Jeffery Simmons not feeling pressure to replace Jurrell Casey

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Defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons says his left knee continues to get stronger more than a year after he tore his ACL while working out ahead of the 2019 draft and that’s a positive for the Titans.

The team would likely be looking for more out of Simmons in his second season under any circumstances, but the need for him to step up only got bigger when they traded Jurrell Casey to the Broncos earlier in the offseason. Dealing a five-time Pro Bowler leaves a hole on the defensive line and the 2019 first-round pick will be asked to fill a big portion of it.

Simmons said this week that he’s not daunted by such expectations and that his relationship with Casey is part of the reason why he’s comfortable in his current position.

“I told Jurrell I appreciate everything he did for me coming in as a rookie,” Simmons said, via the Titans website. “Jurrell took me under his wing and pretty much broke everything down for me –- that was very helpful coming in as a rookie, especially coming in hurt. Me personally, I don’t feel any pressure. I just have to be myself and continue to do what I do. This offseason right now, I am just working to get physically and mentally ready for next year.”

Simmons had 40 tackles and two sacks in nine regular season games and added three tackles and a forced fumble in three postseason games.