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Tennessee Titans Football

Titans GM Talks Draft, Free Agency at Lipscomb

Posted by Gary Glenn on February 2, 2012 – 7:01 pm

New Titans GM Ruston Webster was the guest speaker today at the Golden Bison Luncheon on the campus of Lipscomb University. He addressed a group of strong supporters of Lipscomb’s athletic program, offering his thoughts on several topics relating to his new role with the team, the direction of the club and the type of players he and his staff will be looking for in free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft.

Here are a few highlights:

(on his philosophy of building the team)

“You have to have a solid foundation with the right type of guys and players that work hard and are dedicated to football. They have to be tough and smart. I know that’s what Mike Munchak wants. It’s important to him that we have solid guys to do the things he wants them to do and buy into what he does.

As a team, I want us to get back to being the old Titans. I remember when I was with the Bucs, when we played the Titans, they played a fast, aggressive, nasty defense. They were physical and they could run the ball. They were always a tough outing. That’s what I’d like for us to get back to – that kind of style of play. Mike Munchak feels the same way. He was here during all of that. That’s really what I want to see us be.”

(on that style of play helping the Titans get back to the playoffs)

“We haven’t won a playoff game in a long time – since the 2003 season. It’s time for us to win a playoff game and go further. And for us to do that, you’ve got to be that type of team. For all the passing yards and great quarterback stats this year, when it came down to it in the NFC Championship game, it was the New York Giants tough, old-school football and it was the San Francisco 49ers tough, old-school football. To get to the playoffs and win, you have to be able to go in the cold weather and run the ball.”

(on the challenge of free agency)

“Unfortunately the business side gets in the way sometimes. You can’t keep everybody you would like to and you have to make tough decisions. Those decisions are not always easy and they’re definitely not always popular. For the most part, I feel like when we make our decisions, and in the past when we made our decisions, we had all the information. You just do the best for your team and for your owner. I think we’ll draft well and continue to build a good, young core.”

(on what his immediate goals are to build the team)

“My immediate goal is to help improve our offensive line and our defensive front seven. That’s going to be our focus moving forward into free agency and the draft. If we can do that – get a little bit more of a pass rush and run the ball a little better — I think we’ll be okay.”

 (on Jake Locker’s potential)

“I think we have a good, young quarterback in Jake Locker who just has natural leadership ability, and he brings that toughness and type of temperament in his game. I think you’ll see our guys rally around that.

I was with the Seahawks when Jake started playing at the University of Washington, so I saw Jake play probably two or three games a year all through his junior year until I came here. Jake was a star the minute he stepped on campus at Washington because everybody knew who he was. He was a high-profiled recruit from a little town – Ferndale, Washington – who wanted to stay and play for a state school. He was loved and revered there. You could see early on that he had talent. He has a lot of physical skills and he’s continued to develop his skills as a quarterback. He works so hard at it.

That’s the other thing. He kind of has that ‘it’ factor and people rally to him, gravitate to him. He’s a good guy. He’s solid, and he cares about his teammates and they feel that. We were interviewing a linebacker who got drafted in the third round by the Bucs who played at the University of Washington with Jake and we asked him about Jake – like we do with other players when we ask about their teammates because players know players. If they don’t like their teammate, then there’s probably some issue there. He said, ‘I’ll tell you about Jake Locker.’ He said he would drive from one end of the town to the other to pick up a teammate that didn’t have a car or was having car trouble – and Seattle’s a big city – to get him to workout. That’s leadership, and that’s one of the big reasons we drafted him.”

(on working with Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden in Tampa)

“Tony changed everything because he brought stability to an organization that didn’t have any. He came in with a plan and executed the plan, no matter what anybody said. Tony just did the right thing. His decisions were made based on what he thought was right for the organization and for his team. And then as a person, I’ve been around a lot of guys, coaches and people in high positions and Tony treated everybody the same. No matter what your position was, you never felt like you had to get loud to get your point across. You just had to let him know and he was going to listen and he was going to make his decision. He was awesome in that way, and he, in my mind really saved the organization because of the stability he brought. And then we got good players in there and they all bought into him and loved him. One of the unfortunate things was we couldn’t quite get to the Super Bowl and so Tony was let go, which was unfortunate. It did work out for us when Jon (Gruden) came in and we had always struggled on offense and Jon got the offense going. Jon brought juice to the offense and to the team. He made it to where he put the offense on equal footing to the defense and they challenged each other and it made us really good. They were different guys. Jon’s a good friend and a great guy. It was enjoyable. There was a contrast, but I’ll always look back fondly on both. I learned a lot from both of them.”


