Casey poised to lead with play and talk

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It’s been a while since the Tennessee Titans had an outspoken player on defense.

It’s been a while since the Titans had a real dynamic presence on defense.

CaseyCasey To this point, defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has done everything he can to suggest he’s going to be the rare combination of both.

Sunday, Casey had a disruptive two-sack, four-tackle game that left Greg Cosell of NFL Films suggesting the tackle might become a Geno Atkins-like force.

After the Titans beat the Steelers in Pittsburgh on opening day, Casey offered commentary on both Pittsburgh fans and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

On the fans: “We made sure we put those Terrible Towels up their butts all day long. They waved them at the beginning of the game, but they left pretty early.”

On the quarterback: “You could see it in Ben’s eyes -- he wanted to get back to that locker room pretty quick. As long as we keep getting to quarterbacks, it’s going to be like that all year.”

Later, regarding the Texans, he told some of us: "We're going to go out there and make sure we put our foot up their (butt). Sorry about the cuss word."

My colleague Tania Ganguli took that to Brian Cushing who had a good response.

"Good luck," Cushing said. "He was real quiet at SC, I don’t know what happened to him. He used to be a nice kid."

Casey would like to get 18.5 sacks, breaking a record for a pure tackle held by Titans pass rush coach Keith Millard, who had 18 for the Vikings in 1989.

Casey said he’s happy to do some talking to get his team hyped up, but resisted the Atkins comparison -- he wants to make his own mark -- and said he’s not looking to be the Titans’ next Jevon Kearse of Albert Haynesworth.

“I think I can perform and carry a load if I have to,” he said. “I’ve got a great group of guys around me that I don’t feel like I need to do it.”

Ideally he can do it, and that group of guys can all benefit.