LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- It's hard to believe that a player can record a franchise-record 30 special teams tackles then fail to make the team the following season, but that's what happened to former Bears special teams ace Tim Shaw in 2010.
It's not as if the Bears didn't value Shaw on the special teams, but he got squeezed out of a roster spot at the end of the 2010 preseason because they could not afford to carry an extra linebacker who did not contribute on defense.
Shaw landed in Tennessee where he quickly became a core member of their special teams units. He's been voted special teams captain in each of the past two years, and is second on the team with six special teams tackles through eight games. Shaw also had a key punt block in Tennessee's 26-23 home win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Oct. 11.
"I think that tells you something right there (being a two-time captain) how quickly he came in and made a difference with his teammates," Titans coach Mike Munchak said. "He blocked a punt against Pittsburgh that set up a touchdown there and kind of really got us going on that Thursday night football game.
"He's been forced to play some linebacker because of some injuries we've had to our middle linebacker so he's played a lot more on defense than he had in (prior) years. The guys have responded to him, and I think you see by his play on the kickoff team. He's just a nice solid football player who is playing with a lot of energy. It's contagious a little bit the way he approaches the game in practice and stuff so he's been a great addition for us."
Munchak said Shaw and the Titans' special teams will be put to the test against Hester and the Bears on Sunday.
"This should be a great challenge this weekend because the Bears, just in the other phases of the game, are ranked in the top 2 or 3 in every category, not to mention the return guy in Devin Hester," Munchak said. "This will be a great challenge, and if we do well on special teams and make a play, I think Tim will be a big part of it."