DE Babin renewed, refreshed and reeling in QBs
The Titans are the fifth team for which DE Jason Babin has toiled.
Maybe it just took this long to find the right fit.
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=jason+babin&iid=9907536″ src=”http://view1.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9907536/denver-broncos-tennessee/denver-broncos-tennessee.jpg?size=500&imageId=9907536″ width=”340″ height=”260″ /]Babin, a first-round pick by the Texans in 2004, is a man renewed playing along the defensive line in Tennessee. He already has more tackles (19) and sacks (3.5) in four games than he had in 12 games last season with Philadelphia.
“We felt like he would fit into our system,” Jeff Fisher said. “We thought that he would play well because he’s a leverage player, he’s got good speed. He’s an emotional player and he plays real hard.
“Ironically, he’s making a lot of plays inside – he’s made a couple of tackles for losses inside – lined up at a tackle position, in a different front for us (Sunday against Denver). He’s playing well and he’s playing hard.”
The fact Babin, 30, has turned out to be such a perfect fit is even more critical now, in the wake of the announcement Monday that DE Derrick Morgan, the team’s first-round pick, has been lost for the season with an ACL tear suffered Sunday against the Broncos.
“The biggest difference here … is the fact I play,” Babin told Sportsinthe615. “It’s kind of hard to put up any stats when you don’t play.”
Few people here believed Babin even was a lock to make this team. He was a camp body. The Titans are deep on the defensive line, and they didn’t break the bank to bring in Babin. They offered him $1 million for one year, and the Eagles, who had a clause that allowed them to match any offer within seven days, passed.
But the Titans had some injuries at defensive end during the preseason, and Babin took advantage. He was a terror in the preseason, and lo and behold he emerged as a starter. He already has started more games this season (four) than in any season since his rookie year in Houston, when he started all 16.
His career had slowly gone downhill since 2004, his first season in the league out of Western Michigan. His playing time dwindled. The Texans gave up on him. The Seahawks signed him and barely used him. The dreaded “bust” word was thrown around. Football ceased to be fun.
Babin has found the fun again. He’s flying around making plays. He’s loving the Titans defensive system that calls for frequent rotation of all of the linemen.
“I’ve never been anywhere where they rotated like this,” Babin said. “It’s surprising more coaches don’t catch onto this. If you look at the production per play it’s just as good a production as if you played 60 plays because you can play wide open. It makes sense.”
Babin has not found any prima donnas among the Titans linemen. It’s a blue-collar group that appears genuinely to be among the tightest units in the locker room.
“That’s a big key is everybody buying into it,” Babin said. “If they don’t it’s not gonna work. But you know, everybody here does. It’s pretty amazing. You might have selfish people, people not thinking about the team. Everybody here knows if you’re not selfish it’s gonna come back to you in just the way you need it to – making plays.”
What could be more fun than that?