Bud Dupree scored huge points with Titans fans Friday by making one thing perfectly clear, he wants to be in Nashville.
Last year the Titans dragged in Jadeveon Clowney just before the season started and had to wait 10 days for Vic Beasley Jr. simply to report to camp.
Dupree said not only did he want to be a Titan this year, he did last year as well, “I wanted to go to Tennessee last year if I would have been a free agent… Free agency came and the day of they called, as soon as my agent told me the other teams and this and that, as soon as he said the Titans, I said man, go ahead and negotiate. Let’s get it done.”
The Titans are banking big bucks that Dupree can transform their pass rush and their defense. They managed a pathetic 19 sacks last season, while Dupree had 8 in only 11 games last year and has 19.5 over the last two years.
He got paid last year when the Steelers put the franchise tag on him, but the Titans put a big number on him giving him $82.5-million over 5 years. He said keeping that chip on his shoulder is not a problem because, “there’s always room for improvement so the more you climb, the higher you climb, even a skyscraper, you still got a long way to go.”
There is also the perception by some that Dupree’s numbers are artificially inflated by having great players like TJ Watt and Cameron Heyward around him. Dupree does not agree with that perspective, at all, “Just put the tape on. You see the one-on-ones, if I get a one-on-one I win. With chips I win. In the run game no outside linebacker playing the run like me in the league. I don’t know where people get that from.”
So, confidence is clearly not a problem. Neither is health according to Dupree who said “I’ll be full speed in camp” despite tearing an ACL last season.
Last year the Titans dumped over $21-million dollars on Clowney and Beasley Jr. and got a combined ZERO sacks.
The bar was set very low for Dupree who can reach it by simply showing up to camp on time and be healthy.