ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — In a little more than a week, Jurrell Casey will strap on his pads and take the field against Tennessee Titans for the first time in his career.
After a nine-year career in Tennessee, Casey will make his first start as a Bronco against his former team — but he’s not focused on the past.
“Emotions are high … but at the end of the day what happened in Tennessee is in the past,” Casey said. “I’m ready to get going with the Broncos and go on a run for this championship season. The first game is going to be hype. You’re going to see me out there making a ton of plays. … It’s going to be a little bit more juice coming this game.”
As the Broncos game-plan for their Week 1 opponent, Casey will aim to be a resource for his new coaches and teammates in Denver.
“I’m pretty sure that’s going to come as soon as we get started next week,” said Casey when asked if he’d spend extra time with the Broncos’ coaches. “First meeting in the week, we’re going to sit down and start hammering out things, what they need tips on, what they need help on. Whatever they ask me for, the knowledge I remember, I’ll make sure I give it to them.”
Casey will definitely remember former teammate Derrick Henry, who rushed for a league-high 1,540 yards last season and had the highest yards per carry average of any back with at least 200 carries. As the Titans made a late surge to the playoffs, Henry became the first player in NFL history to rush for at least 180 yards in three consecutive games.
“It’s when he gets rolling,” Casey said of what makes Henry effective. “Once those wheels get trucking there’s no stopping this guy. The biggest thing’s going to be up front building a wall. Don’t let him have any holes to be able to just go downhill hitting them. As long as we can keep him moving sideways, running sideline to sideline, we’ll be in great shape.”
The Broncos found success against Henry last year, as he rushed for just 15 carries and 28 yards in Denver’s 16-0 win. After that loss, though, a different Titans team finished the season. With Ryan Tannehill under center, the Titans rebounded from a 2-4 start to finish 9-7 and reach the AFC Championship game.
Casey was a key part of that team, as he recorded 44 tackles, five sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries in the regular season. He also added a forced fumble and 2.5 sacks in the postseason.
The Titans, though, dealt Casey to Denver this offseason for a seventh-round pick. On Sept. 14, he’ll aim to prove he’s still a top-tier player. With five consecutive Pro Bowl selections, there’s a good chance he does just that.