NASHVILLE – Jurrell Casey likes what he’s heard about first-round pick Jeffery Simmons.
And as Simmons prepares to enter the NFL, the eight-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowler is more than willing to help show him the way.
“Our saying is: ‘If you take care of the team, the team is going to take care of you’,” Casey said. “From day one, if he comes in and has his mind on right, I am willing to help him. My biggest thing is getting him under my wing early, and getting him going fast.”
Simmons, the 19th overall pick of the NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, sounds like a guy who is ready to work, and ready to learn from Casey, who has 46 sacks and 611 tackles in his eight seasons with the Titans.
The defensive linemen should be a force together in Tennessee.
Simmons and the Titans, of course, will have to be patient. Simmons is still recovering from an ACL injury, and the team’s doctors and trainers will get a better idea of his timetable when he reports to Nashville for the rookie camp this weekend, and continues his rehab under the eyes of Titans officials.
Simmons made it clear he wants to learn from Casey, a player he has admired from afar.
“I watched him play and he’s probably one of the best D-tackles in the league right now,” Simmons said of Casey. “I’m not even trying to pick his brain, I want him to pick my brain. I want him to try to see what he could get out of me. I’m mature enough to ask him a lot of questions. I’m here to learn, especially coming in, him playing so long and me being a rookie. I just want to learn — How can I get better as a man first, then as a player on the field.
“I know he’s one of the leaders of the defense. Eventually one day he may be gone, one day I may be gone. Just the traits of a leader that I can learn from him, that’s what my thing is right now. Just take in everything I can take in from him, him being a veteran.”
Casey, speaking from the Titans Caravan on Monday night at Dickson County High School, said he’s already spoken to Simmons on the phone. He’s looking forward to meeting him in person, and playing alongside him.
Casey has liked what he’s seen on film, and loves the thought of wreaking havoc with Simmons.
“I am ready to work with him, and in the next couple of days I know he’ll be coming to town and I’m sure we’ll be sitting down a whole lot and getting to know one another,” Casey said. “I am definitely excited about (having him). When you see a guy that big and see a guy that talented and can move as big as he is, I think he is going to be a great asset for our defense. I am looking for him to come in nice and healthy, and when he gets on that field be ready to work.
“From what I have seen he is going to be a monster – I don’t think (they’re) going to be able to block him,” Casey continued. “The length that he has, and the speed and the strength that he has, it is unbelievable. I’ve never seen a guy move (like that) who is that big and that strong. So to be able to see that and have him next to me is going to make the game that much easier. They can’t double-team me no more.”