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Posted in titansonline.com Blog | 16 Comments »


16 Responses to “Titans GM Talks Draft, Free Agency at Lipscomb”

  1. By CHRIS on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    who is the guy in the photo?

  2. By Duane Allman on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    He’s a 100% right on the need to build with the O & D line and make the Titans a “tough guy” team. You can win a Super Bowl with Locker during his career, but you’re going to need a running game and a dominant defense to do it. He’ll provide the leadership and the occasional Pro Bowl type of big play. The kid’s a stud but his style isn’t Brady/Rogers throwing for 5,000 yds.

  3. By Steve on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Couldn’t agree with you more Duane,,, you want tough you gotta have the big guys who know their job. Winning starts on the line and anyone who thinks otherwise hasn’t watched enough football. Frankly I think CJ is out. His contract exceeds his assets and that’s the tough decision because CJ is popular and still a good back but just not living up to the money. Locker can spend one more year backing up Hass and he will be a force in this league as long as he is healthy. He has too much natural talent to not be. He is just a superb athlete and you seldom see that in a QB, but Jake is chiseled and tough and he moves like a cat. If you improve the defense, we are in the playoffs right now, but a few tweaks on offense and I think next year we go to the second level.

  4. By corey jordan on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    trying to help my brother get a workout for the team can anyone help him he has a highlight tape he has played overseas and won there champioship

  5. By Eevahn on Feb 3, 2012 | Reply

    Steve I agree with almost everything you said. IMO CJ is not out, I agree this year it was awful for him, believe me I was cussing out the T.V everything he failed to do something with the ball. What I see in CJ is he doesn’t trust his O line to make the key blocks like they used too. I’m not blaming it all on the O line, because yes he was wack this season. Faster Tackles and heavier guards is what I think will work best for the run game. Our D line too needs help, but I think the new pass rush coach will get them working. I’m very unsure about our secondary. I to love love love! Jake Locker. He is the real #10

  6. By EBTITAN on Feb 4, 2012 | Reply

    GET JERRY THE TOOLS! I LIKE HEARING ABOUT A NASTY DEFENSE! WERE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.A GOOD HIT ON THE DRAFT THIS YEAR WOULD BE AWESOME..

  7. By keitpickett on Feb 5, 2012 | Reply

    Fire CJ Free up some money for defensive players. or whatever just get rid of CJ

  8. By Ryan K on Feb 5, 2012 | Reply

    One of the things that made CJ great was his speed, the other was his toughness. He had that swagger about him in 2010, and he ran the ball hard and downhill. Team’s couldn’t beat him to the edge because of his speed. If he got to the 2nd level, he had the speed to penetrate linebackers before they got their hands on him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still fast, but not 4.3 fast. He’s even slower when he’s indecisive- which he was a lot last year. The 2010 CJ ran fearless and fast on the edges and through the second level. This year he was looking for daylight before accelerating, wasn’t taking what the defense gave him. His speed and toughness were his game, and without it, he’s not elite. That put’s him in the “average-below average” category, not the “elite” category. His yards per carry suggests he declined to the below average side. That being said, I can’t see why the Titans would pay him elite playmaker money another year without show cause. I’d have him prove his speed and check his mental game before I upped the anti for another year.

  9. By thebeast42 on Feb 6, 2012 | Reply

    Here is a list of player I think that we should keep, let go and pick up or offer a contract to.To get us to the next level or maybe a super bowl in two years. I hope I get some good comment from other fans about who they would like to see stay on the team or join our team. Good luck in the Free Agency and in the Draft.

