Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn is mixing and matching and it will be a while before he knows how his interior guys will line up in the post-Albert Haynesworth era.
However it sorts out, Jason Jones will have a big role.
Everybody knows Haynesworth was the AFC's top defensive tackle with 8.5 sacks. Nobody knows Jones was second among interior linemen in the conference with 5.0 sacks.
Ask Washburn for specifics that Jones -- or any of his linemen -- need to work on, and he says they all need to work on everything.
Jones believes one key to substantial improvement is a focus on better hand placement.
"My hand placement was all off [in 2008]," Jones said. "If my hand placement is all over the place, it won't help me on the block that I am getting. If my hand placement is there, everything will be all right. It's recognizing the blocking and focusing on your aiming points. Coach Wash gives us aiming points on the offensive line body that I have got to concentrate on."
With prompting, Jones put his hands on me, showing me a bit about angles and leverage -- one hand centered on my chest, the other pushing on my shoulder.
"I'm blowing you into the backfield," he said. "If your hands are in the right place, it helps you a whole lot."
"He's tricky, he blocks a certain way you've really got to get used to," Jones said. "Certain things you do that work against a regular person won't work on him. He's one of the guards that's kind of challenging. Going against him every day is helping me a lot."
I look for Jones to be one of several interior defensive linemen in the AFC South to emerge or re-emerge this season.
Among the other candidates:
Houston's Amobi Okoye, who is coming off a year when an ankle injury slowed him.
Ed Johnson, who's getting a second chance with Indianapolis.
Jones' rookie teammate, another second-rounder, Sen'Derrick Marks.