Tag:Tennessee Titans
Posted on: September 20, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2011 3:53 pm
 

Eye on Football NFL Awards: Week 2

Posted by Will Brinson


Every week, our NFL experts will hand out the Eye on Football hardware to the best of the best from the NFL week that was.

Week 2 NFL Awards
Expert Offense Defense STeams Coach
Freeman  Romo Wilfork Cromartie  Belichick
Judge  Brady Cromartie  Hanson  Munchak
Prisco  Romo Cromartie  Kasay  Munchak
Brinson Stafford Wilfork  Bailey  Munchak
Katzowitz Jackson Woodson  Akers  Gailey
Wilson  Britt Wilfork  Bailey  Gailey
Week 2's wrapped up now and we saw one of the most interesting two-week swings in NFL history. That's right -- the public perception of Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. He was a choker after Week 1 and now he's suddenly become one of the toughest guys in the NFL. Whether those two are mutually exclusive or not doesn't matter -- Romo wins the Eye on Offense Award for Week 2. It's a well-deserved win considering his willingness to play with a punctured lung (!) may have saved the Cowboys season.

Dan Bailey, the Cowboys rookie kicker, deserves some love too, for punching in a pair of field goals that eventually gave the Cowboys the win over the 49ers. And he got it, as he's the Eye on Special Teams Award winner for Week 2.

Perhaps the flashiest move of Week 2, though, was Vince Wilfork's interception of Philip Rivers shortly before halftime in the Patriots win over the Chargers. Wilfork tipped the ball, made a fantastic grab and nearly found the end zone. It was enough for him to squeak by Antonio Cromartie as our Eye on Defense Award winner this week. (And it also makes for an amazing replay.)

Finally, big ups to the Titans Mike Munchak who won his first game by barnstorming the Ravens -- he also barnstormed his way to the Eye on Coaching award for Week 2. Even if it isn't as amazing as Chan Gailey nearly winning back-to-back weeks with the Bills, it's still quite impressive.

Leave your votes in the comments below or scream angrily at us on Twitter @EyeOnNFL.

