Michael Griffin believes the addition of Gregg Williams would help the Titans’ defense.
Griffin was asked about Titans coaching staff changes today during a community event at Hunters Lane High School in which Papa John’s made an $8,592 donation to his “Sacks 4 Kids” program benefiting underprivileged children.
“I’m pretty sure if you put he and Coach (Jerry) Gray together we can get things turned around,” Griffin said. “If he comes, I know coach Gray has coached underneath him, so I don’t think it would be anything where two coaches would bump heads trying to figure things out. Just watching the Saints play when they won the Super Bowl, and watching the way they played [under Williams],…and he’s been a coach here before. So he’d be able to bring all that together. I think it would help us in the long run.”
Griffin said he didn’t feel there would be any trust issues with the former New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator.
“I don’t think so. All of that is in the past and you just have to move forward,” Griffin said. “He’s been suspended and most people learn their lesson when they get suspended. The league took action and you just go from there. He paid his dues. He missed the whole entire season. You just have to go from there and move forward. I think as a Tennessee Titans organization we have bigger problems than to worry about what happened with the Saints.”
And would Williams need to tone down his approach?
“I don’t know about necessarily toning things down, I think he would just have to re-word his terminology,” Griffin said. “Football is a rough sport. Just watch (safety) Bernard Pollard play for the Baltimore Ravens. Some of those hits he’s doing – they’re all perfectly legal. It’s part of the game. If Williams does join us, I’m pretty confident that we could probably get things turned around going into this next season.”
Nearly a month removed from football, Griffin said he returned to the weight room last week and will continue picking up his conditioning pace throughout the off-season. After watching Sunday’s Pro Bowl and with the Super Bowl approaching, his football juices are flowing.
“Really you start getting geared back up and ready to play,” he said. “We’ve been out for almost a month now. I’m just getting back into the weight room, starting to train and pretty soon will get back out running and just get ready for next year.”
And Griffin will be ready play a key role on a defense that significantly improved over the second half of last season and one he feels is ready to take the next step.
“This team now is getting older. A lot of these guys are going into their third years. We’re not rookies or second-year players anymore,” Griffin said. “You’ve got Jurrell Casey who’s stepping his game up. Sen’Derrick Marks is stepping his game up. Now it’s time for all of us to step our game up. No more excuses. It’s time for us to get things turned around and get back on track.”
Tags: Gregg Williams, Michael Griffin
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New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer, who played under Gregg Williams for three seasons (2009-11) strongly endorsed his former defensive coordinator during an appearance on NFL Network this week at the Super Bowl media center.
Greer, a nine-year veteran who began his career in Buffalo, said Williams was motivational and transformed the Saints’ defense into one of the NFL’s best during his time in New Orleans.
“Everybody wants to play for a guy like that, someone that will motivate you to be the kind of player that you’re called to be,” Greer said.
Greer said when the bounty situation went down “a lot of people were thrown under the bus.”
“But ultimately I’m not one to judge or to say that a person should be condemned because of what happened,” Greer said. “This is his livelihood, this is what he was born to do. And who are we to say that you can’t do what you want to do for the rest of your life and take that from you? I’m not going to say that, and I don’t think anyone on this panel should say that either.”
Tags: Gregg Williams
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Williams, the New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator from 2009-11, would need to be reinstated from his suspension by the NFL for his role in the Saints’ bounty program before he can be hired. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Associated Press Sunday the league has not yet addressed Williams’ potential reinstatement.
Williams coached with the Oilers/Titans from 1993-2000, rising from defensive assistant to coaching special teams, then linebackers and finally defensive coordinator.
In Williams’ last season with the Titans, Tennessee ranked first in the NFL in fewest yards allowed, first in passing yards allowed and third in rushing defense. The Titans also set a franchise-record for fewest points allowed with 191 with an aggressive defense.
LOCKER ON THE MEND: The surgery to repair Jake Locker’s twice dislocated non-throwing shoulder is expected to keep him in a sling for about a month, during which time he’ll work with physical therapists to maintain range of motion, but the quarterback hopes to be ready for minicamps in June.
“Everything went like they hoped it would,” Locker told the Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt. “I feel great, I’m feeling awesome, really. … I’m supposed to make a full recovery and have a strong shoulder. If all goes well, I shouldn’t have to miss anything with the team.”
Locker said his pain level feels fine except for when he sleeps at night. “It doesn’t hurt too bad,” he said. “It’s just getting used to not being able to use one arm. It’s kind of a shock to the system.”
TICKET PRICES NOT RISING: The Titans will not raise ticket prices for the 2013 season, owner Bud Adams told Wyatt.
“We approached the process of ticket pricing with thoughtful consideration of all our season ticket holders. We appreciate each and every ticket buyer and are indebted to them for their constant support,’’ Adams said. “After this careful consideration, we are pleased that we are able to hold the line on our ticket prices for 2013. We will continue to build towards a better 2013 with the continued support of our great fans.”
Titans ticket prices continue to be among the lowest in the NFL ($46 to $92 per game).
SENIOR BOWL A WRAP: Titans player personnel executives and coaches are back in Nashville after spending last week evaluating players at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala.
The Titans now turn their attention to free agency and next month’s scouting combine, another key phase in the evaluation process for April’s NFL Draft.
Here’s a recap from Saturday’s Senior Bowl action.
Tags: Gregg Williams
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NFL Network analysts Mike Mayock and Charles Davis are at the Senior Bowl, where they believe several safeties improved their draft status with a strong week of practice in front of team scouting executives.
