The Titans were among the worst teams in the league in terms of pressuring opposing quarterbacks in 2020, and to address those concerns, Tennessee made an aggressive push for Bud Dupree. The former Steelers OLB ultimately signed a five-year, $82 million pact with Tennessee, a deal that included $34 million in guaranteed money and that raised a few eyebrows throughout the league.
After all, Dupree suffered an ACL tear in December that cut short his 2020 campaign and left his status for the upcoming season a little uncertain. Obviously, the Titans would not have made the kind of commitment they did if they were overly concerned about his prognosis, but we haven’t heard much news of any kind since he put pen to paper.
In an interview on the NFL Network Monday (h/t Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk), Dupree discussed the work he’s putting in, but he was unable to say when he might join his new teammates on the field.
“Just training hard every day right now, man,” he said. “ACL recovery, rehab, I mean, it’s been one of the most progress [sic] things I have dealt with so far. Each week you see different levels of progress. You see different things change in your body. So I’m working hard to be back as soon as I can, but that’s up to the coaching staff at the end of the day, like when they want me to be on the field and how comfortable they feel with me coming off the injury.”
Before the ACL tear, Dupree posted eight sacks in just 11 games, putting him on pace to match the 11.5 sacks he accumulated over a full season in 2019. Pro Football Focus assigned him a mediocre 60.2 overall grade last year, but he scored a much higher 77.7 mark in his 2019 breakout, which positioned him as the 23rd-best edge defender out of 104 qualifiers. If the Titans can get a little more out of their pass rush this season — and a healthy Dupree will go a long way toward that goal — they will be a threat to make a deep postseason run.