|Titans tandem ready to defend starting roles |
|Posted: Friday, April 23, 2010 7:18 pm |
When the Titans Caravan rolled into Martin Wednesday morning carrying two members of the Tennessee Titans secondary, questions about Thursday night’s NFL draft were at the forefront of those posed to the two former Pro Bowl performers.
Share a laugh — The Titans Caravan brought two of Tennessee’s premier secondary players to Weakley County on Wednesday. Safety Michael Griffin (left) and cornerback Cortland Finnegan (right) share a laugh with Titans mascot T-Rac.
Cornerback Cortland Finnegan and safety Michael Griffin both admitted no matter which players the Titans drafted, they would be looking over the shoulders and preparing to defend their starting jobs.
“They have a draft every year and they’re always trying to replace you,” Finnegan said.
Griffin admitted he would select defensive players if he were in charge of choosing picks for the Titans, who have the 16th overall selection.
“I’m a defensive player and defense wins football games. Offense sells tickets,” the former University of Texas Longhorn noted.
While the players were willing to talk about the upcoming draft and potential trades, they were also eager to speak about their roles in encouraging youth to be active outdoors and attentive in the classrooms.
“You want kids to be active and get out and play and have a healthy life,” Finnegan said. “If we can ingrain that in them some way by having fun, we’re going to do that.”
Students from schools in both Henry and Obion counties were all ears during the Titans Caravan presentation which, in addition to the two star players, included the team’s mascot T-Rac and Titans Radio Gameday host Larry Stone. Stone and the players emphasized to the attentive students that the majority of the Titans’ game preparation came in the classroom, not on the field, during the season. The revelation surprised many in attendance.
“Just to hear a positive message come from us players. We were all kids at one point in time. All we can do is share our wisdom with the younger ones,” Griffin said.
For Finnegan, the trip to Martin was not his first. The standout cornerback made tackles in Hardy M. Graham Stadium when his college alma mater Samford University played the UT Martin Skyhawks.
“I felt some kind of way when I pulled up,” the three-time All-Ohio Valley Conference player admitted.
Both players hoped to build on the Titans’ strong finish to their 2009 season which ended with an 8-8 record after an 0-6 start.
“I see us starting off a little faster than last season,” Griffin forecast.
“You have to step you game up every year. Competition brings out the best of everybody. I love it,” Finnegan said of preparing to take on the newest Titans. “If they bring in five corners, I’ve got to be better than all of them. I’ve got to out work them and that’s something I’ll continue to do until I’m done playing.”