The Buffalo Bills are heading to Nashville to try and take down the Tennessee Titans to go to 4-1 on the season and continue to pull ahead of the pack in the AFC. To do that the Bills will likely look to the ageless Frank Gore and try their best to keep their quarterback upright. Standing in the way of those goals, often literally, is four time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Jurrell Casey.
At 6’1” and 305 lbs, Jurrell Casey is just a shade lighter than Star Lotulelei. And like Lotulelei, we see him lined up as a 3-tech lineman (outside shoulder of the guard). Even more like Lotulelei, the primary role for Casey in this play is to make two offensive linemen pay attention to him. A quick fake to the right helps sell the play and get the guard to bite. Isaiah Mack comes in pretty clean as a result. Occupying a double team is not an uncommon assignment for Casey.
That’s not 3-tech in the clip above and we start to see some differences in our comparison to Lotulelei. This is the 9-tech you’re likely to see Jerry Hughes using. The Titans trust Casey and their other linemen to line up all over the place and create confusion. Casey isn’t fast enough to be a very successful edge rusher but, if the goal is to control the pocket or set up later plays via confusion, it’s not a bad wrinkle.
Another difference between Casey and Lotulelei is that Casey is more frequently trying to get into the backfield. This is a respectable swim move, with an excellent early left hand to set it up.
Casey uses his quick fake from Play 1 and the swim move from Play 4 and gets right after Jacoby Brissett. If it weren’t for some hesitancy this would have been his first sack of the season. Casey puts up respectable numbers in the pressure department with 47 sacks and 107 quarterback hits in just over eight years in the league. Casey had to wait two more weeks before recording his first 2019 sack against the Atlanta Falcons.
Jurrell Casey is a high-motor guy, always looking to get back into the play. He does so successfully here and isn’t as shy as he was hitting Brissett. A lot of his tackles look like the ball carrier will remember it. Casey’s time on the field fluctuates (between 63% and 93% this year) but it shouldn’t be expected that his effort does.
One more for the road. Casey does a lot of little things to help his case. Seeing the play coming to his left he gets his hand free, which allows his shoulders and hips to turn the direction he wants to go. Once that’s done he can shed the block and make the tackle.
Jurrell Casey is the “Kyle Williams” of the Tennessee Titans. There’s very rarely a play that would end up on a highlight reel. But on the other hand, there’s a lot to be said for consistently solid play. Casey is also quite versatile with a good set of moves for a defensive tackle in addition to being able to take up space when needed. On Sunday, Casey could be problematic for an inconsistent Buffalo offense.