Eye on Offense Award
Mike Freeman Clark Judge
Tony Romo Tony Romo, QB, Cowboys
He showed mental toughness and guts this week two things I didn't think were there in abundance. He played with a punctured lung and broken rib. (Punctured freaking lung?) And perhaps in one moment changed his image from pretty boy stat machine incapable of winning the big one into hardcore player. I don't know if Romo has changed permanently or not. I just know I'll never doubt him again.
Tony RomoTony Romo, QB, Romo
He suffers a cracked rib and a punctured lung, then returns to rally the Cowboys to victory? He shouldn't have been in a game; he should have been in Stanford hospital. This should silence his critics for, oh, maybe one week.
Pete Prisco Will Brinson
Tom Brady Tom Brady, QB, Patriots
Can I retire this award? Two weeks in a row I had to go with Brady. He threw for 423 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions against the Chargers. I wanted to go somewhere else, but where? He might win this thing every week. We know he's the leader in the MVP race already.
Matthew StaffordMatthew Stafford, QB, Lions
Stafford started slow again on Sunday, throwing a pick against the Chiefs. And then he got his evisceration on, helping Detroit roll to a 48-3 redemption beatdown for Gunther Cunningham. Stafford threw for 294 yards and four touchdown passes ... and it might have been more if Detroit hadn't been up by so many points in the second half.
Josh Katzowitz Ryan Wilson
Vincent JacksonVincent Jackson, WR, Chargers
Last week, I selected Cam Newton after he threw for an obscene amount of yards in his NFL debut. This week, he threw for an even obscener amount of yards. But, once again, the Panthers lost so I turn in the direction of Jackson. Though maybe I should have picked Tom Brady last week, Jackson was fantastic against the Patriots, recording 10 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Maybe New England should have tried doubling him every once in a while.
Aaron Rodgers Kenny Britt, WR, Titans
It was easy to make fun of Britt during the lockout because he spent much of his time going from one legal entanglement to another. But when he's on the field and healthy, he's among the best wide receivers in the league. Against the Ravens Sunday, he caught nine passes for 135 yards and a touchdown as the Titans made easy work of the Ravens, 26-13. Also worth noting: Britt inflicted this damage without much help from Chris Johnson, who rushed for 53 yards on 24 carries.
Eye on Defense Award
Freeman Judge
Vince WilforkVince Wilfork, DL, Patriots
If he's under 400 pounds, I'd be stunned. On a light day, he's 3-fiddy. Minimum. Despite that girth, I've said for years that Wilfork, pound for gigantic pound, is the most underrated athlete in the NFL. His blubber hides the fact that he moves far quicker than you'd ever think. This was the case against San Diego when he lept that big ass into the air, picked off a pass and rumbled down the sideline. Easily the best play of the week.
Antonio Cromartie Antonio Cromartie, DB, Jets
So the Jets don't sign Nnamdi Asomugha and get Cromartie as the booby prize. Some booby prize. He has two interceptions, 149 all-purpose yards on five touches and a reason to make Jets' fans think they'll be OK without Nnamdi.
Prisco Brinson
Antonio CromartieAntonio Cromartie, CB, Jets
He had two picks, one almost for a touchdown, against the Jaguars. Not bad for the "other" corner. Cromartie will get a lot of opportunities to make plays playing opposite Darrelle Revis. He made the most of it against Luke McCown Sunday. Of course, it helped that McCown was horrible.
Vince WilforkVince Wilfork, DL, Patriots
Woodson and Cro had great games, but against inferior teams -- Wilfork was the absolutely difference maker on a day when Albert Haynesworth didn't show up. His interception, which (sadly) didn't end in a touchdown, was one of the most athletic moves I've ever seen from a defensive lineman.
Katzowitz Wilson
Charles Woodson Charles Woodson, CB, Packers
It was deemed Heisman on Heisman crime when Woodson intercepted Cam Newton twice (and also recovered a fumble). More importantly, Woodson helped settle Green Bay’s defense after the Panthers jumped out to a 13-0 lead. Playing without Tramon Williams by his side, Woodson continued to impress in the 14th year of his eventual Hall of Fame career. 
Vince Wilfork Vince Wilfork, DL, Patriots
He got the first interception of his NFL career when, just before halftime, he batted a Philip Rivers pass into the air before hauling it in and rumbling 36 yards. With seconds in the 2nd quarter, Tom Brady complete two quick throws to set up a Stephen Gostkowski field goal that gave the Pats a 20-7 lead. The 10-point end-of-half swing sealed San Diego's fate.
Eye on Special Teams Award
Freeman Judge
Antonio CromartieAntonio Cromartie, CB, Jets
You can tell something great is about to happen with Cromartie. He just looks on the verge of becoming maybe the best return man in football. The Jags may not be the best test since the franchise is hurting right now but on the first play of the game he returned the kickoff 39 yards. That helped the Jets score a first quarter offensive touchdown, the first one in a 16 games.
Jason Hanson Jason Hanson, K, Lions
He played in his 297th game for the Lions, breaking Bruce Matthews' longevity record with one team. What's more, he played all those games with the Lions, a club that makes changes like McDonald's makes burgers.
Prisco Brinson
John KasayJohn Kasay, K, Saints
When the Saints lost Garrett Hartley with an injury, they turned to the 41-year-old Kasay. He is in his 21st season and appeared to have moved on with his life. So what does he do Sunday? He makes three field goals, including one from 53 yards. You have to love the old guys.
Dan BaileyDan Bailey, K, Cowboys
In a week with just one return (Michael Boley's fumble recovery to the house Monday), a kicker needs to win. Dan Bailey, for knocking down the game-tying and game-winning field goals in a crucial victory for Dallas, with the pressure of being a Cowboys kicker AND a rookie, deserves it.
Katzowitz Wilson
David Akers David Akers, K, 49ers
Akers hit three extra points and just one field goal this week. But the field goal was a record-breaker. In the always-tough Candlestick Park Akers nailed a 55-yarder, the longest kick in stadium history. Yeah, San Francisco didn’t win the game, but props to Akers for a record-breaker.
Dan Bailey Dan Bailey, K, Cowboys
The rookie honked a 21-yard field goal on the Cowboys' first drive, but he nailed a 48-yarder as time expired in regulation to tie the game. And he calmly converted a 19-yard chipshot to give Dallas its first win of the season Sunday.
Eye on Coaching Award
Freeman Judge
Bill BelichickBill Belichick, Patriots
The best coach of all time again has his Patriots in the mix of the best teams in the NFL. Lots of work needed to fix that defense but he'll get it done. He always does. The best thing about Belichick this week? The show that aired chronicling his daily life. It gave a rare look at a coach few people know well.
Mike Munchak Mike Munchak, Titans
Not only does he score his first pro win; he does it at the expense of a Baltimore team that just obliterated Pittsburgh. I never saw this coming. I bet the Ravens didn't, either.
Prisco Brinson
Mike MunchakMike Munchak, Titans
His team lost the opener, and didn't look very good in doing so, but Munchak made his team bounce back and upset the Ravens in Week 2. The Titans have been a run-centric team, but Munchak let Matt Hasselbeck throw the football to beat the Ravens. It was Munchak's first victory as a head coach.
Mike MunchakMike Munchak, Titans
There's little reason to think the Titans could succeed in a year where change is especially detrimental. Even with RB Chris Johnson stalling out, Munchak got his team prepped enough to pick up his first regular-season win as an NFL head coach by beating down the previously high-flying Ravens.
Katzowitz Wilson
Chan Gailey Chan Gailey, Bills
Just like we all predicted, the Bills are 2-0 after dominating the Chiefs in Week 1 and completing a fantastic comeback victory against the Raiders in Week 2. Gailey, in his second season, continues to turn around a moribund franchise that hasn’t been relevant since Marv Levy. The Bills still probably won’t beat the Patriots and the Jets, but, with Gailey in charge, they’ll certainly have a better chance.
Chan Gailey Chan Gailey, Bills
I was on the Gailey bandwagon and after a come-from-behind win over the Raiders I see no reason to hop off now. Buffalo scored 21 fourth-quarter points to outlast the Raiders by three, and in two weeks, they've scored 79 points (they didn't score that many points until Week 5 of the 2010 season). If the Bills can beat the Patriots this week, I'm running for president of the Chan Gailey fan club.

