Despite a more-than-solid effort throughout Training Camp and the preseason, defensive lineman Julius Warmsley was unable to make the cut for the Tennessee Titans’ final 53-man roster in 2018.

Notwithstanding the bitter end, Warmsley remembers his time in Nashville with fondness.

“It was definitely a great experience,” Warmsley said. “I loved coach [Vrabel], my coach [Titans DL coach] Terrell Williams. Honestly, the whole staff was amazing, and they do a great job. It’s just a great group of people up there, the training staff is A1, the administration is awesome as well.

“It was a blessing to be a part of that. Wish I could’ve made more of an impact to have continued my stay there, but God has a plan. So, I’m here so I’ll continue to play and ball out.”

Surprising Cut by the Titans

Warmsley did, actually, make a somewhat sizeable impact during his time with the Titans. The coaching staff frequently mentioned him as a “fringe” player who stood out, and he was pretty disruptive in practices and exhibition games throughout the month of August.

As a result, it was a bit of a surprise when the Titans waived Warmsley, 28, as a part of their roster cutdown.

“I mean, it is what it is,” Warmsley said when asked if he was shocked when the Titans let him go. “That’s in the past, so it sucks, but God has a plan. Things panned out the way they panned out for a reason.”

A Long Journey

At face value, it’s difficult to see any sort of light being at the end of Warmsley’s tunnel. His being waived from the Titans marked the twenty-first time throughout his five years involved with the NFL that he has been either signed to or waived from an active roster or practice squad.

Still, Warmsley refuses to give up. In an effort to better his odds at finally securing an NFL career, he is currently playing for the Alliance of American Football’s Memphis Express.

“Physical, nasty, smart. That’s what we are,” Warmsley said of the Express. “It’s fun, we enjoy playing together, we’re a brotherhood, but we just need to keep it going.”

In the Express’ Week 2 matchup against the Arizona Hotshots, Warmsley certainly did his part to achieve the mantra he described. He registered a sack on just the third play of the game to force a punt, notched a crucial stop on 3rd & 1 in the third quarter.

By putting good things on film and getting some consistent, professional playing experience under his belt, Warmsley looks to be putting himself in a position to get one last shot at making an NFL roster once August rolls around.

Vrabel Approves

His former head coach in Tennessee, Mike Vrabel, is a fan of opportunities like the one that the AAF is giving to Warmsley. “I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and watch [the AAF],” Vrabel said, “but any time there can be football that can develop players, to help them make it to our league or any league, I’m all for it.

“We’ll evaluate those [AAF] games—I’m sure that Jon [Robinson] and his staff and our coaches will watch those games as we get ready for Training Camp.”

Vrabel also did not rule out the potential of Warmsley making a return to the Titans this offseason. “I think we’re always looking to try to get guys that we feel like can help us, and Julius is a guy that we’ve had experience with in Houston and Tennessee.”

It certainly does not seem out of the question for Warmsley to make a return to the Titans once the AAF season concludes. The Titans need bodies on the defensive line, and there’s a mutual familiarity between Warmsley and Vrabel, who were together in Houston back in 2014.

“I had [Vrabel] with the Texans beforehand,” Warmsley said, “so he was a linebackers coach there when I was there playing underneath [former Texans DL coach] Bill Kollar and all of them. It was fun, he’s a great coach: energetic, very passionate. He’s a very defensive minded coach, I was just thankful for the opportunity to have him as a coach. He’s a great guy.”

One last shot?

Ultimately, though, Warmsley hopes that his time in the AAF provides him with one last shot at the NFL, regardless of which team gives him the opportunity.

“It’s most definitely an option and it would be fun. I would love to go back and make an impact, the impact I know I can. Overall, I’m just happy and blessed to be here. I just want to play well for my teammates.”

Cover image: Bryan Lynn/Getty Images
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