BRADENTON, FL — He stormed onto the scene in 2012 as a linebacker, but don’t be surprised if Tyron Brackenridge makes an appearance or two in Saskatchewan’s defensive backfield in 2013.
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“They have me working at the free safety spot right now. I’m pretty comfortable with it, just have to get my reads and my drops down but it’s going pretty well,” Brackenridge told Riderville.com at their mini-camp in Bradenton, FL.
In what was his inaugural CFL campaign, Brackenridge quickly became a darling of the Mosaic Stadium crowd thanks to his timely plays and equally opportune tackles.
The 28-year-old Pasadena, CA native registered a team-best 77 tackles and two interceptions in 2012, a performance impressive enough to force GM Brendan Taman to re-sign him as soon as he hit the free agent market back in February.
Brackenridge says the new deal has given him an added jolt of confidence heading into the new season.
“It’s very nice to have a home,” admitted Brackenridge.
“It’s very good to be back, I didn’t want to go anywhere else so I was trying to get this deal done fast so I can be here. We started something special last year and I just wanted to continue the legacy.”
Brackenridge was an integral member of a 2012 Riders team that rebounded quite nicely following a disappointing 2011 season.
The moment that arguably put him on the map occurred during the second quarter of the Riders’ 52-0 Labour Day weekend victory over the Bombers when he both blocked and returned a Mike Renaud punt for a touchdown, sending the Riders faithful into an absolute frenzy.
That play alone made Brackenridge a star in Regina, but it was his overall performance throughout the season that truly gave him potential to one day become a house-hold name.
Despite his success, Brackenridge foresees himself playing a much larger role in the upcoming season, even more so if the position switch is a permanent one.
“It will allow me to see the field a little bit more and just be more patient,” he said.
“I got my feet wet a little bit last year and it gave me a lot more experience. But I still have to think out there, (the experience) allows me to be a lot sharper.”