Posted on: September 18, 2011 6:52 pm
 

Titans fans boo Chris Johnson in win over Ravens

Posted by Will Brinson



On Sunday, Mike Munchak get his first career win as a head coach thanks to the Titans steamrolling the Ravens, 26-13.

The Titans moved to 1-1, but there's got to be some concern with the performance of Chris Johnson, who got a big new contract from the Titans after a prolonged holdout, and who rushed for a paltry 53 yards on 24 carries.

His performance was so lackluster that Tennessee fans started booing the franchise running back during the team's win.

"It didn't really bother me at all," Johnson said, per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Perhaps it doesn't bother Johnson now -- his team's 1-1 after the victory Sunday. But they should probably be 2-0. Even if they were undefeated, though, it's pretty hard for Johnson to justify his performance thus far in the season given that he refused to show up for training camp and even tried to refuse to "only" take enough money to make him the highest-paid running back in the NFL.

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Posted on: September 17, 2011 8:24 pm
Edited on: September 17, 2011 8:25 pm
 

Chris Johnson: Ravens were 'trying to hurt me'

                                        (US PRESSWIRE)
Posted by Ryan Wilson

It was hard to tell in Week 1 when the Titans faced the Jaguars, but running back Chris Johnson is back with the team after holding out for a new deal during training camp and the preseason. He rushed for just 24 yards on nine carries in the loss, and things don't get any easier this week when the Ravens come to town.

Baltimore is fresh off whipping division rival Pittsburgh, 35-7, and after the game some Steelers players accused the Ravens of playing dirty. Not wanting to be left out, Johnson added his two cents, pointing out that the Ravens tried to hurt him, too, back during a January 2009 playoff game.

“I wouldn’t say they are a dirty team,” Johnson said Wednesday, according to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt. “I guess it was a playoff game, and when the playoffs get here teams do what it takes to win. …

“They were trying to hurt me a little bit,” Johnson continued. “But the play I actually got hurt on, it was a fair play, somebody landed on my ankle the wrong way and I fell back the wrong way. It was a fair play when I got hurt.”

To recap: the Ravens were trying to hurt Johnson, but as it happened, he ended up tweaking his ankle on a perfectly legal play.

While Johnson doesn't consider Sunday's meeting a chance for payback, Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray spoke frankly on the matchup.

“They’re trying to cut you and do those things,” Gray said earlier this week, via the Tennessean. “You’ve got to make sure you’re doing something that’s hopefully going to hurt them, too. You can’t just be the recipient of everything. You’ve got to start doing something that’s going to get you back on track and hopefully they’ll tone that stuff down when you do something else.”

Meanwhile, Baltimore head coach Jim Harbaugh has no issue with the way his offensive line blocks.

"The blocking scheme we're talking about is one that almost every team in the National Football League runs," Harbaugh said. "We've been running it for years. Some teams do it better than others. The block is absolutely legal. It's 100 percent ethical and there is no danger whatsoever with the way the block is being executed.”


The Baltimore Ravens are coming off a dominate home victory against the Steelers, they will look to do the same on the road when they visit the Tennessee Titans this Sunday at 1 PM ET only on CBS.

