the start of the regular season to sign a contract, but that didn't dampen any excitement about his arrival.
Just ask new teammate and All-Pro safety Kevin Byard.
"I kind of view him as a guy who can wreck an entire game plan," Byard said of Clowney, via the team's official website. "He is going to be a guy that teams are going to have to game plan for every single game, whether they are trying to chip-block him, they can't release all their receivers out, and things like that. He is going to be a great addition to our defense – he's great against the run, great against the pass.
"To add a game-wrecker ... it is super exciting. We are amped up going into this Week One game and to add a piece like him, a guy that I know is going to come in and bust his tail and try and help us win ball games, it is going to be exciting."
The Titans and Clowney participated in a dance of attraction for months, finally coming to an agreement with less than a week before the start of the regular season. Tennessee's opposition will have to game plan for him every week, as Byard said, but first, Clowney needs to figure out his own team's game plan.
"He hasn't even looked at our playbook yet," Titans coach Mike Vrabel said. "So for us to start to figure out what the versatility is -- we are familiar with the player's skill set, with J.D.'s skill set, but where he may potentially fit is all going to depend on how much he can handle."
There should be some familiarity for Clowney, who reunites with Vrabel, his former defensive coordinator during their time together in Houston. Clowney played his first three professional seasons under Vrabel's direction, earning his first Pro Bowl trip in Vrabel's final year in Houston, 2016. Clowney flourished in the years that followed, becoming a highly coveted player matching the draft selection spent on him in 2014, while Vrabel took on the task of turning the Titans into a contender.
Now, they're back together and aiming high once again as part of a franchise that just made an appearance in the AFC title game.
For much of the offseason, the question remained the same: Why isn't Clowney signed yet?
Some questioned his desire to join the teams interested in him, while others thought it was simply a matter of a player holding out for a salary higher than any team was willing to offer.
Clowney agreed to be paid handsomely for a one-year trial in Tennessee, agreeing to a deal worth up to $15 million. Plus, according to Vrabel, he genuinely wants to be in Nashville.
"I think we are always excited to add players that want to be a part of our organization, which I think it is evident that Jadeveon is -- I'll let him speak on that when he has the opportunity," Vrabel said. "We are just trying to add the right pieces, the guys that love football and want to be here. And we'll start working with him when he gets in here."