Ball to rejoin Titans, ideally in a reduced role

Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 10:44pm

The Tennessee Titans don’t want anything different from Dave Ball. They just want less.

Coach Mike Munchak confirmed Thursday that Ball had agreed to terms on a contract that will bring him back to the Titans in 2012.

“He’s a well-rounded player and we just think he’s a guy that can make plays for us if we use him the right way in the right rotation,” Munchak told The City Paper. “I thought last year he got maybe a little too many reps because of injuries early. He had to start quite a few games and play a lot more than maybe we thought was probably the best way to use him.

“So he’ll be in the [defensive line] rotation. He’ll be more of a role player.”

Ball has spent the past four seasons in Tennessee and has started 23 games, including 19 over the past two years He started the first seven in 2011 and then was a reserve for most of the second half.

He finished with 55 tackles (four short of his career-high) and four sacks. His 15.5 career sacks all have come for the Titans, his third NFL team.

“We like him just to continue to do what he’s been able to do,” Munchak said. “He’s rushed the passer well. … I just think that he brings an intensity to the defense that we’ve always liked, the way he plays, his work ethic. And he’s a smart player. I think he’ll be good with our young defensive linemen as he was last year. He just brings a lot of that.”

Ball has had recurring issues with concussions and talked at one point last season about possibly ending his career.

At 31 years old, he will be the senior member of the defensive line. Free agent acquisition Kamerion Wimbley is the projected starter on the right side with Ball as the backup.

“I think he’ll see a lot of reps but not as many as last year,” Munchak said. “We’ll try to keep him a little fresher, try to keep him healthy the whole year. He plays at a great speed, a great tempo.

“He’s probably not going to play as many reps.”