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Posted on: September 9, 2011 3:25 pm
 

NFL allows players to wear special 9/11 apparel

Posted by Will Brinson

There's been a lot made about some of the clothes that NFL players received from Reebok to honor the 10-year anniversary of 9/11.

That's primarily because guys like Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Bears linebacker Lance Briggs tweeted out pictures of their gear (Briggs is seen to the right) and essentially said they didn't care if they got fined, they were wearing the gear during Sunday's games.

Very good news comes from the NFL, then, as the league informed the clubs that players could wear the gear honoring the tragic circumstances of September 2011.

"NFL confirmed to clubs this morning that players may wear special shoes/gloves from NFL licensees for Week 1 games," tweeted Michael Signora, the NFL's VP of Football Communications.

Of course, that doesn't mean that anyone can go out and buy red, white and blue shoes and throw them on for Sunday's action. Presumably Reebok will need to ship the gloves and shoves to the players (or the players can request them I would guess) and then and only then may they be worn.

And Hasselbeck's picture of the back of his shoes which are, I think the same as Briggs. But he gets the best shot of "Never Forget" on the cleats.



Per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean, Hasselbeck will donate his shoes after the game to Team Red, White and Blue, a charity that assists wounded veterans and their families.

Hopefully, many other players will follow his lead and help to drum up charity work after showing their support for those that were senselessly taken from the world and for those that gave their lives to help others.

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Posted on: September 6, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 10:50 pm
 

David Garrard's agent: QB has 'gotten some calls'

Posted by Will Brinson

David Garrard was stunningly released on Tuesday afternoon by the Jaguars, and, this might not come as "news," but he was as surprised as everyone else.

According to his agent, Al Irby, he was "shocked" even, because they believed Garrard was starting Week 1 for Jacksonville.

"Been assured that the job was his this year," said Al Irby, Garrard's agent, said, per Tania Ganguli of The Florida Times-Union. "That's why we're all shocked, and so was he. This had to be a last minute decision, that's the only thing I can say. I don't think these guys would purposely tell me one thing and [do another]."

Perhaps the most logical reason for waiting so long to release Garrard? The Colts situation at quarterback -- though it stinks to wait so long for Garrard to get on the open market for his own personal reasons, he might have been a nice fit for the Jags division rival Indy.

The 2011 Jaguars
But given that the NFL is a quarterbacks league that doesn't feature all that many good quarterbacks, it stands to reason he'll find work somewhere. Which is why it makes sense that, also according to Irby, he's "gotten some calls."

"The system's going to do what it's going to do," Irby said. "He has gotten some calls, they know there's some interest. David can still play it's obvious. He knows he's gonna have options and he's gonna just sit back and let the offers come in and make a decision."

There are still plenty of teams that need quarterback. The 49ers brought in Josh McCown due to their concern with Alex Smith as a starter, and wouldn't that be a potentially ironic landing spot given that Luke McCown took over as the starter for Garrard?

The Panthers are rolling with Derek Anderson as their backup, and the Carolina quarterbacks coach Mike Shula had some serious success with Garrard when he coached in Jacksonville from 2007-10. Seattle's quarterbacks coach, Carl Smith, was Garrard's offensive coordinator in Jacksonville for two years, from 2005-06.

The Ravens (Tyrod Taylor) and Raiders (Kyle Boller) could both use a capable backup. Tennessee might be interested at the right price to help protect the need to shove Jake Locker into a starting role if Matt Hasselbeck gets hurt.

So it's not surprising to hear that teams are inquiring about Garrard's availability. The only question is whether it's too close to the start of the season for another team to really make the investment in Garrard worth the cost.

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Posted on: September 2, 2011 11:53 pm
 

Chris Johnson wants all of Tennessee's reps

JohnsonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

Now that Chris Johnson has been paid – and paid quite handsomely, mind you – he realizes he’s going to have to start earning his four-year, $53.5 million ($30 million in guarantees) contract rather quickly. Which is cool by him.

“I’d like to get all the reps, that’s just the type of player I am,’’ Johnson told the Tennessean. “At the end of the day, it is more than just about the big contract and getting all the money. That’s the business side.

“But the type of player I am when I am out there on the field, I want to be the best and when it is time to win I want the team to count on me. I want to put the team on my shoulders and steer us to victory.”

Johnson returned to Nashville on Friday to sign his new deal and meet with his coaches, and on Saturday, he plans to practice with his teammates. And as far as his goals this year? Aside from helping his team to the postseason, he, not surprisingly, is planning to rush for 2,000 yards (you might recall that he said the same thing last year but managed “only” 1,364 yards).

