NASHVILLE, Tenn. — New Tennessee Titans cornerback Johnathan Joseph isn’t going to try and be a hero.
The 36-year-old defensive back who the Titans signed as a free agent on Wednesday is more focused on simply doing what the team asks of him.
“I’m not coming in here to look to replace anybody or be the savior, anything like that,” Joseph said. “I’m just coming in here to be whatever my job is, whatever my role is.
“I’m not coming in with any expectations or anything like that. This team got to the AFC title game last year and, for me, I don’t want to come in here to be the guy that’s looking to fill some void or do something that’s not asked of me.”
Ben Jones says he and Johnathan Joseph have been great friends even since Jones left the Texans several years ago. Great guy, better player. #Titans
— AtoZSports Nashville (@AtoZSports) May 7, 2020
Because of their talent in the secondary, the Titans may not ask a whole lot of Joseph in 2020. His role will likely center around providing depth and, especially, leadership, something Joseph has experience with.
Before joining the Titans, Joseph spent nine seasons with the Houston Texans, where leadership was one of his primary responsibilities.
Joseph on Mike Vrabel: There are a lot of good players on this team, and he does a great job of managing them.
— Luke Worsham (@luke_worsham) May 7, 2020
Titans center Ben Jones, who played with Joseph in Houston for four years, got a front-row seat to his leadership abilities.
“He’s a guy that you can really lean on in the locker room,” Jones said. “He’s a friend that I still talk to.
“Tremendous guy. Very intelligent. When you play that long in the league, you’ve got to be on top of your game, mentally, to know the ins and outs of the game.”
If Jones does end up having to take on a significant on-the-field role due to injury or any other reason, he has a chance to be at least a somewhat reliable piece even though he isn’t nearly the athlete he was when he entered the NFL in 2006.
While Joseph is definitely on the back nine of his NFL career in his mid-thirties, he’s learned throughout his career how to rely on techniques and instincts instead of simply his athleticism.
“Over my career, I’ve refined my game to be more of a technician,” Joseph said. “I’ve studied a lot and taken my mental aspect of the game to the next level where I can slow the game down and anticipate things, have a feel for routes and all those things.”
Cover image: Troy Taormina / USA Today