Momentum Is Changing
The day one signing of Brynden Trawick caught many (me included) off guard. The special team unit was in dire need of an upgrade, but the Titans wasted little time and no expense to sign the best in the business. Under the opinion that special teams really don’t matter or that Jon Robinson doesn’t pay top dollar? Look no further than Trawick who became the league’s top paid special team player the instant the free agency period began.
Brynden Trawick becomes the highest paid special teams player in the league with a 2 year deal with the Titans. Max value of 6.85.
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 9, 2017
This signing makes a ton of sense. Tennessee’s special team unit was terrible over the first half of the season and cost the Titans a couple of games…and therefore a playoff birth. Trawick will provide a dynamic presence severely lacking on a less-than-special, mostly average, unit. He’s also an ideal Titan – Undrafted free agent who battled to carve out an NFL career in a less glamorous, niche role. Another tough, dependable, team first player that fits the mold and makes the Titans better.
“There’s a reason the Raiders signed Trawick last season: to be a special-teams ace. And as with Bates, Trawick excelled at the role as a “high-energy” special-teamer. And who does not need a guy like that on their roster?” – Paul Gutierrez of ESPN
The importance of special teams is often ignored as roster restraints force teams to perform with less experienced backups and rookies. Therefore, it’s been quite some time since the Titans have used a roster spot for a non-return specialist – Donnie Nickey could be the most recent approximation although he was more solid than spectacular in that role.
When thinking special teams difference maker – A guy drafted by the Titan franchise (Houston Oilers) that instantly comes to mind is Steve Tasker. His success occurred while with the Buffalo Bills, but his special teams play was magical during the early 90’s when the Bills were appearing in Super Bowls as often as uncle Pauly visited the beer cooler. Sure, the Buffalo roster was loaded with talent, but Tasker was as important to that teams’ success as anyone.
Although guys like Tasker and Trawick receive minimal accolades and game day snaps, they provide maximize impact – Tone setters that create the spark that produces energy. Who doesn’t enjoy watching a player fly down field with reckless abandon to make a great play? It’s emotionally uplifting and places the defense in the best possible position…physically and emotionally. That in turn carries over to the offense, team, fans, etc. – A glorious never-ending cycle.
Trawick has also shown the ability to help at safety in limited action. How much the Titans decide to use him in that role is unknown, but last season when called upon to fill in during the week 17 game against the Broncos he contributed 5 tackles with an INT and was voted the Raiders Wire player of the game.
“I do see some defensive upside with him. He has some coverage ability” – Jon Robinson
However the signing of a “special team” player for “top dollar” is viewed, Trawick’s presence is essential for a Titans team on the rise. His impact on Sundays will be noticeable and appreciated as he manipulates momentum into Tennessee’s favor. A lover of nicknames, he will now be known to me as Brynden “Mo” Trawick.
Mo is another nice addition by a GM who values “value” and is currently building a team devoid of weakness. The Titans are now scheduled to head into the draft with three competitive units that can be upgraded through a variety of options. Enjoyable time to be a Titans fan.