Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What is Up With The Titans and Jordan Babineaux?

Seriously, what in the heck is going on with the Titans and "starting" safety Jordan Babineaux? The 9th year player signed a one year deal with the Titans as a free agent right before the 2011 season and quickly became one of the team's better defensive players. He played in all 16 games, 14 of them as a starter,and lead the team with 117 tackles. He also  had 7 passes defended and a 97 yard interception return for a touchdown. Dubbed "Big Play Babs" during his tenure in Seattle, he showed Titans fans why he earned that nickname.

According to Rotoworld, on 3/13/2012 he signed a two-year, $3.2 million contract that included a $400,000 signing bonus. There is another $1.8 million is available through incentives. His salaries are 2012: $1.2 million, 2013: $1.6 million, and 2014 he is a free agent.

Despite being one of the team's better more reliable players, Babineaux spent the better part of training camp watching 2nd year safety Robert Johnson get the load of the snaps and being touted as the next starting safety. The team was always careful to say the team had 3 starters and used 3 safeties, which it does, but from all appearances Johnson was on the coaches radar to get the bulk of the snaps. That experiment quickly turned sour and Babineaux again became the "starter" at free safety.

During the Titans' game against the Buffalo Bills, Babineaux was benched during the second half allegedly for missing a tackle and failing to make plays. While there is some truth to this statement, and not calling out anyone specifically, but he was certainly not the only defensive back who missed making tackles and/or making plays. Al Afalava came in and played well in relief, but late in the 4th quarter Babs showed again why he is such a good player by coming through on defense, batting away a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass and putting pressure on the Bills quarterback on a safety blitz causing him to misfire on a throw to Stevie Johnson.

After the game, Babineaux quickly deflected any questions regarding the benching and said he wasn't perfect and just needed to continue to make plays. I'm not sure who is driving the train in regard to the defensive back situation, but I have to question why the team is quick to pull the plug on one of its better defensive players. This situation is inexplicable to me and I really have to question why the team seems to have a different standard for Babineaux than it does for the other defensive backs.

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