Titans add two veterans to secondary in effort to increase depth, competition

Friday, August 5, 2011 at 12:05am

The secondary was a primary focus of Tennessee Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt on Thursday.

Early in the day, the franchise announced that it had signed veteran cornerback Frank Walker. During the evening workout, it was confirmed that safety Jordan Babineux had agreed to terms and was on his way to Tennessee.

“Because of the injuries, we were able to bring people in that we feel that can help us, so that’s what we’re excited about,” coach Mike Munchak said. “Mike Reinfeldt is doing a great job. They’re bringing in people that will help this roster get better and I think these two guys will come in and will help us add some depth, add some competition and we’ll see.”

Babineaux has been in the NFL for seven seasons, all with Seattle but only one as a starter. That was 2009 when he set a career-high with 104 tackles.

Even as a role player, he has intercepted at least one pass each of the last six seasons and 10 overall. He also has forced at least one fumble in five of the last six with seven overall.

“He’s a great player,” quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, a teammate with the Seahawks, said. “You ask anybody in Seattle — he’s a playmaker.”

Babineux will join the team Friday.

Walker took part in Thursday’s workout. He has played 93 games (17 starts) with four different franchises, most recently the Minnesota Vikings.

“The guy has a lot of experience,” Munchak said. “He’s in a lot on special teams, can play a lot of positions.”

Sitting out: Second-year defensive end Derrick Morgan was the latest veteran held out of a workout. The 2010 first-round pick missed the final 12 games of his rookie season with a knee injury.

“He practiced [Thursday] morning,” Munchak said. “… We thought once he got some help in here with Dave Ball being back and [Jacob] Ford being on the field, we could give him a rest.

“We’d be crazy not to do that. He’s been practicing well, he’s getting his legs under him, he’s getting more confidence in his legs. So far, so good. So we just don’t want to overdo it with him.”

Wide receiver Kenny Britt (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (shoulder) have yet to experience any contact. Tacke Michael Roos (back) has been held out for each of the last two days.

Awaiting word: Marc Mariani made it to the Pro Bowl last year as the AFC’s return specialist after he served as the Titans’ primary return man for both punts and kicks.

He accounted for 60 of the 64 kickoff returns and all 27 punt returns. He also took back one of each for touchdowns.

This season he wants to do more — specifically catch passes.

“I want to contribute,” he said. “I take a lot of pride, obviously, in the return game and look to continue to make plays to put our offense and defense in good situations. On the offensive side of the ball, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to catch some passes and get some work in.”

Already finished: Veteran cornerback Ryan Mouton was placed on injured reserve, which means he will miss the entire 2011 season, and free agent rookie wide receiver O.J. Murdock was waived (injured).

Both sustained serious Achilles tendon injuries in the opening days of camp.