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Titans Should Eye DE Hau’oli Kikaha if cut by New Orleans

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MessagePosté le: Jeu 25 Oct - 06:05 (2018)    Sujet du message: Titans Should Eye DE Hau’oli Kikaha if cut by New Orleans Répondre en citant

 By Sunday morning some NFL players will find themselves on a new team , on a practice squad or out of the league. Roster cuts loom heading into the final week of the preseason. For players that have spent the offseason living on the roster bubble, their fate will be decided on Saturday.One name that is on the roster bubble in New Orleans is DE Hau’oli Kikaha. The former 44th overall selection of the 2015 NFL draft hasn’t panned out the way the Saints had hoped. After struggling with injuries during his time with the Washington Huskies, the same can be said thus far in the NFL.Kikaha, a versatile defensive end, has the skills to be lined up in different spots along the defensive line. Known for his relentless effort, Kikaha managed to become a second round pick in spite of injury concerns. During his final two seasons with the Huskies, Kikaha racked up 31.5 sacks. He hold the record for most sacks in Huskies history with 36 and most sacks in a single-season with 19.A high-motor pass rusher with that much production in college hasn’t reached his full potential - mostly due to being derailed by injuries.Saints May Move OnWhen New Orleans made the trade for DE Marcus Davenport, some considered it one of the worst trades in recent memory because of what the Saints gave up. Davenport was paired veteran DE Cam Jordon to form a duo the Saints desired. A duo that may signal the end of Kikaha due to having other depth at defensive end that present less of a concern for potential injury.So why should GM Jon Robinson target a player who is injury prone?Here is why. Kikaha is only 26 years old. That’s a good age for a pass rusher. Kikaha hasn’t reached his prime yet. He could benefit from a new training regimine that may help reduce his chance of injury. Another reason? Bolster defensive depth on the edge. Yes, the Titans acquired LB Kamalei Correa, but where he will line up is still to be determined. With OLB Derrick Morgan out for a good chunk of the season and rookie OLB Harold Landry recovering from an injury to the same ankle he dealt with last season, his availability - despite the optimism of him being seen without a walking boot - remains a mystery. If cut, Robinson wouldn’t have to trade any draft capital and can gamble on a player that has a high-ceiling - if healthy. Once Morgan and Orakpo are at full health, the Titans will have a nice rotation of capable pass rushers that could reduce the number of snaps each needs without affecting their impact. Orakpo has already stated his production could see a boost by playing fewer snaps.Roster ChangesOdds are the Titans add a few players to their final 53 that spent the offseason in different uniforms. Whether or not Robinson will elect to target pass rushers is unknown. However, one key thing to keep in mind is the market for productive pass rusher is not cheap. History has shown that the price of an elite pass rusher can break the bank. This is why most choose to draft pass rushers with elite potential in the top half of the first round. In today’s NFL, some teams are forced to overpay for above average pass rushers because the elite and the great are coveted by the team they are on. Or - those player receive the franchise tag.In Kikaha’s case, he doesn’t have any leverage if he hits the free agent market Saturday. His deal would likely be a one-year “prove it” deal laced with incentives. Some incentives could include playing a certain number of games.Injury aside, Kikaha would be a solid value pickup. He wouldn’t be expected to start, but could help hold it down while other Titans defenders heal up. Kikaha would fit right in with Correa and Titans QB Marcus Mariota, who he played against during their battles in the Pac-12. Kikaha has always had high respect for Mariota - evening going as far as saying he’d be the only QB he’d help up after a sack.Yes, there are a few pass rushers currently on the market - and more will be Saturday following cuts - but Kikaha should be considered if he is in need of a new team. Junior Galette - who was a teammate of Kikaha’s in New Orleans - is also a viable option. He’s met with other teams and, like Kihaha Womens Derrick Henry Jersey , can be a very productive situational pass rusher if injuries don’t sideline him.When comparing both Galette and Kikaha’s numbers, it’s interesting to not that Galette had three sacks in 16 games. Kikaha had four - in 12 games.Titans-Dolphins preview with The Phinsider: How good will the Miami defensive line be without Ndamukong Suh? Kevin Nogle of The Phinsider was nice enough to answer 5 questions about his Miami Dolphins ahead of the opener.1. The Dolphins defensive line has been a problem for the Titans the last 2 times these teams have faced off. Will they be able to create the same type of pressure with Ndamukong Suh being gone?I think the defensive line is probably the strength of the defense, which sounds funny when you add in Ndamukong Suh not being on the team, but it is probably true. Cameron