Tennessee Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey might be one of the most underrated players in the NFL.
The former USC standout, who was selected by the Titans in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft, doesn’t receive much attention from the national media, despite his appearance in four straight Pro-Bowls.
But a lack of recognition hasn’t stopped Casey from setting high goals for himself.
In fact, he’s set two very specific goals for the remainder of his career — a personal goal and a team oriented goal.
Casey recently told Titans Online that he wants to help Tennessee reach the playoffs and he wants to be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The biggest thing I’m looking at is trying to make it the playoffs, and trying to get to the Hall of Fame. I have been to the playoffs one time since I’ve been here. Our team has been good, winning nine games three years in a row. But we have to take it to another level. And I want to do my part to help get us there.
The NFL playoff picture can be unpredictable, but I think the Titans will reach the postseason at least a few more times in Casey’s career (he turned 29 this past December).
Hall of Fame bound?
But what about the Hall of Fame? Is that attainable for Casey?
I think he has an outside shot of reaching Canton. If Casey can average around six or seven sacks a season for the next five to six years, he should finish with around 80 career sacks.
To put that number in perspective, Hall of Fame member Warren Sapp finished with 96.5 career sacks and 571 total tackles (Casey already has 449 total tackles).
Sapp was also elected to seven straight Pro-Bowls. It’s entirely possible that Casey could achieve the same feat.
Dan Hampton is another comparable Hall of Fame player to Casey. Hampton played 12 seasons for the Chicago Bears and compiled 57 sacks (sacks weren’t counted as an official stat during the first three years of his career). He also reached four Pro-Bowls.
On the other hand, however, John Randle is a Hall of Fame defensive tackle who lit up the stat sheet during his career, accumulating 137.5 sacks and 555 total tackles. Casey will likely surpass Randle’s tackle total, but there’s no way he’ll reach that sack total.
That’s why I think Casey has a legitimate shot to reach the Hall of Fame, but he’s not even close to being a lock. If he can help the Titans find some playoff success, and improve on his current numbers over the next couple of years, then he will definitely be in the conversation once his career is over.
But regardless of whether or not Casey is enshrined in the Hall of Fame one day, Titans fans have to be happy he has set high goals for himself.
It will only help the Titans become a better team.
Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports