Tag:Tennessee Titans
Posted on: August 18, 2010 2:10 pm

Stafon Johnson thinking comeback again

S. Johnson says he'll be back next season after suffering gruesome leg injuries (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Tennessee RB Stafon Johnson has been down this road before. A gruesome injury. The possibility of never playing football again. But he figures, Hey, if I came back once, I can come back again.

He suffered a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula in last Saturday’s preseason game against the Seahawks, and he underwent surgery the next day. On Tuesday, he talked to the media, and his words were captured by FoxSportsTennessee.com .

Last season, you’ll recall he crushed his windpipe and larynx in a weightlifting accident that nearly cost him his life. But he made it back. Now, he’s out for the season, but he’s determined to repeat his comeback performance.

“I've made it this far. Everybody counted me out,” Johnson said. “In three weeks or so, it will make a year that I should have been gone, deceased and off this earth.”

He also reiterated that he’s going to come back next year and try to win a spot on the Titans roster.

Why would I quit now?” Johnson said. “Not only am I going to let down myself, but I'd be letting everybody else down, and why would I have that on my heart? … My dreams came true, and even though I've had some down times and some times I didn't know if I was going to make it, I'm here now.”

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 17, 2010 11:54 am

AFC South Preview, Podcast Style

Posted by Will Brinson

It's podcast time once again, people -- with only a few weeks remaining until real football starts, we cruise down (?) to the AFC South to talk preview.

And today we welcome on the always fantastic Steph Stradley of FanHouse and Houston Chronicle fame to talk about what might arguably* be the toughest division in the NFL.

The first thing we want to know: Is it the Texans year? (Second thing: Can we talk about the Texans and Matt Schaub's "power alleys" enough to jinx them?) Also, are the Colts even worth talking about beyond Peyton Manning? Can Chris Johnson hit 2,500 yards with the Titans? And will the Jaguars ever find a true identity?

That's, right: all that and more, all for the low, low price of clicking a play button. Got a question you want answered on the show? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL ) or email will [dot] brinson [at] cbs [dot] com .

Oh, and also, be a friend and subscribe either by RSS or iTunes below.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
Or, make it easy on yourself and  Subscribe via iTunes .

*This is a reasonable argument for any division except the AFC or NFC West.
Posted on: August 15, 2010 8:16 am

Hochuli apologizes for blown call

Posted by Andy Benoit

Many people don’t remember that Chris Johnson could have set the single-season rushing record last season. Johnson had a shot at Eric Dickerson’s 2,105-yard mark, but a 62-yard touchdown run in the final game against Seattle was wiped out by a holding call against fullback Ahmard Hall. Without that run, Johnson fell out of contention for the record.

Now, Hall tells Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean that the referee who made the call, Ed Hochuli, later apologized to him.

"It is big of him," Hall said. "Some guys won't admit they're wrong regardless if they're dead wrong. So that is a big deal, with the record that could've been and him being a prestigious referee, to admit that he was wrong.

"I got over it, but I admit it hurt me for a while. You are getting replayed on ESPN as the guy who had the phantom holding call. But for Ed to apologize personally, that definitely added closure to the situation."

Hall is one of the better, more prideful lead-blockers in the NFL. And, fortunately, in that game, his running back still surpassed the 2,000-yard mark for the season.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 12:33 am
Edited on: August 15, 2010 12:36 am

Stafon Johnson carted off with ankle injury

Stafon Johnson's recovery from a weight room incident that crushed his windpipe, vocal chords and adam's apple was nothing short of amazing. He went undrafted, but was signed by the Tennessee Titans immediately afterwards, and anyone who wasn't pulling for the kid doesn't have a heart.

Which is why watching him get carted off during the Seahawks-Titans game was so painful -- Johnson, on the final play of the third quarter, took a shovel pass from Rusty Smith and ended up in a nasty pile of Seahawk defenders, with his leg twisted up underneath him.

As the telecast resumed, Johnson was on the ground, surrounded by his teammates, coaches and trainers tending to an apparent ankle injury.

Particularly impressive was Pete Carrroll coming all the way over from the Seahawks side of the field to comfort the fr

The Titans huddled in a team prayer as Johnson, openly weeping, was loaded on a cart with an airbag around his ankle. The Seahawks fans stood and applauded as the cart wheeled into the locker room area.

Hopefully -- and it's probably a stretch -- Johnson will be able to return quickly and won't have suffered too tough an injury. The silver lining in this, however small, is that Johnson knows a thing or two about resilience under the duress of being injured.

Update (12:35): Per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean on Twitter , Johnson dislocated his right ankle. Yikes.

