PHOENIX – When the Titans added Eric Weems in free agency earlier this month, they got more than just a return man.
They got a "pretty rare dude."
That's according to Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who coached Weems in Atlanta.
"Wow,'' Quinn said when asked about Weems. "No.1, it's all the things that don't show up on the stat sheet you get with Eric. It's his competitiveness, his toughness. He is widely regarded as one of the best teammates you can have. So he is going to be somebody that will unconditionally support guys.
"The (Titans) have added toughness to their team. With Mike (Mularkey) there, they have a tough team and now they have added to that with Eric. And he is a very good special teams player, and that is really where his role lies. He can play personal protector on punts, he can play an inside position on kickoffs and he has returned both kickoffs and punts. That kind of versatility, where you're adept enough to be a returner and tough enough to play in the middle of your kickoff team, that is a pretty rare dude.''
Quinn made his comments from the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday morning here at the Arizona Biltmore.
Weems, who played two seasons under Quinn in Atlanta, is a former Pro Bowler who has made a career out of returning punts and kicks.
New Titans WR/kick returner Eric Weems signs his contract, meets reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)
With the Titans, Weems will be reunited with Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie, his former position coach in Atlanta, and Mularkey, his former offensive coordinator.
Weems will handle return duties for the Titans, along with other duties.
A Pro Bowler in 2010, Weems ranked sixth in the NFL in punt returns last season with an 11.4 average. He had a 73-yard punt return in Week 2, and also averaged 23.0 yards on 17 kickoff returns last season, with a long of 42.
In 10 NFL seasons, Weems has caught 38 passes for 353 yards and four touchdowns. Weems entered the NFL in 2007 as an undrafted free agent out of Bethune-Cookman. He's played eight of his 10 seasons with the Falcons (he played with the Bears in (2012-13).
"Not only is he capable of busting one," Quinn said of Weems, "but he is excellent with the ball in terms of his decision making. They got them a good one. And some day, hopefully years from now, he's going to make a hell of a coach as well."
TitansOnline.com looks back at the NFL career of WR/Kick Returner Eric Weems. (AP Photos)