Titans have wealth of safety nets

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Chris Hope and Michael Griffin were both Pro Bowlers.

The Titans' starting safeties have more experienced resources in team headquarters than anyone else on the roster.

General manager Mike Reinfeldt was an AFC Defensive Player of the Year as a safety. And coach Jeff Fisher, who played in the league as a defensive back with the Chicago Bears, has three safeties on his staff:

  • Newly promoted defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil was an NFL safety for seven years, earning one Pro Bowl spot.

  • Newly promoted secondary coach Marcus Robertson was a safety who was once a first-team All-Pro.

  • New assistant secondary coach Tim Hauck played 13 seasons in the league as a safety.

"We're not lacking safeties in coaching and the front office, that's for sure," Fisher said with a laugh. "I think there is a lot to be said for that experience, because they understand their limitations. We've always said great players don't necessarily make great coaches. But a lot of times, players who've hung around the league a long time -- not the overachiever types, but those who played because they had the mental framework to compete and be successful -- oftentimes make real good coaches."

After he was finished playing, Robertson spent four years as the Titans' director of player development.

But watching him watch practices and games, you could tell he yearned for more and thought he could make a difference. I remember asking him once if he wouldn't fear the time demands of working as a coach when he had three young children at home, and he said he'd welcome the challenge.

When Cecil took over as defensive backs coach in 2007, Fisher carved out a spot for Robertson as Cecil's assistant.

With Jim Schwartz moving to Detroit to take over as Lions coach, Fisher bumped both Cecil and Robertson -- who had three of their four starters in the Pro Bowl -- up a rung.

"Certainly Marcus' expertise is there in the secondary and clearly he's ready," Fisher said of Robertson, who played 12 NFL seasons, 10 with the Oilers. "He's established a good relationship with the players. He worked very, very well with Chuck. Chuck will certainly still oversee it, but I really feel like the combination of Marcus and Tim will be a nice blend there for the secondary. There is over 20 years of playing experience in the league."