|Walter thinks 'it would be pretty cool' to have a guy like Finnegan on his team...but he still doesn't like him. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
The Texans and Titans hate each other. This isn't uncommon for division rivals. Exacerbating things: Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan who redefines what it means to instigate on-field fighting, usually after a cheap shot of some description.
Last November, Finnegan and Houston wideout Andre Johnson threw down in the middle of the game, and were promptly ejected. (They were later fined $25,000 each though neither was suspended. Thank god they weren't wearing yellow shoes, which the league deems one-fifth as bad as trying to knock somebody's head off.)
On Sunday, the rivalry is renewed, when the Titans host the Texans. Appearing Friday morning on Sports Talk 790, Houston wide receiver Kevin Walter talked about the importance of this matchup (you can listen to the entire 10-minutes segment here, via Clay Travis).
"We have to approach this game like a playoff game," he said. "This is, you know, a big-time game and we all realize it. In the past, we've had games like this and hadn't won them but this is different. This is a different year. … We can still do a lot of good things and it's going to start this week."
And then, about five and a half minutes in, the conversation turned to Finnegan (transcribed below for your convenience):
Q: If punches have to be thrown who do you anticipate taking the first swing at Finnegan this time?
Walter: I might, I might to tell you the truth. (Laughing)
Q: How is he on the field? What's he really like? Because, obviously, for you to get under Andre's skin, you've got to be a real creep.
Walter: Exactly. Even before last year, before the whole fight with him and Andre -- years before that -- he's been pushing people around, he's pushed me in the back after a play. But you know what? He runs away. He'll run away from it. And then you'll talk to him and he'll hide by his guys.
And then after the game, he talks to you like nothing's going on. 'Hey, man, how you doing?' Seems like a nice guy after the game but, you know what, he's the type of guy, you see him on the field and you're like 'What is he doing? Why is he playing like that?' But I always say, it would be pretty cool to have a guy like that on your team because he's busting his tail every time.
I'm not saying I like the guy, but he's going out there giving his effort, giving his all. He can be a prick here and there, you know, but that's how he plays.
This Sunday, Matt Schaub and the Houston Texans will travel to LP Field to take on Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans. Jason Horowitz is joined by NFL.com's Pat Kirwan to preview this matchup. Watch the game on CBS at 1 PM ET. Also: don't forget to check out the Pregame: Texans-Titans edition.
The thing is: nobody disagrees with Walter. Finnegan is a huge nuisance, which in part makes him so good. But he's also a guy you'd love to have on your team. It's just too bad Andre Johnson won't be healthy enough to play Sunday.
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