Titans notebook: Titans kick returner's gaffe proves not costly
Published: Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, 8:00 p.m.
Darius Reynaud quickly embedded himself into the highlight clips of the NFL's first week, although it was not what he had in mind.
After fielding Shaun Suisham's bouncing opening kick-off, the third-year running back retreated to the safety of the end zone to down the ball for a touchback. What he didn't realize is that his left foot nudged past the goal line, onto the field.
Whoops, that's a safety. Three seconds into their 2013 season, the Titans trailed, 2-0, and had to kick the ball away.
Reynaud said he was surprised the ball came in so low and bouncy, “especially on the opening kick-off. My head just got the flutters. It was just a bad call on my part.”
Fortunately for Reynaud and the Titans, Isaac Redman fumbled into the end zone on the Steelers' possession and everything turned out OK.
“The defenses stepped up big time and made some key plays and everything went our way after that,” he said.
He also noted that those low, bouncy kicks “are something I've got to work on.”
Homecoming, sort of
Titans rookie cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson grew up in Erie. So what better place to make his NFL debut than two hours away at Heinz Field?
“That made it easy for people to come out and see me,” he said. “It was especially a great feeling for me because we got the win.”
Wreh-Wilson said he never saw a Steelers game in person. He was impressed by the pregame atmosphere.
“When they introduced Troy Polamalu and the place erupted, it was pretty wild.”
Jake Locker, the Titans' third-year quarterback, might not post eye-popping numbers but take care of the ball. According to ESPN.com and those baseball-like metrics that are becoming part of football, Locker had the lowest rate of making “bad decisions” of any quarterback in the league last season.
Sure enough, in the 2013 opener against the Steelers, Locker again avoided turnovers or any other significant error. He said it is especially important in a hostile environment to not “get the crowd into it and shift momentum in the game. We did a great job of taking care of it and now allowing it to be a factor.”
— Bob Cohn
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