Jordan Babineaux is being the good pro in dealing with his loss of playing time in the Tennessee Titans secondary.
But there is no denying that the veteran safety is frustrated over his lack of playing time, coupled with the Titans defensive shortcomings the first two weeks of the season.
After spending most of last season as a starter once Chris Hope fractured his forearm, the Titans signed Babineaux to a two-year, $3.2 million extension. He spent most of the early part of training camp as a starter, but in preseason, the Titans decided to go more with the combination of Michael Griffin and Robert Johnson at safety.
“It bothers me, without a doubt,” Babineaux said. “But it won’t stop the mentality and the thought process as far as preparation each week. I prepare the same. I take notes as if I’m a 60-play, 70-play type of guy. I don’t know. I’m just kind of waiting to see what kind of decisions the coaches are gonna make as far as the direction they want this defense to go. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t stop for me as far as getting here every day and back on the grind."
Coach Mike Munchak explained the reasoning behind the Griffin-Johnson combo at his Monday press conference.
“I just think it was an accumulation of his play during training camp. They started liking the combination the more we worked those guys, Johnson together with Griffin in preseason,” Munchak said. “In training camp practices we thought they looked good and they played well together. Babineaux started the Seattle game, which was the first one. Then we compared that versus when we made the change the next week. We liked the way Griffin was playing, we liked the way Griff and Johnson were playing together, when they were together. That combination outperformed the other, so that’s why we went that way.”
Babineaux was asked if there was a possibility his role could expand, perhaps even this week against the Lions.
“There should be. I have a lot more to offer this team than my contributions on special teams,” he said.
As for lineup changes, Munchak didn’t commit to anything right now, though the possibility exists.
“There’s always a possibility of anything happening. At any position, when you’re not winning, if you continue to lose there are all types of things that could happen, I guess,” Munchak said But for right now, no, we’re not making any changes right now.
“Babineaux is still on the field in certain packages, so it’s not like he’s not playing at all. So there may be certain weeks where that’s a better fit, maybe he starts playing better and we look at the combination differently. As coaches, what we have to try to do is always put the best guys out there. What we’re asking to do, we have the best combination out there right now.”