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Casey, Titans defense turn up heat

Better late than never.

The Tennessee Titans defense had played poorly in the first two preseason games of the year.

But Saturday night, the defensive pressure up front that had been largely missing was present in a big way with six sacks, including five of Atlanta Falcons starting quarterback Matt Ryan.

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey was the ring leader of the Titans sack attack, getting 1 ½ sacks on Ryan, as he combined with Kamerion Wimbley on one takedown.

Meanwhile, Karl Klug and Moise Fokou shared a sack, while Derrick Morgan had the other hit on the Falcons quarterbacks.

For Casey, who battled an elbow injury and other issues in 2012, he says being healthy again is making the difference.

“I had the elbow injury and other injuries that held me back, but this year, I'm fully healthy and I'm ready to go. I'm just bringing everything I've got and trying to do big things to help my team,” said the third-year defensive tackle from Southern California.

Casey said the Titans secondary did its share in helping to create pressure for the front four.

“I give credit to our DBs. Without the DBs, we can't get to the quarterback,” Casey said. “They did a great job covering tonight, giving us time to get to the quarterback. We started off slow, then as soon as our DBs clicked on, it turned up the heat for us up front and we got our opportunities to get to the quarterback.”
Morgan said the pass rush had been a point of emphasis for the defensive line this week in practice.

“We had an emphasis going into this game to get after the quarterback and disrupt the passer and give us a chance,” Morgan said. “We know Atlanta has a really explosive offense. The secondary gave us a chance to get back there and gave us time to get back there and disrupt it.”

Coach Mike Munchak was pleased to see that type of pressure Saturday night.

“We were able to get some pressure with the guys up front. I think there were five sacks among the starting group, which was good to see,” Munchak said. “You could see the confidence growing as we started to get stops, getting the quarterback.”

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