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Griffin not forgetting lessons of 2009

Griffin not forgetting lessons of 2009
Griffin not forgetting lessons of 2009

Titans’ safety Michael Griffin checks on T-Rac.
That Michael Griffin won’t forget last year is a double shot of good news for the Tennessee Titans and their fans.
The sting of an 0-6 start to the season for the Titans’ Pro Bowl safety and the loyalty of Tennessee faithful through that rough stretch that eventually ended with a 8-8 record in 2009 are both vivid memories for the ex-University of Texas standout, who enters his fourth NFL season this fall.
“I think we all learned a lesson last year —that coming off a 13-3 — nobody is going to lay down for you because you finished well the season before,” Griffin said Wednesday before participating the teams’ annual caravan in Martin. “Every team comes out ready to play every game.
“I see improvement (this year) though. I see us starting off faster.”
That he felt Titan fans never turned their backs on the club during last year’s abysmal start that saw injuries ravage a secondary that had three all-pro players the year before, also stuck with the ball-hawking defensive back.
“You really don’t know how many fans you actually have until you experience something like that and like this (caravan). A lot of the fans that get to come out to the caravan are ones who might not get to come to the games, or training camps.
“And this is a good chance, too, to share messages with the kids.”
Griffin is hoping the team adds to the defensive side of the ball in the college draft, which begins tonight and runs through Saturday.
“I’m a defensive player and defense wins championships,” he grinned, when asked his preference for tonight’s first round draft selection. “If you want to win football games, I say you have to play defense, if I’m the general manager.”
The Titans have nine picks overall in the seven-round process, though rumor is they could be shopping a couple of those selections to bring back defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth in a deal with the Washington Redskins.
Regardless of the additions to this year’s team through the draft, Griffin reiterated that he’d be motivated by the Titans’ immediate past.
“I know I’ll be embarrassed for the rest of my life,” Griffin said when asked about the low-point of a year ago — a 59-0 loss to New England. “You try to put that in the past, but that left a sour taste in my mouth that I’ll never get rid of.”
Sports editor Mike Hutchens can be contacted by e-mail at mhutch@ucmessenger.com.

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