Titans' L'Jarius Snead Hopes to Force Teams to 'Rearrange Their Offense'

L'Jarius SneedNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans have rarely sent a cornerback to track a top receiver around the field.

Samari Rolle, Pacman Jones and Cortland Finnegan did so occasionally for specific matchups, Finnegan most notably with Andre Johnson with whom he ended up in a highlight-reel fight.

Finnegan’s Titans’ career ended in 2011. 

Since then, it’s been almost always left, right and nickel.

So the arrival of L’Jarius Sneed gives the Titans a chance to do what the Chiefs did in 2024 when he drew matchups against some of the NFL’s top wideouts and had great success against them weekly. No matter where they lined up.

“He was our lockdown guy,” Andy Reid said. “The best receiver? He had the best receiver.”

As he was introduced to the Titans' press corps Tuesday, Sneed spoke of how much he enjoys that role, and, as he answered questions about it his confident smile added to the words.

“If I can eliminate one guy, their best player on the field, it helps everyone else around us,” he said. “Just like the guys on the D-line, you get to the quarterback, it helps us out on the back end. That’s how I feel like I am real with the corner spot. It’s all just a mindset really."

Sneed campaigned for Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to deploy him in such a fashion. It’s early for him to say he will do the same with Dennard Wilson.

“I’m going to tell them to put me wherever you want to put me and I’m going to give them my best,” Sneed said.

But if he does his thing it gives a defense a different feel when it’s operating with a cancel-out corner tracking a No. 1 receiver.

“It gives the defense a whole lot,” he said. “If you eliminate the best player, they have to rearrange their offense and do things that they don’t do.”

Chido Awuzie has also followed top receivers, and at the league meetings last week, Brian Callahan sounded very excited by the prospect of how the Titans will be able to use a pair of corners with such capabilities.

“We’ve got guys that can follow a No. 1 throughout a season and handle that matchup with confidence,” he said. “I think that gives your defense a whole different edge and I think we’ve got guys that can do that."

Ran Carthon also pointed to what’s generally a less exciting element of the cornerback job description, but one he notes is increasingly important.

“Just having two corners who are physical in the run game -- I know you don’t sign corners to be run defenders, but the way the game is going with the crack-toss game, (teams) are forcing corners to become more active in the run game,” he said. 

“We’ve got guys that can do that, we’ve got guys that can match up, then you add in Roger (McCreary), I think he’s like the forgotten guy in this, he’s a good run defender, he’s a good nickel, and he has experience playing on the outside, so it gives us some versatility there.”

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