NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN)- Gone are the days of the “MMCNB” (My Man Catch No Balls), crew in Nashville.
The Tennessee Titans’ secondary no longer has Logan Ryan, Adoree’ Jackson, Malcom Butler or Kenny Vaccaro. In fact, safety Kevin Byard is the only original starter from that group still wearing the two-tone blue.
The former MTSU star is one of the team’s most trusted leaders and he is already putting in the work at OTAs, setting an example for some of the younger players.
“I just tell the young guys, watch the veterans, learn from them as quickly as you can on how to be a professional. At the end of the day this league is very competitive,” said Byard.
And many of those young players build up this “new look” secondary, so finding a fresh identity isn’t going to happen overnight, and Byard doesn’t want anything to be forced.
“The ‘MMCNB’ deal was something that came about organically, and I don’t think you want to force an identity on a group of guys. You want to continue to work together and try to be better,” said Byard. “When it comes to trying to create a logo or name, that’s something we have to go out there an earn.”
While an identity will come with time, Byard said the focus right now is finding a way to be better on third down, a category that was historically bad for the Titans this past season.
“That’s something we’re stressing a lot in OTAs. We need to be better on third downs, really being aggressive,” added Byard.
And while Byard mentioned that it can be a bit underrated, he expressed that building relationships in the defensive back room is critical to finding success this upcoming season.
Byard said, “Building those relationships outside of the building, getting to know each other better is huge. When we get full group in here, that’s what it’s going to be about. That is the biggest thing to continue to build, is those relationships so we can build more chemistry on the field.”