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Extra Sound: George Wilson Sees the Big Picture

Posted by Joe Fann on August 1, 2014 – 1:07 pm

I spoke with Titans safety George Wilson yesterday and he had multiple quotes that stood out. If you want to talk about a guy who “gets it,” it’s Wilson. Here is some of the best from that interview.

Wilson on the work the team has to put in with the new coaching staff:

“At the end of the day we’re behind compared to some teams who have returning staffs. We’ve _2JR6817accepted the challenge and know the work we have ahead of us. Guys aren’t trying to cut corners or take the easy way out. Everybody is out there trying to push the same direction. We need to continue to take one step each and every day we’re on the practice field.”

Wilson on his respect for head coach Ken Whisenhunt:

“He comes with such credibility. Just with the presence coach Whiz brought into the first team meeting, guys bought in to what he was preaching. We broke down into offense and defense and guys responded to the coordinators. We haven’t had any issues with guys going their own directions or trying to do their own thing. If you’re an individual you won’t be in this locker room.”

On his role as a leader:

“I just try to be a second set of eyes on the sideline to help guys know what adjustments need to be made. When I see someone having a tough time I try to break it down for them so whatever their experience it’s understandable. My job is to try to make it easier for the other ten guys.”

On the different mindset for the defense despite returning most of the 2013 cast:

“It’s totally different. The scheme is different than what we played a year ago. The coaching staff is different. Our approach as a team is different. Guys have certainly bought in to the changes have been made. Guys are eager to get out and practice. There is a sense of urgency. Guys want to turn the tide of the Titans organization.”

On players holding themselves accountable:George Wilson

“There is accountability. No one wants to make a mistake and let everyone else down. We accept the coaching whether it comes from a coach or a teammate. It’s a brotherhood here. We all just want to win and we have to depend on each other to do that.”

On having fun at what he does:

“Man it’s only a grind if you make it. I love every aspect of this job. I don’t even look at it as work. I’m living my dream every day. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else anywhere else. I don’t look at it as the dog days, I’m around my brothers. This is my family and I am doing what I love to do.”


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Extra Sound: Leon Washington Weighs In

Posted by Joe Fann on July 27, 2014 – 8:32 pm

Veteran running back and return man Leon Washington gave his take on the chippiness of Sunday’s practice.

He mentioned that it’s necessary for the team to come together:

“That’s how you build character in the team. Competing against each other you want to simulate the practice to be as tough as it can be. When you have competition in practice it makes the game that much easier. It’s exciting to see the offense, defense, and special teams battling the way they are.”

Washington along with everyone else is eager to get pads on tomorrow:

“We’re always looking forward to pads. Offensive guys complain because they can’t block. Defensive guys complain because they can’t tackle. It will be a good show tomorrow.”Leon Washington

He discussed that with pads, it’s more than just being physical:

“It’s more mental than anything else. When you’re playing the game you’re going to get hit. Those who can stay mentally strong while they’re getting hit will have an advantage.”

More on trash talk building team chemistry:

“That’s one thing we built during the OTA’s. Building that comradery and becoming a team. You see guys jawing on the field but that stays on the field. When we get in the locker room we love each other.”

On Bernard Pollard’s passion for talking trash:

“I like it a lot because it builds the energy up with the team and gets everybody going. It’s good to have a guy like BP on the team.”

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The Titans return to practice tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. from Saint Thomas Sports Park. Once again, the pads will be on. Come with popcorn ready.


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Schwenke Camp Diaries: Preparing for Pads

Posted by Joe Fann on July 27, 2014 – 6:36 pm

Titans center Brian Schwenke continues to give fans a look into training camp from a player’s perspective.

Entry #2 – Getting Acclimated to the Grind of Camp

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There wasn’t anything exciting at the team hotel last night. We have bed checks at 11:00 p.m. but you’ll find that most guys are asleep by ten. The coaches have a key so they’ll just come in your room to make sure you’re there. Last night I was asleep long before the coaches came by so I slept through the check. I’m sure they came, I just wasn’t aware of it. I’m thankful they didn’t decide to mess with me.

The schedule is going to get difficult. Yesterday we had a morning practice and in the afternoon470schwenke2013season we had a walk through. Today we had an afternoon practice so we had a good gap of recovery time between practices. We ended around 11:00 a.m. yesterday and started at 3:00 p.m. today so that’s plenty of time to recover. Now tomorrow we practice at 9:00 a.m. and we just finished practice at 5:00 p.m. so we have a much smaller gap. We’re hitting it much quicker and we’re going to be in pads so you have to be smart and take care of your body in that small chunk of time.

