The hundreds of undrafted rookie free agents trying to make it in the NFL could learn something from Titans tailback Jackie Battle.
Undrafted seven years ago and released three different times during his career, Battle remains on an NFL roster at age 30, and he’s four-fifths of the way toward playing 100 regular season games.
As Jim Wyatt of the Nashville Tennessean pointed out in a story published Wednesday, Battle has taken reps at running back and fullback this offseason.
“I just pick a hole and hit the first body that’s in there,” the 6-foot-2, 240-pound Battle said of being a blocking back, according to the Tennessean. “There will a lot more contact, more collisions, but that’s the kind of back I am. I have been a physical back throughout my career.”
Battle appeared in all 16 games for the Titans a season ago, carrying 36 times for 142 yards and catching four passes for 36 yards. It’s possible he could see a little more work this season as Tennessee tries to replace Chris Johnson, but rookie Bishop Sankey and veteran Shonn Greene figure to get the majority of snaps at tailback, especially if Greene can overcome knee issues. Dexter McCluster could also get some carries, too.
Still, Battle’s versatility probably helps his case to grab a spot on the depth chart. He’s a willing special teams player, as evidenced by his 10 tackles a season ago. And if he’s a viable fullback, he will be all the more valuable.
The more jobs a backup player can do, the better. If it hasn’t been made clear already, the newest group of undrafted free agents will know this soon enough.