    RE-SIGN PLAYERS
    Cortland Finnegan – 4 to 5 year deal
    Michael Griffin -2 to 3
    Jordan Babineaux – 2 to 3
    Patrick Bailey- 3 to 4
    Jason Jones – 3 to 4
    Malcolm Sheppard – 4 to 5
    Mike Otto – 1 to 2
    Jake Scott – 2 to 3
    Fernando Velasco – 3 to 4
    Ahmard Hall – 1 to 2
    Kevin Curtis – 2 to 3
    Lavelle Hawkins – 2 to 3

    PICK UP IN F. A.
    Brandon Carr (KC)- 4 to 5
    Mario Williams (HOU)- 4 to 5
    David Hawthorne (SEA)- 3 to 4
    Curtis Lofton (ATL)- 3 to 4
    Calais Campbell (ARZ)- 3 to 4
    Dwayne Bowe (KC)- 4 to 5
    Steve Johnson (BUF)- 5 to 6
    Chris Myers (HOU)- 3 to 4

    LET GO
    Chris Hope (TEN)
    Anthony Smith (TEN)
    Barrett Ruud (TEN)
    Tim Shaw (TEN)
    Dave Ball (TEN)
    William Hayes (TEN)
    Donnie Avery (TEN)
    Tony Brown (TEN)
    Ken Amato (TEN)

  10. By ThE_OnE_28 on Feb 6, 2012 | Reply

    Are u serious???? If u think the Titans have that kinda money 2 spend in FA, i’d like 2 have some of WHATEVER you’re smoking cuz itmust be good

  11. By Ryan on Feb 7, 2012 | Reply

    If you’re smart you resign Cortland Finnegan 1st. Then get some kind of offensive line form free agency. Maybe resign Griffin. Plus you would get a ton of new fans if you draft a big time Alabama guy. Look how the Saints did with Ingram or Falcons with the Titans. So I would draft Hightower (MLB), Mark Barron(SS/FS), or maybe Chapman (DT). Defiantly Richardson but we have CJ28 and dont have a good pick to get him. I would FOR SURE get Marquis Maze in the 6th or 7th round for WR. He’ll progress with help and deserves a shot.

    MY DRAFT 2012:
    1st- Alabama- Dont’a Hightower, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick if not keeping Finnegan. (if he’s not resigned thats ashamed.
    2nd- Alabama- Chapman (DT) or Offensive Lineman
    3rd- CB Menzie (Alabama)
    4th- Some offensive or defensive line
    5th- Other offensive or D-lineman which ever you havent got or which has better potential
    6th- OLB of some sort or fullback to block for CJ28
    7th- Marquis Maze WR Alabama

  12. By johnny on Feb 9, 2012 | Reply

    we need better players on the defenseive side of the ball at all levels not just defensive line. we need good linebackers and corners specially is cortland is going away. real important we get a top notch defense

  13. By zoberto on Feb 13, 2012 | Reply

    we need a wide out and his name is vincent jackson. we gotta let go alot of people in order to get him like drop cortland. and sign that corner back that the raiders relesed and then spend the rest on mario williams….

  14. By troy on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    I would like see them keep most of their free agents, but I know that won’t happen. Every year we lose key players to free agency and are left with younger guys and a mix of older veterans from other teams that are willing to take a pay cut to keep playing. I have always been a Oilers/Titans fan, but I am feed up with the front office to the point I am ready to switch teams. They should not have paid CJ all that money since he was still under contract make him prove himself one more year before shelling out all that money. If he didn’t report to the team he wasn’t going to play anywhere else so they should have to put the ball in his court. They are never going to get to the next level until they keep their nucleus of players around and quit trying to manage the team like we are in the 1970′s. The whole front office needs to be realigned.

  15. By mike on Feb 15, 2012 | Reply

    cj is not a up and down runner, he just has lost that first step of speed to break threw for 1 reason, way way to many zero or negative plays (even in the 2k season it was 1, -1, 2, 56, 2, -1, -2, 80) eventually the bigs runs stop and defensive lb and secondary learned him as a player, he just needs to get to the whole quicker and trust that they will be there, he is never guna be a regulaer 5/6 ypc type back, he has always been boom or bust. thats why i have never thought he really suited the titans offensive line, its simple, beef up the o line to get him just a few more holes, or bin cj for a more solid but less explosive back. that would be the way i go. bigger solid back, and major work needs to be done on our db’s, our lb’s are fine. titana always used to win by getting penatration from the front 4, draft d line for sure. defence all the way, and with locker, and a solid run game, that should be enough for offence i think. hard nose titan football

  16. By TitanOfAnaRchy on Feb 19, 2012 | Reply

    the top 3 free agents i would try 2 sign would be mario williams,dwight freeney,and mike wallace. all we need to do to get wallace is give pitt our 1st pik in da draft ne1 agree with any of these???

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