I did a double-take when I noticed a new running back, #36, on the field at noon Tuesday. I was even more surprised when he turned around and I read the name on the back of his jersey, Gado.
Samkon Gado. Power back. Short-yardage runner. Former Green Bay Packer, Houston Texan, Miami Dolphin and St. Louis Ram. Now a Tennessee Titan.
Apparently Jeff Fisher and Mike Reinfeldt view him as veteran insurance. Also, I heard someone on the radio the other day — I believe it was Mike Keith — say he’s a guy who can contribute on special teams, covering kicks and blocking on returns. Gado has even returned four kicks in his career for a twenty-yard average.
He may also be able to help in pass protection, a problem area for the Titans which Tom commented on in the Seahawks preview:
“One thing I’ll be looking for is how all the backs do in the backfield on 3rd down. CJ’s ok at pass protection, but the inexperience of all the other guys worries me-Blount apparently was never asked to do it at Oregon. With Crumpler gone, they need somebody they can line up next to VY if necessary, and I’m not sure that guy is on the roster right now.”
It could be that guy is now on the roster.
The main man on notice after the Gado signing has to be Alvin Pearman, who apparently is not the veteran presence Fisher or Reinfeldt are seeking. The main reason why he currently has a roster spot is because he can fair catch punts without letting them roll dead inside the ten-yard line. If Damian Williams and/or Marc Mariani prove they can do the job as a returner, Pearman will have little to no remaining value to the Titans.
Blount should also view Gado as a sign that Fisher and Reinfeldt aren’t satisfied with the depth at RB. If Blount has problems, whether with pass protection, ball security or otherwise, Gado could be the guy the Titans turn to as their short-yardage specialist.
I can’t say I’m excited about the prospect of Gado as the Titans’ third back, but there is something to be said about having him as another available option, especially one that can contribute in other areas. Perhaps Gado could be another Quinton Ganther-type RB/blocking back/special teams player/jack of several trades.