Mayock said the 2013 NFL Draft features “a great safety class,” and feels Georgia Southern’s J.J. Wilcox closed the gap on Kenny Vaccaro, the top projected safety out of Texas who chose not to attend the Senior Bowl.
Mayock said the 5-11, 214-pound Wilcox has “corner feet with safety size” and can be an immediate starter in the NFL, with the ability to help on special teams. The draft analyst was also impressed with Florida International’s Jonathan Cyprien, a player he said “made money this week.”
Davis, meanwhile, said Phillip Thomas, the first unanimous All-American in the history of Fresno State football, showed versatility at the position. Davis said the safety will compete for the football, is not afraid to challenge in 1-on-1 coverage and will come inside the box and make the tackle.
While Thomas, Wilcox and Cyprien represent only a small sampling of talent available at safety, Mayock and Davis feel all three players made big strides this week at the Senior Bowl.
NFL Network noted that several defensive standouts in recent Senior Bowls have been drafted in the first round. That list includes:
Broncos LB Von Miller (2nd overall pick, 2011)
Redskins LB Ryan Kerrigan (16th overall pick, 2011)
Falcons LB Sean Weatherspoon (19th overall pick, 2010)
Packers DT B.J. Ragji (9th overall pick, 2009)
Texans LB Brian Cushing (15th overall pick, 2009)
49ers LB Patrick Willis (11th overall pick, 2007)
Bengals CB Leon Hall (18th overall pick, 2007)
Chiefs LB Tamba Hali (20th overall pick, 2006)
Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware (11th overall pick, 2005)
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SI.com columnist Don Banks released his first NFL Mock Draft of 2013 and has Alabama guard Chance Warmack going to the Titans with the 10th overall pick.
The 6-foot-3, 320-pound Warmack was a unanimous first team All-American and first team All-SEC selection as a senior. He started 39 career games at left guard.
Writes Banks: “I think Titans head coach Mike Munchak played a little guard as I recall, and he’s going to see the NFL’s next great guard when he scouts Warmack’s game. It’s not a sexy pick for the Titans, but protecting Jake Locker and helping the Chris Johnson-led ground game get more consistent is plenty important enough to warrant a top 10 pick on an interior lineman of rare pedigree.”
Here’s how Banks sees the top 10 picks going down:
1. Kansas City – OT Luke Joeckel (Texas A&M)
2. Jacksonville – DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State)
3. Oakland – DE Damontre Moore (Texas A&M)
4. Philadelphia – QB Geno Smith (West Virginia)
5. Detroit – OLB Jarvis Jones (Georgia)
6. Cleveland – CB Dee Milliner (Alabama)
7. Arizona – QB Matt Barkley (USC)
8. Buffalo – QB Mike Glennon (N.C. State)
9. N.Y. Jets – DE Barkevious Mingo (LSU)
10. Tennessee – G Chance Warmack (Alabama)
So we ask Titans nation — what would you think of this pick?
Tags: Chance Warmack
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NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is at the Senior Bowl, and offered evaluations of a handful of offensive linemen that intrigued him on the second day of practice.
Eric Fisher (OT, Central Michigan)
Mayock says: “Quick, powerful and finishes.”
David Quessenberry (G, San Jose State)
Mayock says: “Excellent feet and movement skills to play at next level.”
Brian Schwenke (C, California)
Mayock says: “Love him at center, moves well and anchors better than expected against big bodies. A guy you can plug and play Day 1 and will play 10 years in the NFL.”
Lane Johnson (OL, Oklahoma)
Mayock says: “Playing himself into a first-round left tackle. Stoned everybody at practice and scouts like his nasty finish.”
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Hasselbeck has one year left on a three-year deal he signed prior to the 2011 season. He said he would be okay continuing to back up Jake Locker and be ready to play as needed.
“Who knows what happens? But I like our quarterback room a lot, and if I’m here I understand where we are in Jake’s development and all that. So I guess, really, I’m OK with being a part of his maturing process if that’s the role I have to play. What also goes with that role is stepping in if he can’t go, so I knew all that coming in.”
With 14 NFL seasons under his belt, the situation in Tennessee seems ideal for Hasselbeck, who turns 38 early next season.
“Some guys might feel differently at the stage I am in my career or whatever. But the only thing that’s important to me that goes with that is I want to be on a team that is good and that is heading in the right direction.”
Titans brass had targeted Hasselbeck in 2011 to have a veteran presence at the position and to groom the team’s up-and-coming quarterback. He started all 16 games for the Titans in 2011, throwing for 3,571 yards, the fourth-highest total in team history. His 18 touchdowns passes were the most for this team since 2004.
Locker was named the starter following the 2012 training camp, leaving Hasselbeck to play in only a handful of games while Locker was recovering from an injured shoulder. The veteran QB went 2-3 as a starter, winning against Pittsburgh and at Buffalo, where he tossed the game-winning touchdown pass to Nate Washington. He completed 138 of 221 passes for 1,367 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions.
“I feel good about the people we have here,” Hasselbeck said. “I feel good about the people in charge. I feel good about the plan. This year obviously didn’t go like we’d hoped, so it makes it harder.
“On paper, we can (be a winning team). That’s my hope. We just have to stay healthy, maybe add a piece and get the most out of the pieces we have, get the chemistry right. But I feel good about everything here. I’ve really enjoyed Nashville, which is important for me. But we’ll see. Like I said, a lot can change.”
Tags: Matt Hasselbeck
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