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VOL. 38 | NO. 52 | Friday, December 26, 2014

Morgan’s best season might be his last as Titan

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Tennessee Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan celebrates after recording a safety against the New York Jets. He becomes a free agent after this season.

-- Ap Photo/James Kenney

For Derrick Morgan, Sunday’s season finale against the Indianapolis Colts could well be the end of his five-year run with the Tennessee Titans.

Morgan, the Titans’ first-round pick in 2010, has been through quite a bit in five years in Tennessee – from a knee injury that ruined his rookie year, to being labeled a disappointment given his draft status as the 16th overall pick in the draft, to being moved out of his comfort zone as a 4-3 defensive end into a new role as a 3-4 linebacker.

Now, with free agency looming, Morgan looks at what could very well be his last game in two-tone blue on Sunday.

For now, he is trying not to think of the future as much as he is the present.

“I’m not going to focus on anything that could happen after Sunday until after Sunday,” he says. “I’m just trying to focus on the game right.

“All my focus is on finishing the season and completing the work we have to do to have success on Sunday. I’m not going to put any energy into anything I can’t control. This is the task at hand right now, so that’s where my energy is going.”

In terms of how his time as a Titan has gone, Morgan admits it’s not exactly what he believed it would be going in. After all, the Titans have had just one winning season and no playoffs in his time in Tennessee.

And even though he has switched to an unfamiliar spot at inside linebacker, Morgan – it can be argued – is having his best season as a Titan. He had two sacks Thursday night in Jacksonville and now leads the team with 6.5 sacks this season.

But all that pales when he looks at the Titans’ paltry 2-13 record, which includes consecutive losses.

While Morgan never became the superstar pass rusher the Titans hoped they were getting when they took him out of Georgia Tech, he certainly has been a survivor. And that isn’t altogether a bad thing.

“My overall assessment is there’s just a lot of change,” he explains. “I’m the only guy left from my draft class. That in and of itself just signifies how much change is going on.

“This is my third head coach in five years and basically my third defense.

“There’s been a lot of change and a lot of different faces throughout the years. It’s not really what I expected it to be, but I was introduced to what it really was pretty early in my career.”

In that time, he has seen plenty of teammates come and go, and now he wonders if it might be his time to exit.

The Titans, thus far, have made no overtures toward Morgan in terms of a new contract, which usually means they are giving him the green light to seek employment elsewhere in the NFL when the time comes in March.

Morgan has come to understand the business side of the league, but knows that he probably increased his value to other teams by showing that he is capable as an outside linebacker, as well as defensive end.

Perhaps because of that, he’s ready to play Sunday finale at LP Field as though it were any other game.

“It’s definitely a possibility, but it will work out the way it’s supposed to,” he says.

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com and is a blogger for 247 Sports NFL Insider.

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