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Posted on: August 12, 2010 12:03 pm

Injuries hindering Titans defensive line

Posted by Andy Benoit

We may find out this preseason if the Titans defensive line is really as deep as everyone says it is. Starting defensive end William Hayes is out with a sprained MCL. (As defensive tackle Tony Brown said, according to our Titans Rapid Reporter yesterday, “If there’s every gonna be a CL involved – you don’t want neither – but we’re definitely glad it’s not the ACL.” Good point.). Hayes should be back for the regular season, though MCL injuries can sometimes pose unexpected complications (ask Troy Polamalu).

Brown himself isn’t healthy either. He’s been on PUP with a bum knee. Brown had surgery on the knee at the end of last season. He isn’t sure when he’ll return, though he expects to be on the field come Week 1. The Titans were confident enough in Brown’s long-term outlook to give him a three-year, $17 million contract extension this past offseason.

“I don’t know (when I’ll be back), but I am doing everything they ask me to do,” Brown told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “Whenever the boss tells me to go out there, that’s when I am going to be out there. Until then, I am going to keep getting my conditioning right and get my knee stronger, take care of everything else.”

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Posted on: August 2, 2010 4:26 pm
Edited on: August 2, 2010 8:03 pm

Kevin Mawae criticizes Titans organization

Veteran center and possible future Hall of Famer Kevin Mawae was ignored as a free agent all offseason. Given the acrimonious CBA negotiations between the players and owners, Mawae’s position as the head of the Players Union could have something to do with his unemployment. K. Mawae (US Presswire)

Mawae spoke with Tennessean reporter Jim Wyatt and said he’s not bitter – he understands the business – but that Jeff Fisher had promised him a roster spot. But Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt has no intention of bringing in the eight-time Pro Bowler.
Most upsetting to Mawae – who, it should be noted, is one of the most respected individuals in football – is the way the Titans have handled the matter.

"It's a classic example of the coach and general manager not talking to one another, or the coach telling me one thing and them making another decision down the road. I am not surprised by it," Mawae said. Jeff told me in April he guaranteed me a roster spot.

Those were his exact words, 'I guarantee that you have a roster spot.' He said that to me twice. But apparently Jeff is not doing contracts. It would be great if the two were on the same page instead of sending me mixed signals.''

What upsets Mawae more than anything: his agent can't get a return call from the Titans. The agent for former Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck voiced similar frustration. Bulluck recently signed with the Giants.

"If I go in and do an interview for a job at a Fortune 500 company or if I am on the short list for a position with another company and I don't make that cut, somebody is going to call me and say, 'Hey, I appreciate your time, I appreciate you coming in and doing an interview but we went in another direction.' That is professional courtesy,'' Mawae said.

"At the end of the day, if your fingers aren't broke, my agent's phone number is only 10 digits and it's a toll free number, too. So it doesn't take but 30 seconds to call my agent and tell him what your plans are. That is not just me, that is for all the guys. … But that just seems to be their M.O.''

--Andy Benoit

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Category: NFL
Posted on: July 28, 2010 10:51 pm

Kiffin talks about Fisher

In case you haven’t seen or heard about Lane Kiffin’s recent appearance on ESPN, here is the main point of what the Trojans head coach said regarding the lawsuit filed against him and USC by the Tennessee Titans:

"I don't picture it as Jeff (Fisher) suing us. It is a lawsuit, so I can't comment very much on it. I feel very good, after a conversation with Jeff Fisher, that he now understands exactly what took place and I think he feels better about it."

Kiffin was asked if his departure from the Tennessee Volunteers perhaps played a role in the Titans’ decision to file a suit. "It's a lawsuit. I can't comment on it,” Kiffin said.

--Andy Benoit

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Posted on: July 27, 2010 2:44 pm

Will Chris Johnson run out of gas?

Lost amidst all the Chris Johnson contract talk this offseason is whether the diminutive third-year running back can be in top form after registering a league-high 408 touches in 2009. ESPN the Magazine recently pointed out that 41 running backs in NFL history have had over 400 touches in a season. On average, those running backs have endured 99 fewer touches the following season. C. Johnson (US Presswire)

Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger isn’t concerned. Asked by The Tennessean if he’d like to lighten Johnson’s load, Heimerdinger said, "I don't know. I don't have that in my mind, really. The ball doesn't weigh that much … You always go into the season hoping to be real balanced (between the run and the pass) and not real heavy run. You'd like to be 50-50, but I think the games and what happens in the game will determine how many times he'll carry. So I don't have that answer right off the bat. When you hand it to a guy and he's averaging six yards a carry, it's easier to give it to him again."

If the Titans find more rest for Johnson, they’ll likely have to turn to other undersized scat backs. Last year’s fifth-round pick, Javon Ringer, is 5’9”, 205. So is Alvin Pearman. The absence of a true power runner could bode well for undrafted rookie LeGarrette Blount, the 241-pound bruiser from Oregon who is trying to climb from fourth string to second or third.

-- Andy Benoit

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