ORLANDO, Fla. –
Titans special teams ace Brynden Trawick isn’t at the Pro Bowl because fans voted for him.
He’s here because of the vote from players and coaches.
And that’s no Mickey Mouse stuff.
“He has been killing it -- No.41 of the Titans,” Steelers receiver Antonio Brown said of Trawick. “He’s one of those impact guys on special teams. He’s a tough, hard-nosed guy.”
Chiefs return man Tyreek Hill had this to say about Tennessee’s most unheralded Pro Bowler:
“Oh yeah, I’m familiar with Trawick – 41,” Hill said. “He’s a great player. He goes hard. He knows his role on the team. He understands what he has to do to impact games.
“When we played against the Titans – and (the previous) year when he was with the Raiders – he was the guy I picked out. And coaches told us, ‘Hey, this a guy we need to watch. Make sure he is doubled, because he is always around the ball. Guys around the league know who those guys are on special teams.”
Trawick, who led the Titans in special teams tackles, said the recognition from his peers and teammates means the most.
Signed early in free agency last offseason by the Titans, Trawick led the team with 17 tackles while playing on coverage teams in 2017. Titans punter Brett Kern gave Trawick props for helping him lead the NFL in net punting average.
Trawick didn’t make the top 10 in fan voting for the Pro Bowl, but after players and coaches voted, he was in position to make a Pro Bowl trip being a first alternate.
When the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl, Trawick was awarded a Pro Bowl spot by replacing New England’s Matthew Slater. A fifth-year pro who played previously with the Ravens and Raiders, it meant a lot to Trawick.
“It’s a lot of fun, man,” Trawick said. “And it’s a blessing to be here.”
Trawick’s Pro Bowl teammates have raved about him this week. After hearing of compliments from his peers, Trawick said it was a great compliment.
“It definitely feels good to hear my peers think I am a good player,” Trawick said. “My job from now on is to just keep playing consistent and keep getting better.
“I just try and play hard. I played special teams, so I am not on the field that often. So I just try and play hard. Special teams is something not everyone wants to do, so it is fun to excel at that.”
Making the Pro Bowl is a part of Trawick’s success story.
Trawick initially made the Ravens as an undrafted free agent back in 2013, after being passed over in the draft. The Marietta, Ga., native spent time at Troy University, Northeast Mississippi Community College and Michigan State during his collegiate career.
He’s the first player from his high school to make it to a Pro Bowl.
“BT, he has been balling out all year,” Titans safety Kevin Byard said. “He deserves to be here. I’m really proud of him.”
“He should’ve been in (the Pro Bowl) right off the bat,” Titans defensive lineman Jurrell Casey said of Trawick. “I told him: Him, Daren Bates and Eric Weems came in and changed the face of our special teams. I’ve never seen a guy come in so passionate.”
Trawick said the moment is a special one.
He did an interview with his hometown paper this week. Family and friends are making the trip here to see him.
On Friday, Trawick posed for the AFC team photo. He was in the middle of the league’s biggest stars.
“It is definitely a big deal for me,” Trawick, standing on the field after practice, said as he looked around him. ”It’s my first Pro Bowl, coming from Marietta, and making it by just playing special teams.
“It definitely means a lot to me. I couldn’t be happier about being here and being a part of all this.”
Titans players take part in Pro Bowl practice on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018 in Kissimmee, Fla. (Photos: Nate Bain)