In coaching the North squad for the Reese's Senior Bowl, the Tennessee Titans' coaching staff will get an up-close look at some of the most talented seniors available for the 2015 NFL Draft this week in Mobile, Ala. But according to Titans general manager Ruston Webster, cornerbacks and outside linebackers will be something of a focus.
"I think with this 3-4 defense, we have to look at linebackers, especially the outside-type linebackers. We've got to continue to build that," Webster told tennessean.com. "With linebackers and cornerbacks, those are two positions you really have to take a look at. Trying to build that 3-4 with the outside linebackers and the corners is a big part of what we're doing."
There are only three outside linebackers listed on the North squad roster -- Penn State's Mike Hull, Texas' Jordan Hicks and Harvard's Zack Hodges -- but for the Titans' purposes, more eyes will be on defensive ends with the potential to rush the passer in the NFL as a 3-4 linebacker. That group includes Kentucky's Bud Dupree, Utah's Nate Orchard and Hau'oli Kikaha of Washington. As for cornerbacks, Ohio State's Doran Grant, Texas' Quandre Diggs and USC's Josh Shaw will get the same opportunity to impress an NFL coaching staff that will be taking an extra-close look at the position.
Every team in the NFL will have plenty of representatives scouting Senior Bowl talent all week, but as the staff that is coaching one of the squads, the Titans' ability to evaluate the talent will be on an entirely different level.
"We certainly have much more access than what we normally have," Webster said. "If you're coaching the game, you're able to sit in on meetings, you're eating dinner with them and you're talking a lot to them. I think the biggest thing is that when they have meetings, you can go in there and see how they interact, and how they take things to the field."
Senior Bowl practices begin Tuesday. The game will be broadcast on NFL Network Saturday at 4 p.m. ET.