New second-round pick Zach Brown has lofty expectations for his new team, the Tennessee Titans.
Zach Brown's goal: Winning games and playing in the Super Bowl.
How lofty? Just the Super Bowl.
“Being here is about winning games,” the former North Carolina linebacker said. “I want to help this team get back to the Super Bowl. That's every teams goal.”
It's a place the Titans haven't sniffed since the 1999 playoffs, but Brown looks to be part of a Titans defense that is getting younger, but perhaps stronger with the likes of fellow linebackers Colin McCarthy and Akeem Ayers, plus defensive linemen like Karl Klug and Jurrell Casey from last year's draft class.
Younger is a good thing, says general manager Ruston Webster.
“I look at offense and defense a little different.” Webster said, “Defensively I think youth is good, you have got to be able to run, hit, move, and as guys get older they start losing a step even though they have that great savvy at all that, it does affect your defense.
"It is such an athletically demanding side of the ball that I think it’s important to be young actually, now do you want to mix in some veterans what can give you leadership and all that? Yes you do, but you also have to be able to run and hit.”
Brown also gives the Titans the chance, according to Webster to push Ayers to more of a rush end spot in some packages, with Brown taking over as the will linebacker in the nickel.
Brown figures to battle Will Witherspoon, who is in the final year of his current contract, for that starting weak side linebacker spot in base defense as well.
“I’m trying to compete for a starting job,” Brown said. “Wherever they put me at I’m going to try to compete for that job and win. At the end of the day, I want to be a contributor on this defense.”
The Titans grabbed Brown with the 52nd pick overall and said he will play with attitude given the teams that bypassed him.
“I’m going to make everyone pay for passing me up. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” Brown said.
As for addressing the criticisms from some draft analysts that he avoids contact, Brown pays that no mind.
“I use my finesse sometimes to get around the blocker to make a play, you line up across from me and we will see who shies away from contact,” he said.
Brown is one of two players taken by the Titans who have wrestling backgrounds, he along with Titans coaching staff think it is
beneficial to being a physical player. “It’s very mental, you do a lot of movement, you have to be mentally tough, and you have to push through it.”
Brown was asked if he would like to wear number 56 like fellow North Carolina linebacker Lawrence Taylor, Brown replied, “No, I’m just trying to be me.”
Instead, being himself will involve jersey No. 55.
“My friends were asking me which number I was going to get, I told them whatever that is available that looks good, so I’m going with 55” he said, “It’s a good number.”