One starting safety spot still up in air

Discussion in 'Tennessee Titans and NFL Talk' started by Titans Insider, Aug 24, 2012.

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    It’s still unclear whether safety Jordan Babineaux or Robert Johnson will be lining up next to Michael Griffin when the Titans begin their regular season on Sept. 9 against the Patriots.

    Babineaux is the incumbent and led the team in tackles last season, but the rangy and athletic Johnson has started the last two preseason games. One of the reasons Johnson started on Thursday against the Cardinals was because Babineaux had been dealing with shoulder soreness throughout the week.

    “I didn’t know how (Babineaux) was feeling so we thought we’d start with the guys who got most of the reps during the week, which was those (Griffin and Johnson),” coach Mike Munchak said. “So we’ll continue again this week in practice. We’ve got a full week, so we can work on a lot of things, other than just the preseason game coming up, as far as the needs we have as an offense and defense … We’re kind of coming down the wire now as to what we really like, so those are the decisions we’ll make.”

    Johnson made three tackles against Arizona on Thursday, but he was also burned on a 53-yard pass play to Larry Fitzgerald that led to a touchdown.

    “I thought he was playing pretty solid, getting a feel for the game, coming up and making some tackles,” Munchak said. “That play was disappointing for him because he thought something else was going to happen when the quarterback got out of the pocket and he lost his assignment. You have to avoid those things from happening because when you do it at the (safety position), it’s a big play.”

    Another factor to consider when deciding between Babineaux and Johnson: When Babineaux is in the game, Griffin is the free safety. When Johnson is in the game, Griffin is the strong safety, with more run responsibilities. So it’s not just about Johnson, Munchak said.

    “It’s moving Griffin around too and seeing how he likes being the guy close to the box more so than originally,” Munchak said. “He was back in the first (preseason) game playing more of the center field stuff. So I think it’s a combination of both, seeing how we like …them playing together.”

    Source: Titans Insider
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