(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images) Robby and Tommie need to work together in 2012.
I watched all but two or three of our beloved Titans' games last year (I was flying to and from Hawai'i. Give me a break). I cannot remember a single trick play that our Titans executed against the opposing special teams. No fake field goals or fake punts. Yes, these can be extremely hard to execute, but with the correct weapons, it is possible.
Chris Palmer and Jerry Gray have been hyping us up for the past couple of weeks- explosiveness. They are exciting us for the future offense and defense of this team. However, there is one area where we have the weapons to succeed, but are not executing correctly- special teams. It's time to continue on Munchak's path of progressing away from the 3-point team.
For instance, I remember one play during the season where there was a mishandling between Amato and Kern. After this, Brett had to start damage control. What did he do? He ran. Not only did he run- he picked up 21 yards. Yes, he ran out of bounds, but he showed that he has the ability to pick up the yards. Now, what if this was planned? The opposing special teams have shown that they are that focused on blocking the punt that if this was meant to trick the defense, they probably could have pulled it off. Say Brett practices his 40 time a bit and gets a little faster... that could be really scary. Or, we could have him throw a dink 10 yard pass for the first down. It's not impossible. It's not like on Madden where the punters can't throw the ball. This is real life where we can make it work.
Another option would be faking some field goals. Robby B is an extremely well respected kicker. He has
never only had two of his kicks blocked. And those were in 2006 and 2009. This shows one of two things to be true: (1) Our special teams blocking is incredibly good. OR (2) The opposition gives up when he kicks that ball. Now, look at this little stat: Brett Kern nor Rob Bironas have thrown a pass in the NFL. The opposition does not expect it. So, let's say we do some fake field goals. We have two options: (1) Snap to Brett and let him make a pass two Rob or another special teams player [Tommie Campbell???]. OR (2) Snap it directly to Bironas and have an extremely hybrid fake field goal play, which could be a run or a pass. The opposition would be so surprised. Besides, Bironas has not been blocked since the 2009 season; therefore, let's assume that special teams can block long enough for him to pass for a TD!
It's time for the Titans to explore the third dimension- Special Teams. Bironas, Kern, Mariani, Campbell, and T-Shaw are all capable of being used in a unique way to develop our special teams into a hybrid and unpredictable unit.