When the Titans began their search for pieces on a changing defense, they played the daily double in Denver.

They hope signing the two free agents will pay off in the locker room as well as on the field under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton.

Linebacker Wesley Woodyard and defensive end/linebacker Shaun Phillips, teammates last season with the AFC champion Broncos, have been durable and productive pros lauded for their leadership skills.

They also give the Titans four players with recent Super Bowl experience, joining safety Bernard Pollard and tight end Delanie Walker. That can't hurt a team that hasn't been to the playoffs since 2008.

"We're continuing to add guys who know how to win and what it takes to win," veteran cornerback Jason McCourty said.

Woodyard and Phillips are both expected to line up at linebacker, but they'll help in different ways as the Titans transition to a 3-4 look (three linemen, four linebackers). Woodyard will be a quarterback on defense and Phillips will be charged with getting after the quarterback.

"We needed a guy to call the defense, someone who could be in the middle and play on three downs. And that's where Wesley fits," Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "With Shaun, we had a chance to get a guy who was a veteran player, who has played in the scheme defensively — he played in the 3-4, he's played in the 4-3. He has put his hand in the dirt and he has stood up. So he has some flexibility and he has generated some sacks. He is a good football player.

"The two of them, they are important pieces. We have a good young player that has great leadership skills in Woodyard and a good veteran player who has been on successful teams in Phillips. Those guys know the expectation and can bring a team together."