With pads tomorrow, the intensity of practice is going to pick up. I’m not sure what Whiz has planned if we are doing any one-on-one drills o-line versus d-line. It’s definitely more intense with pads and it’s a part of getting in shape. To be able to go with that intensity for a whole practice is just another part of being ready for the season.

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Stay logged on to titansonline.com for more blogs from Brian Schwenke as training camp rolls on.


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Schwenke Camp Diaries: Moving Into Team Hotel

Posted by Joe Fann on July 26, 2014 – 4:30 pm

As training camp goes on, Titans center Brian Schwenke is here to give Titans fans an inside look at what training camp is like for an NFL player.

Entry #1 – A new home for the next month

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Yesterday we had the conditioning test. You know it’s something you’re kind of anxious about. Even though you train 140715_Schwenke_story_image2for it in that month off that we have, you’re still anxious because you still have to make your time. There’s nerves but I got it done and felt good, but then the nerves come back before the first day of practice.

When I got to the team hotel, I was hoping that I didn’t have a roommate. Some guys have them and some guys don’t, and I have no idea how it works. The whole day I was waiting to find out whether I had a roommate or not. I love Chance [Warmack,], but you could get Chance who snores. So clearly it can be challenging with a roommate sometimes to get your beauty rest. Luckily, there was only one bed in my room so I was able to get a good night’s sleep.

There is another big downside to the hotel though. One thing I invested in when I got to the NFL was the nicest bed I could get, and so there’s no hotel bed that’s going to be as comfortable as my bed at home. It’s a small thing, but I was a little stiff this morning. The struggle is real.

Now that practice is rolling it’s all about getting a routine. I have to ice tub after and use the foam roller so when I take the field I feel as good as I possibly can.

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Stay logged on to titansonline.com for more blogs from Brian Schwenke as training camp rolls on.


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Extra Sound – Veteran Leaders Step Up

Posted by Joe Fann on July 26, 2014 – 8:20 am

The Titans roster is chalked full of veteran talent. Jake Locker, Nate Washington, Wesley Woodyard, and Jason McCourty all spoke Friday about the importance of being leaders in the locker room. Here is some of what they had to say.

Jake Locker discussed his responsibility as the team’s quarterback:

“I think there’s a reason that the quarterback is asked to be the leader. That’s a role that I’m excited about the 1168camp2014previewopportunity to embrace. It hasn’t changed how I approached the game. I feel at this point now going into my fourth year that I’ve earned the respect of the guys in the locker room. I feel like they’ll listen when I say things. I get the opportunity to pick and choose times to speak up a little more now and maybe be more vocal than I have been in the past.”

The Titans QB noted that the new coaching staff has pushed him as a player:

“I’ll give the coaching staff a lot of credit. They’ve pushed me and asked me to do some things that I wasn’t really comfortable doing at first, and now I love it. I’m really excited about it and I think it’s allowed me to have more ownership over the offense.”

Locker then went into detail about what some of those things were that he was uncomfortable with at first:

“More responsibility at the line of scrimmage with the protection calls and possible play changes and no huddle stuff we’ve been doing. There is a little bit more of a responsibility on the quarterback and I’ve really enjoyed it. I look forward to that being something that’s beneficial for us throughout the year.”

Wesley Woodyard spent his entire presser discussing that although it’s only his first year with the Titans, he wants to 1158camp2014previewbe a leader on defense. That includes wearing the helmet with the headset to the coaching staff:

“I plan on being on the field every down. I’m going to come out and say I’d love to have that green dot on my helmet.”

Woodyard continued to say that it’s up to all the veteran players to set the tone for the rest of the team:

“The big thing is that everyone has to do their part. Guys like me, Shaun Phillips, and Bernard Pollard all realize what it takes to get to the next level getting into the playoffs and getting to the Super Bowl.”

Jason McCourty discussed how coach Whisenhunt has already deferred to the opinions of the leaders in he locker room:

“He comes to us for a lot of things when making decisions. He’ll come ask guys ‘hey what’s your opinion on this, 1161camp2014previewwhat’s your opinion on that?’ He does a great job of finding the pulse of the team and figuring out what’s best for us moving forward. That’s been real enjoyable.”

