It’s a disheartening development for a player Tennessee is counting on to make a big contribution in his second year. Morgan came back from a torn ACL that wiped away the bulk of his rookie season after the Titans made him their top draft pick.
“He started off [this year] with a ball of fire and now we’re all wondering where is he,” Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker told me last week. “He’s working to get better and it’s part of the growth. We still keep forgetting this is really his rookie year.”
While the ankle may get in the way, the Titans are still hopeful that Morgan will be a big contributor in the final six games, and that that contribution will help turn an average team into a good one.
Morgan’s biggest issue concerns adjusting in-game as he sees how the plan he worked on for the week works and doesn’t work.
“What we do out here at practice, we’re planning, we’re strategizing, we’re organizing all the plans for the attack on Sunday,” Rocker said. “A lot of times you have to say, ‘Now, just play on Sunday. You’ve put in the time, you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do. Now just play.’
“But don’t get there on Sunday and pull out some other magic hat that you haven’t used before.”
The Titans don’t need to count on unreliable magic hats, they need to count on steady, methodic pass rushers. They haven’t had those.
“I’m expecting a lot out of myself,” Morgan said. “I haven’t been consistent with my moves, I have been getting away from my game plan. I get discouraged and I go away from what I was practicing all week.”
The Titans hope if the ankle costs Morgan any practice or game time, it does not extend beyond this week.