Wake is still Cameron Wake and will disrupt the offensive line. Robert Quinn being added this year looks like a great move as he returns to being a true hand-in-the-dirt pass rusher. Behind them, Charles Harris, Andre Branch, and William Hayes should all see plenty of playing time, keeping everyone fresh throughout the game.At defensive tackle, Suh not being in the middle will definitely be noticed, but Akeem Spence, Jordan Phillips, Davon Godchaux, and Vincent Taylor have all been really solid this summer. They may not have the greatest individual performances to equal what Suh can do on any play, but together, they should be able to make up for him no longer being there.That was a long way of saying, yes, I think the defensive line can give the Titans, and every team, fits this year. They do, however, have to play up to their potential and be there on every single snap.2. Everyone seems to point to the Dolphins’ linebackers as being a matchup the Titans can take advantage of with Delanie Walker and Dion Lewis. Can you tell us about that group and if you think that is true?While I really like the defensive line Authentic Malcolm Butler Jersey , the linebackers are definitely among the top concerns. Kiko Alonso is healthy and, I hope, will look more like 2016 Alonso than 2017 Alonso, where he was slowed by various injuries and was having to spend more time trying to cover for others’ mistakes than just being able to play his game. The Dolphins also did not do him any favors in coverage, asking him too often to be in man coverage on players he should not be trying to cover. Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker are basically rookies (McMillan missed all of 2017 after tearing his ACL on the opening kickoff of the preseason and Bake is truly a rookie), so there will be plenty of mistakes out there as the two of them grow into their roles. The saving grace may be Minkah Fitzpatrick who will primarily play nickel cornerback or free safety, but can definitely be asked to cover Walker and Lewis, playing more of a linebacker role at times. Linebacker will be a question mark early this season, and the Titans should definitely attack the group and see what happens.3. What is the workload distribution going to be like between Kenyan Drake and Frank Gore?There has been a lot of talk this offseason about how the Dolphins are trying to replace Jay Ajayi with Gore, and that could not be further from the truth. Drake is the starter for this offense, and he will get carries as if he is the starter. That said, Adam Gase likes running back by committee systems, so Gore will still see plenty of playing time, as will rookie Kalen Ballage. I would expect Drake to see the majority of the playing time, with Gore second at about half of that, then Ballage come in for mismatches. That will change as the season wears on, but early I would not expect to see Gore as much, just so the coaches know his legs will be ready later in the year.4. How much are you going to miss Jay Cutler? Just kidding. How much better will this offense be this year with Ryan Tannehill back under center?Jay who? Oh, was he the guy the Dolphins signed for $10 million to play in the longest preseason ever? I mean, it feels like the Dolphins have played 24 preseason games since they lost in the 2016 playoffs. Someone should look into that.Okay, other than trying to pretend the 2017 season did not happen , Tannehill coming back should be huge for the team. Just on a quarterback comparison, Tannehill has to be two to three games better than Cutler and Matt Moore, which would push Miami to the 8-8 or 9-7 range, which feels about right for this team. Tannehill has a confidence level this summer that we have not seen from him previously. The offense seems to be clicking with him in there, and they have shown some of the uptempo offensive scheme that Gase has wanted for the past two years. Everything is not perfect, including Tannehill still making some throws that show he has some rust to work through, but it definitely feels like the offense is in a much better place with 17 behind center.5. Looking at this roster, they seem to be solid at every position but maybe not great anywhere. What are you honest expectations for the Dolphins this season? Can they be a playoff contender?Like I said about Tannehill, 8-8 to 9-7 feels about right. That said, they could go on a run somewhere and pull off a double-digit win total, but they could also get smacked in the mouth early and struggle for several weeks, dropping back down to 6-10 of 5-11. I think your assessment of solid all over, but nothing great (other than Cameron Wake and safety Reshad Jones) is pretty accurate right now. There are several players who could break out, including Tannehill, Drake, and Fitzpatrick, but we will have to see how the seasons unfolds. I think they are pushing for that final Wildcard spot this year, and they could end up claiming it, but I am definitely not ready to say they are going to unseat the Patriots atop the division or make a deep run into the playoffs.Thanks again to Kevin for taking the time!
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MessagePosté le: Jeu 25 Oct - 06:05 (2018)    Sujet du message: Publicité

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