But until then, he can count his money as the richest running back in the game.

“It looks like it is a great deal for both sides,” said Joel Segal, Johnson’s agent. “I think Chris got a great deal, I think the Titans got a great deal.”

And soon enough, Adrian Peterson will get a great deal as well. And maybe -- just maybe -- Peyton Hillis as well.

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 5:51 pm
 

Peterson will benefit from Johnson's new contract

PetersonPosted by Josh Katzowitz

You know who’s really happy about Chris Johnson’s new mega-extension (the four-year, $53.5 million deal with $30 million of guaranteed money that we told you about earlier? Yes, Chris Johnson, of course.

But the second-happiest person might be Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Last week, the Vikings press corps asked Peterson about Johnson’s holdout in Tennessee. “Pay the man,” Peterson said, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Now that the Titans have, Peterson is set to cash in as well. Probably at an even higher rate.

Peterson, who was the highest-paid back in the NFL before Johnson inked his new deal, will make $10.72 million in this, his contract year. But Peterson obviously wasn’t in a hurry to sign a new deal without seeing what Johnson agreed to first. Now that Johnson has set a new standard among running backs and with Peterson set to be a free agent after the 2011 season, Peterson likely will look at Johnson’s guarantee and go even higher.

As the newspaper writes, “Peterson is in perpetual competition with Johnson. He hates it when people say or even suggest Johnson is the league's best running back. The Vikings could let Peterson play out the final year of his contract at $10.72 million this season and then stick the franchise tag on him for about $12 million next season. That would save money, but that also comes a likely giant mess.”

Mostly because it would upset Peterson.

And with a new franchise quarterback in Christian Ponder set to take over the team, and considering Peterson is still only 26 and probably has a few more productive years left in his body, the Vikings don’t have much of a choice. They’re going to have to pay him, and they’re going to have to pay him well.

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Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:27 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 3:18 pm
 

Titans, Johnson agree to 4-year, $53.5M deal



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Chris Johnson has a new contract. According to the Tennessean's Jim Wyatt, the Titans and Johnson agreed to four-year, $53.5 million deal with $30 million in guarantees. It took all of training camp and almost the entire preseason, but one of the NFL's best running backs will return to Tennessee's backfield in time for the start of the regular season to do what he does best: take pressure off the offense and put it squarely on opposing defenses.

Last month, Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said that the organization was willing to make Johnson the NFL's highest-paid running back. Johnson wanted more, and the stalemate continued until Thursday.

Wyatt writes that Johnson was scheduled to make $1.065 million in 2011. With an average salary of $13.5 million, his contract not only makes him the NFL’s highest paid running back, it also puts him in a category among the game’s “elite” players.

Chris Johnson Gets Paid
Wyatt continues: The highest paid running backs in the league make roughly $9.5 million to $10.5 million per year annually over the first three years of the deal. Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson is scheduled to make $10.7 million in the final year of his contract. Last month, the Panthers reached a deal with running back DeAngelo Williams that gave him $21 million in guaranteed money.

Johnson and the Titans met last week but the two sides remained far apart on a new contract. On Wednesday there were reports that there was finally "positive movement for the first time," and, a day later, Johnson has a shiny, new deal. Now the running back will be under contract for the next six years through 2016. 

The 24th overall pick in the 2008 draft, Johnson led the NFL in yards rushing the past three seasons. In 2009, he became only the sixth man in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards and ended the year with 2,006 yards.

The Titans, who wrap up the preseason Thursday night at New Orleans, wanted Johnson to at least have a few days of practice with new quarterback Matt Hasselbeck in a revised offense under coordinator Chris Palmer and new head coach Mike Munchak. The only other running back with any NFL carries is Javon Ringer with 59 in his career, and he has been hurt most of the preseason. Rookie Jamie Harper from Clemson started the past two preseason games for Tennessee.

Fullback Ahmard Hall said Tuesday that Johnson would have some work once he does arrive to learn the changes in Palmer's offense, especially with the different terminology. "You're going to have to think," Hall said, according to the Associated Press. "You're not going to just be able to roll in and hit the ground running as if coach (Mike) Heimerdinger were still here. Coach Palmer has put in a lot of good things, bu the language is different. He's definitely going to have to think. The sooner he gets in the better."

With Johnson's contract now out of the way, all that's left is to get Tennessee back to the playoffs. That journey starts in earnest on September 11 when the Titans face the Jaguars in the regular-season opener.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com