Welcome to Best or Worse where I will be discussing the best and worst case scenarios for the upcoming season for each position group.
Today I will be talking about safeties. This is an interesting group for the Titans. They have Michael Griffin, who despite the hate, may have some of the best natural talent in the league, but can also look more lost at times than Tim Tebow in a pro style offense.
Besides Griffin they also have Jordan "Big Play" Babineaux, Robert Johnson, Markelle Martin, Christian Scott, and Al Afalava. Babineaux is very average, Johnson hasn't impressed the coach's enough to play yet, Martin is a guy with a lot of upside, but won't be ready to start this year, and Scott and Afalava are just extra bodies. The Titans will also probably add a veteran to the mix and have shown interest in a few guys who ended up choosing other teams.
Obviously there is a fair amount of upside in this group, but can will all the pieces fall into place for a dominant duo, or will Griffin and Babineaux continue to wallow in the depths of mediocrity.Best Case: Week one comes. Griffin and Babineaux line up across from Tom Brady, probably sporting some goofy hairdo (Afro maybe?). The ball is snapped and Brady looks for a receiver, he realizes that Rob Gronkowski is covered by Griffin and Babineaux is patrolling the middle. Feeling the pass rush closing in Brady forces the ball to Gronkowski anyway and Griffin jumps the route for an interception. After making a man miss Griffin takes the ball sixty yards for a touchdown.
As the year progresses Griffin is recognized as once again being a premier safety in the league. MCM'ers rejoice knowing that every team's Tight End will not have a monstrous game against their favorite team.
Babineaux provides leadership and steady play. He lives up to the name "Big Play Babs" on multiple occasions after coming through with a clutch play.
In spot duty and special teams Markelle Martin Shines, proving that he was a great late round steal.
Worst Case: Week one comes and Babineaux and Griffin line up across from Tom Brady. The ball is snapped and Brady sees that Griffin is a few steps behind Gronkowski in coverage. Brady hits Gronkowski who breaks a halfhearted Griffin tackle and races for a touchdown. Babineaux gets beat on the next drive by a faster younger receiver and the Patriots score again. The final score is 59-0 (Still too soon?) and the game sets the tone for the rest of the year.
Griffin struggles with consistency and play recognition and continues his lackluster streak, especially against tight ends. Meanwhile Babineaux shows his age and lack of skill and gets picked on constantly, usually ending with the other team scoring six points. He is still referred to as "Big Play Babs", but it is now mostly Texan fans using it mockingly.
Fed up, Jerry gray puts Markelle Martin on the field. After a few games it is apparent Martin has no idea what he is doing, being forced to play early stunts his development and he goes on to be a bust.
Closing thoughts: I think that what actually happens this season falls in between these two extremes. I expect Griffin to play slightly better than he has the past couple of years, but I doubt he reaches All-Pro level again.
As for Babineaux, I see him playing about as well as he did last year. He will be solid, but not so solid that the Titans will not look to upgrade next year.
Overall I think this is the last year for Griffin and Babineaux and I would like their last year to be good in Tennessee.
What do you guys think?