McCourty also said that with all the excitement there is right now, they will learn a lot about themselves when they face adversity for the first time:

“Adversity is going to build character. I always say this time of the year that everything is great. Everybody is loving the staff. All the players are getting along. We haven’t faced any problems yet. As camp goes on there are going to be injuries or different things that happen that are going to force us to come together or split apart as a team. That’s going to be big for us to continue to build our chemistry. That’s the fun part of this game – the challenges that come with it and not knowing each day what you’re going to face. I think it’s going to help us build as camp goes on and when we get to the end we’re going to see a finished product that we really like.”

Nate Washington spent a lot of time discussing coach Whisenhunt and how he understands the role of the leaders on the team:

“He makes a huge difference. His mentality and the way he treats us in the locker room has given guys a different 1173camp2014previewfocus toward the game. Coach has been around long enough to know that you have to let grown men be grown men. He allows us as players to coach ourselves in that locker room and get expectations out of ourselves first. That’s going to be a major thing for us.”

The two already know each other well after Washington and Whisenhunt spent time together in Pittsburgh. Washington said coach Whiz still has many of the same traits that he noticed with the Steelers:

“He’s a gutsy guy. He’s going to take some shots. He’s not afraid to let his playmakers go out and make plays. He expects greatness out of all of us, but at the same time he isn’t going to be the guy to criticize you or jump on you if you make a mistake. I think that’s going to boost us to not walk on pins and needles, but know there’s a guy behind us that expects greatness of us.”

Washington also gave the quote of the day in my opinion about coach Whisenhunt:

“He has put us in a position to expect greatness without telling us to expect greatness.”


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Visuals Joining Verbiage for Titans QB Jake Locker

Posted by Craig Peters on June 19, 2014 – 4:15 pm

Titans quarterback Jake Locker said a good indicator that he’s making progress with Tennessee’s new offense is that visualizations are accompanying the verbiage he communicates to teammates.

Locker and the Titans concluded a three-day mandatory minicamp Thursday before breaking until training camp. Titans players are scheduled to report back July 25.

Locker is recovering from a Lisfranc injury that cost him the last half of 2013, but was able to participate fully in Tennessee’s 10 organized team activity practices and the minicamp. He said that experience helped him better grasp his third offense in as many seasons as a starter.

Jake Locker and the Titans wrapped up their three-day minicamp Thursday to finish the team's offseason program.

Jake Locker and the Titans wrapped up their three-day minicamp Thursday to finish the team’s offseason program.

“For me, once you get the verbiage and you’re able to paint a picture when you call a play, that’s when it becomes really comfortable for you,” Locker said. “As you’re calling the play, you’re picturing the routes you have down the field, and that’s when I know I’m getting really comfortable. I feel with the majority of stuff we’ve put in, I can call it and see it before we get to the line of scrimmage.”

New coach Ken Whisenhunt said that capability “makes you operate more smoothly, quicker, and whenever you’re more comfortable, it helps.”

“He’s still got a ways to go, but it’s good Jake feels that way now,” Whisenhunt said.

Offensive coordinator Jason Michael said Locker progressed nicely through the offseason program that started in April. Michael said Locker benefited by watching backup QB Charlie Whitehurst during a voluntary minicamp that was allowed to all teams with new head coaches, to participating in walk-throughs and studying film, to positional drills and eventually working in team periods.

“How he works and goes about his business carried into Phase II (of the offseason program) where he was able to get on the field a bit more,” Michael said. “It’s been gradual stages for him to do more and more, and he’s handling it great.”

Locker said he likes the combination of options that will be available in the Titans’ new scheme.

“I think it’s a nice mix of doing the more conventional huddle, calling plays and having the change-up of being able to go no-huddle with a large playbook and run a lot of different plays from that, a lot of different formations and have the flexibility to kind of put pressure on the defense,” Locker said.


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Nate Washington Likes what Ken Whisenhunt Brings to Titans

Posted by Gary Glenn on June 12, 2014 – 3:00 pm

Nate WashingtonNate Washington knows head coach Ken Whisenhunt better than anyone in the Titans’ locker room. The veteran wide receiver began his first four seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers (2005-08), spending two seasons with Whisenhunt, who served as Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator from 2004-06.

The pair was together when the Steelers won Super Bowl XL against the Seattle Seahawks.

So when asked Thursday about the style and approach Whisenhunt has brought the Titans, Washington didn’t hesitate.

