When the Tennessee Titans travel to EverBank Stadium on Sunday to face the Jacksonville Jaguars, it will be the first time outside linebacker Arden Key returns to face his old team.
Key spent one season with the Jaguars in 2022 and had one of his best years, tallying 27 tackles and 4.5 sacks. However, he was not re-signed by Jacksonville, which allowed him to make his exit to Nashville.
Upon being signed by the Titans, Key made it clear he felt disrespected by the Jags’ decision not to bring him back.
“With Jacksonville, it was a shock to me,” Key admitted in March, per Paul Kuharsky. “After the year, I thought I was going to be a Jacksonville Jaguar. But I felt disrespected because I came over there, built up the culture, brought a whole lot of energy, changed the city, changed the town, and I felt like — in my rightful mind — I was going to be a Jacksonville Jaguar. That didn’t happen, but I still love the players, love the teammates, love the city, love the fans, but, yeah, we’ve got to see them twice.”
When asked this week about the upcoming game against the Jags, Key said he’s happy to see his old mates and will be feeling “mixed emotions” but it’ll be all business come game time.
“It’s going to be mixed emotions,” Key said on Thursday, per Jim Wyatt. “A lot of those guys I still talk to, a lot of those coaches I still talk to. It’s going to be good to see their faces, to shake their hands pregame.
“But when the game starts, hopefully we can go out there and get this dub.”
Key didn’t shy away from the fact that this game will mean a bit more to him thanks to the way he felt after not being re-signed.
“There is definitely some extra there,” Key said. “I started off with R&B (music), and there’s going to be a lot more R&B this week just to keep the energy sustained into gameday.”
Key has been OK for the Titans this season. He’s notched 2.5 sacks and shown flashes of dominance throughout, but he’s also been inconsistent, something that can be said about the entire pass-rush.
The Titans are going to need a big effort from Key and the rest of the front if they want to walk out of Jacksonville with a win on Sunday.
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Author: Mike Moraitis