Tennessee Titans general manager is no stranger to hitting on undrafted free agents, and it appears he might have done just that with defensive lineman Naquan Jones.

After playing sparingly or not at all over the first four games of his rookie season in 2021, Jones began seeing regular playing time upfront with 23 snaps or more in nine of the final 13 games (including playoffs).

Jones ultimately made five starts with Teair Tart dealing with injury, and he responded with two of his 2.5 sacks and both of his passes defended coming in those starts.

Like most rookies, Jones admits he was a little overwhelmed in his first season and didn’t play as fast as he’d like, but feels more comfortable entering Year 2.

“Last year when I came in, I was a little overwhelmed, just like any rookie coming in here, transitioning,” Jones said, per Jim Wyatt of Titans Online. “I was overthinking [last year] and not playing as fast as I could because of that. But the more reps you get and the more you step on the field, you get more comfortable.

“This year I feel more comfortable, with a year under my belt, and I’m not the youngest guy in the room any more. I came in with the mindset of every day I want to get better.”

Titans defensive line coach Terrell Williams believes Jones “fits perfectly” in the team’s defense, and defensive coordinator Shane Bowen is excited about Jones ahead of 2022.

“We look for guys that fit our system and [Naquan] fits perfectly,” Williams said.

“I think he has done a great job,” Bowen said of Jones. “He took a lot of great strides last season. He got thrown into the fire there a little bit, but I thought he showed tremendous growth throughout the season last year and he is becoming more of a pro. He is maturing, and he is kind of figuring out what it takes to be a pro.

“There’s a little more seriousness to him right now,” Bowen added. “So I am excited about the direction he is on right now.”

Jones, who says he is hoping to improve his technique going into Year 2, is also looking to solidify a bigger role for himself.

“Just technique, you can improve on something every day,” Jones said. “Coach [Mike] Vrabel tells us that, [defensive line coach] Terrell [Williams] tells us that. Just the mindset to get better every day is key,” Jones explained.

“I want to develop more of a role with the team, to help out and do anything I can. If they need me on field goal, field goal block, or to contribute in any way, I’ll do it. I just want to keep solidifying a role on this team.”



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