Jason Babin does not change depending on circumstance.
And the Jacksonville Jaguars were more than willing to take him just as he is.
“He said, ‘I hope you don’t mind, but what you see in games is how I practice,’ ” Jacksonville coach Mike Mularkey said. “I said, ‘I don’t mind. Our tackles may have an issue with it, but I’m fine with it.’ And he does, and that is the culture we want here.”
The Jaguars claimed Babin off waivers from the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 28 and immediately made him their starter at left defensive end. In four games, he already has one and a half sacks and two forced fumbles.
Just as important, though, they did not view him simply as someone who would help them get to the end of the season, when ends Sunday when the Tennessee Titans host Jacksonville (noon, CBS).
“They’ve expressed to me that they want me to be here long term,” Babin said Wednesday. “I want to be here long-term. Part of the deal is that they want me to help build the D-line culture, how we practice, how we get after the quarterback, the intensity, the relentlessness.”
Now that would be something different.
While his attitude and approach remain consistent the ninth-year defensive end has changed teams consistently throughout his NFL tenure. Jacksonville is his sixth stop on a career path that includes two swings through Philadelphia.
If he makes it to the end of his current contract, which has three years remaining, he will stay in Jacksonville longer than anywhere else he has played, including Tennessee.
The five-year, $28 million pact, in fact, was the result of the one season he spent with the Titans. Signed as an affordable free agent prior to the 2010 season, he recorded a team-high 12.5 sacks and earned his first Pro Bowl invitation yet no serious effort was made to extend his stay.
“I don’t look back and have any regrets,” he said. “I don’t worry about things I don’t control. [The Titans] didn’t see me in their plans, and I had no hard feelings. I got a heck of an opportunity. … It was kind of when I got my first real opportunity to play defensive end. It was pretty meaningful.”
Drafted 27th overall by Houston in 2007, he had just 13 sacks in three seasons as an outside linebacker in the Texans’ 3-4 scheme. Over the next three seasons he bounced from Seattle to Kansas City to Philadelphia before he ended up in Tennessee and finally enjoyed a breakout.
He went to the Pro Bowl again in 2011 with the Eagles, who suddenly waived him — and fired former Titans defensive line coach Jim Washburn a short time later — with a little more than a month to go in this season.
“I don’t know, I just guess they thought they could change the way I went about my business,” he said. “I feel like I got the way I got because of how I practiced and worked and lived and played. I look at [Jacksonville] as a great opportunity for me.
“My stripes are kind of already the way they are. The way I practice — aggressive, loud. The way I play the game. … They have a different approach and a different style than I do. It’s upsetting because they knew what they were getting when they hired me.”
Just like the Titans know full well what to expect when they face him on Sunday.
• Running back Chris Johnson (ankle), tight end Craig Stevens (concussion), wide receiver Damian Williams (foot), linebacker Colin McCarthy (concussion), running back Jamie Harper (ankle) and linebacker Will Witherspoon (chest) were among those who did not practice Wednesday.
On a positive note, wide receiver Kendall Wright (ribs) did complete the full workout and looked ready to play Sunday.
• The Titans added running back Alvester Alexander to the practice squad. The undrafted rookie originally signed with Chicago and spent time on Indianapolis’ practice squad. He replaced linebacker Mike Mohamed, who was moved to the practice squad/injured list.