We continue our trip around the Titans position by position on the eve of the 2012 regular season with a look at the middle linebackers.
The Barrett Ruud Experience is mercifully over. The Titans signed the much-maligned former Tampa Bay linebacker last offseason to fill the starter, and even people like me who though Ruud got too much blame last year weren't the least bit sad to see him go.
Into Ruud's shoes as the full-time starting linebacker in the middle of the Titans defense stands Colin McCarthy. Last year's fourth-round sensation from the University of Miami got downhill much more aggressively than did Ruud, often a necessary move behind a defensive line that struggled to keep the Mike clean. While McCarthy didn't always make the tackle when he did play aggressively, he made enough of them.
McCarthy's zone coverage drops weren't nearly as clean as Ruud's (seriously, that man was an absolute ace at running back...