Titans rookie linebacker Zaviar Gooden charged from one side of the field to the other at minicamp this week, making two-handed touch tackles with ease. There is no real tackling allowed during offseason practices in the NFL. Players don’t even wear shoulder pads. Everyone is a step faster now, before the extra equipment is added. The fact that almost everyone is fast made Gooden’s speed even more impressive. Then again, the third-round pick from Missouri was one of the fastest linebackers in the draft this year and is now one of the fastest Titans linebackers. “As far as change of direction, I haven’t seen a linebacker this athletic in a long time,” Titans linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio said. Gooden is a fast learner too. Parlavecchio made a video of the most well-done defensive drills, and he noticed a pattern. “He has such beautiful footwork, he’s such a fluid athlete that he was the best example of each drill that I wanted to show,” the coach said. Players with speed on the offensive side are noticeable because they have the ball in their hands a lot and they tend to celebrate more touchdowns. On defense, speed can be the difference between giving up a touchdown or not.
Titans linebacker Zaviar Gooden puts his speed to good use
Tennessean | Jun 21