Fisher sends Titans off with fun, familiar tune
Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 10:10 pm
By: NASHVILLE, AP
NASHVILLE (AP) — Jeff Fisher likes to keep football interesting. So he managed to turn the final day of organized team activities for the Tennessee Titans almost into the final day of school.
Friday couldn’t have been more relaxed. Wide receivers did drills normally done by defensive linemen and vice versa. Running backs hit the blocking sled like linebackers.
Then, there was the annual competition between the offensive and defensive linemen in punt-catching drills, won by the offensive line, 4-0.
Then the fun turned into a race between rookies riding on inflatable chartreuse turtle floats across a slip-and-slide while veterans pounded them with water balloons on a day with a heat index topping 100. The highlight? When 315-pound defensive tackle Joe Joseph flattened the inflated end of the slip-and-slide finishing his turn.
“They knew something there was coming up,” Fisher said. “We typically do our punt catching, and then we added another Olympic event over there.”
With training camp starting July 31, the end of organized team activities represents the end of the offseason and a time where players are expected to relax and enjoy time off. They still must be responsible for working out, preparing for camp and staying out of trouble.
That will be a nice change from a busy offseason with Chris Johnson staying away from the Titans wanting a pay hike, Vince Young’s scuffle at a Dallas strip club that got him a misdemeanor citation and top draft pick Derrick Morgan’s arrest June 16 for a speeding ticket and a suspended license.
The speech doesn’t change for Fisher.
“It is a break. It is not a vacation,” Fisher said. “It is a break before training camp. It is that last three and a half to four weeks that you have to fine tune all aspects, physically, emotionally.”
One Titans player taking the down time seriously is cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who leaves Tuesday for Phoenix, where he has plans to meet with Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets in order to refine his man-to-man coverage technique.
It’s something Finnegan has put a priority on this offseason, as he likely will be matched up more on the opposing teams’ leading receiver.
“I’m going to Phoenix, hopefully to work with Darrelle Revis and the guys that he worked out with down there and get some tips from Rod Hood (on bump and run),” Finnegan said. “I felt like I had a disappointing OTAs. I competed, but the process took a little longer than I wanted to, as far as bump-and-run coming along.
“So I really need to push as far as these next few weeks in order to catch up with some of these guys.”
Center Eugene Amano, who is moving over from left guard, understands the routine to be ready for camp as one of the Titans’ senior members with seven years with the team.
“You really just want to fine tune the things that you’ve been working on over the last 12 to 14 weeks,” Amano said.
“You really can’t take a step backward when you’re on your own. You’ve got to keep working hard getting ready for training camp.”
Published in The Messenger 6.28.10