The Tennessee Titans made several roster cuts the day after losing 27-24 to the Chicago Bears in their preseason finale at Nissan Stadium on Saturday.
Among those let go were linebackers John Simon and Cassh Maluia, defensive backs Clayton Geathers and Nate Brooks, and defensive lineman Freedom Akinmoladun – all on the defensive side of the ball.
“Obviously, it comes down to Jon (Robinson) and Mike (Vrabel), and their vision for as this thing goes,” defensive coordinator Shane Bowen said about the roster cuts. “But we do, we have opinions. As a DC, as a position coach, we kind of have a feel for these guys, how they're going to fit the unit, that's a big part of it.
“Not just necessarily the best player, but how they're going to fit the unit, the piece that we need, who might have some more versatility but might not be as talented, all that stuff comes into play. So, it will be interesting to see here in the next couple days.”
Simon and Geathers were the most notable cuts with Simon’s release being the biggest surprise. However, cutting him was likely made easier by having Ola Adeniyi and Derick Roberson around.
Seeing a heavy workload in the preseason, Simon played the most snaps (67 on defense, six on special teams) of any of the four outside linebackers vying for a roster spot (Adeniyi, Roberson, Wyatt Ray), but he also had the misfortune of being the oldest as well.
Adeniyi has shown flashes as a pass rusher during the preseason that piqued the interest of Titans coaches enough to keep him on the roster. He had a sack in Tennessee’s preseason opener and he and Roberson had half a sack on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Roberson has been with the Titans for two seasons but hasn’t quite lived up to the potential he showed in 2019 when he had three sacks, four quarterback pressures, and three QB hits in three games. But he’s shown Bowen enough thus far to warrant belief he’s turning a corner.
“I think [Roberson has] had a good camp,” Bowen said. “…I think he's become more of a pro this year than he has been in the past. Part of that is maturity.”
Geathers played 70 defensive snaps during two preseason games and 16 on special teams. He got burned on a touchdown pass by Justin Fields to Jesper Horsted in the first half.
The numbers were just too much for the 29-year-old to overcome, as Mattias Farley, Bradley McDougald, and Dane Cruikshank all add more value to the Titans. Based on performance, Farley is the likely favorite to be the third safety with McDougald right behind him.
“I mean, it's been competitive (at safety),” Bowen added. “Like after the first two (guys), it's been competitive and we're going to have some tough decisions to makes as this thing goes…just to kind of see where this thing's at. But, I mean, right now it's a pretty competitive group and it's going to be interesting to see how it plays out.”
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_