Rookie Harold Landry looks ready to give Titans' rush a jolt

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Harold Landry had a sack in his first preseason game after using his trademark bend off the edge to blow by Green Bay Packers backup left tackle Kyle Murphy. He managed to strip the ball from quarterback Brett Hundley, almost causing a turnover.

These are the kinds of plays the Tennessee Titans should get used to seeing from their rookie outside linebacker.

Finishing in a fifth-place tie with the Los Angeles Chargers with 43 total team sacks last season, the Titans can use Landry to bolster their pass rush. While at Boston College, Landry led the nation in sacks with 16.5 as a junior in 2016. An ankle injury limited Landry to nine games in his senior season, but he still managed 8.5 tackles for a loss and five sacks.

Now completely healthy, Landry's burst off the edge has been on full display during training camp. The Titans are using him on a lot of stunts in tandem with veteran pass-rusher Derrick Morgan.

"For us, we are trying to get our best rushers out there the best we can," outside linebackers coach Shane Bowen said.

Letting Landry stand up and rush the quarterback from a wide alignment allows him to utilize his 6-foot-2 frame to his advantage. Landry makes it difficult for taller offensive tackles to get their hands on him, because he has a knack for bending his body and running at a side angle.

"It has to do with natural ability, but it's also my work ethic," Landry said. "I work on ankle flexibility by running the hoops and everything that I can to make my bend the best it can be. I am not the biggest guy out there, so I have to do things extraordinary to make plays.

"It's not about how big you are out there. It's about being strong and playing with leverage. The lowest guy is always going to win. If you play with leverage and get guys off balance, you can use that against them."

Landry is able to rush the passer from both sides, something defensive coordinator Dean Pees likes to do with his edge defenders. Once outside linebacker Brian Orakpo returns to the lineup, he and Landry will form a potent pass-rushing duo.

Pees had huge success by unleashing outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Elvis Dumervil when he was the defensive coordinator for the Ravens in 2014. Dumervil was third in the NFL with 17 sacks that season and Suggs finished tied for ninth with 12 sacks.

Moving up to the 41st pick to select Landry in the 2018 NFL draft was a brilliant move by Titans general manager Jon Robinson. Although Tennessee gave up its second-round pick (No. 57 overall) and its third-round pick (No, 89 overall), the Titans landed a player with first-round talent.

Getting to face Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan in practice doesn't make things easy, but the daily challenge has helped Landry sharpen his skills

"I think he is one of the best OTs [offensive tackles] in the NFL. He's just so quick, so fast, and his ability to burst off the ball," Landry said about Lewan. "He is so strong, so going against a guy like that every day, it should only be easier when you step out there on Sunday."

Only Orakpo (10.5 sacks in 2016) and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey (10.5 sacks in 2013) have registered double-digit sacks in the past five seasons for the Titans. If Landry shows in regular-season games what he has in camp thus far, he could be joining them in the near future.