“He understands what perfection looks like. He understands what a Super Bowl looks like. He understands what it’s going to take to move into the top tier of the NFL. He understands what it’s going to take for us to get to where we want to be, and that’s hoisting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the day.

“The requirements from him are going to be tough at times, but he will pat you on the back when you’ve done something well. He definitely has an expectation that’s going to be required of every guy in this locker room from the oldest to the youngest. Everyone has their weight to pull and he expects that to happen.

“He’s a guy that’s been there, done that. He’s played in this league, been a player that’s done some tremendous things in this league and also been a coach that’s made it to that top tier and hoisted the Lombardi and been there again as a head coach of a team. His expectation right now is much needed. There’s a lot of good feelings around this locker room right now and I’m excited about the opportunity we have this year to play under him.”


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Watch Justin Hunter’s Ridiculous Alley-Oop Jam at Celebrity Basketball Game

Posted by Gary Glenn on June 11, 2014 – 1:06 pm

In case you missed it — check out Justin Hunter’s hard-court skills during the “Clash of the Titans” celebrity basketball game at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, Tenn.

The second-year wide receiver displayed his leaping ability last season, rising over defensive backs to make several touch catches. He was at it again during this basketball game with several dunks and one spectacular alley-oop that you don’t want to miss.


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5 Things About: Titans Sixth-Round Pick Zach Mettenberger

Posted by Craig Peters on May 16, 2014 – 10:23 am

The Titans drafted LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 178th overall pick.

Here are five things to know about one of the newest Titans:

The Titans selected QB Zach Mettenberger after trading to move up in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Titans selected QB Zach Mettenberger after trading to move up in the sixth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

1) Mettenberger completed 192 of 296 passes for 3,082 yards with 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions as a senior in 2013. He became the third QB in Tigers history to throw for 3,000 yards in a season (Rohan Davey, 3,347 in 2001 and JaMarcus Russell, 3,129 in 2006). Mettenberger’s 171.4 passer rating ranked fourth nationally in 2013.

2) Mettenberger said he benefitted greatly as a senior when LSU implemented a pro-style offense under coordinator and quarterbacks coach Cam Cameron, who was previously offensive coordinator with the Ravens (2008-12), head coach with the Dolphins (2007) and offensive coordinator with the Chargers (2002-06).

3) Mettenberger graduated Oconee County High School (Ga.) in December 2008 to enroll early at the University of Georgia but was redshirted in 2009. He transferred to Butler Community College (Kan.) in 2010 and transferred to LSU in 2011 but was behind Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson that season.

4) A torn ACL against Arkansas knocked Mettenberger from the final game of the 2013 regular season and required surgery and rehab that kept him from participating in the 2014 NFL Combine. He was, however, able to participate in a pro day workout that was attended by Titans general manager Ruston Webster and quarterbacks coach John McNulty.

5) Mettenberger listed his favorite school subject as history, which appears to transcend to his appreciation of sports and automobiles. He said he is a fan of 70s and 80s sports icons and watches significant amounts of ESPN Classic and listed a 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van as his favorite vehicle.


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5 Things About: Titans Fifth-Round Pick Avery Williamson

Posted by Craig Peters on May 16, 2014 – 10:14 am

The Titans drafted Kentucky inside linebacker Avery Williamson in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft with the 151st overall pick.

Here are five things to know about one of the newest Titans:

The Titans selected inside linebacker Avery Williamson in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Titans selected inside linebacker Avery Williamson in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

1) Williamson was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up about two hours from Nashville in Milan. He watched the Titans on television and made it to one Titans game that was against the Browns (a 28-9 win by Tennessee in 2008) when he was in high school.

2) Williamson had a storied prep football career, helping the Milan Bulldogs go 14-1 and make the AAA state title games in his junior and senior seasons. He was named Defensive Most Valuable Player in the Tennessee East-West All-Star Game after his senior season.

3) “Tackling machine” is a title that Williamson easily could have earned in his time with the Kentucky Wildcats. In 2012, his first season as a starter, Williamson ranked second in the SEC and seventh nationally with a career-best 135 tackles (70 solos) and had three sacks 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. He followed with 102 tackles (fifth-most in the SEC), one sack and four tackles for loss in 2013.

4) Williamson spent a week in Ethiopia on an educational and service trip in May 13. A captain with the Wildcats, Williamson was a candidate for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award and a member of the SEC Community Service Team.

5) Off the field, Williamson said he likes to read mystery books and has put going to Egypt to see the pyramids on his “bucket list.”


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