January 6th, 2011

Tronzo Getting Another Shot At NFL

Chris Jung

Senior Writer

Tronzo Getting Another Shot At NFL
photo from the Cincinnati Bengals

Former UofL, Cincinnati Bengal fullback signs with Titans

If there is one NFL player that could handle a circus-like environment with poise, despite not having much experience in the league, it would be St. Xavier High School graduate and former Cincinnati Bengal Joe Tronzo.

Last season, Tronzo signed with the Bengals around the same time that "T.Ocho" (the Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco duo) was born in Cincinnati, and the University of Louisville graduate handled the situation like a seasoned veteran would throughout the frenzied training camp workouts at Georgetown College.

Tronzo, a Louisville native, will get another crack at a "unique" NFL situation and the shot to make another team, as Tronzo signed a two-year deal with the Tennessee Titans this week. He has not officially made the team yet, but will get his opportunity when preseason camp starts up in several months.

"I didn't hear anything for a few weeks (from other NFL teams), and thought 'is this the end of my career?'," said Tronzo.

But it's not.

Cut by the Bengals on Nov. 30 after spending the season on its practice squad, Tronzo is thrilled at the chance to make another NFL team, and has the ideal mentality as he joins a team in the middle of turmoil. The Titans have announced that they will not retain its quarterback and former high draft pick Vince Young, and there is also uncertainty concerning whether or not the Titans will keep Jeff Fisher as its head coach.

Amidst the chaos, however, Tronzo says he is "only focused on what he is doing." 

He also plans on continuing to contribute out of the fullback position, as well as taking on any other role that is asked of him.

"Any fullback has to take on a big role in special teams," said Tronzo. "And really every position is a collaboration of individual skills. Baseball has the (designated hitter), which is just one main role. There's nothing like that in professional football. You have to be able to be versatile."

Tronzo, who also worked out during a tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles last Monday, says his goal is to continue adding weight and working out in preparation for any offseason and/or preseason sessions he's expected to attend in Nashville. He also says that he has no plans to immediately look for permenant housing in Music City, but does feel blessed regarding the geography of his new team.

"I've gotten very fortunate that I've been able to sign with the two pro teams that are closest to where I live," said Tronzo, who has a very supportive and outgoing family and Louisville fan base. "Everybody's excited (about the news) and they've supported me through the years."

In 2010, the Titans went 6-10 and the team depth chart shows that Tennessee carried one fullback - Ahmard Hall - for most of the season. Hall, a five-year veteran in the NFL, had one carry for one yard this past season, but is known for being a thunderous blocker and explosive back, much like the attributes that have made Tronzo successful throughout his football career.

Regarding his NFL future, Tronzo was asked about rumors of a possible league lockout due to issues surrounding the NFL collective bargaining agreement. And while he doesn't have much information about the status of negotiations or how things play out, he does have a "Plan B" brewing just in case.

"If something were to happen, I would like to start my own personal training business," said Tronzo. "I would work with some other former football players to focus on in-house clients and more one-on-one sessions."

The Titans plan to report to Nashville's Baptist Sports Park in late July.


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