On Wednesday we noticed that Will Witherspoon had been excused for non-injury reasons, and now we find out why: Witherspoon's mother, Nora Lee Cooper, passed away unexpectedly at age 56. Fisher says the LB wants to play, and it's looking like they could simply aim to reduce his workload on Sunday. Our hearts go out to Witherspoon in this time of mourning, and I hope that he is able to find some peace with this devastating loss.
Adam Schefter is tweeting that Kevin Mawae has announced a press conference at 4:00 this afternoon, and there's every chance in the world he's calling it to announce his retirement. If so that would be a tough end for a guy who is a definite Hall of Famer. I'm sure he would rather go out on his own terms after one more run at glory, but that's just noting the cards for everyone. You have to keep in mind that when Mawae was drafted out of LSU in April of 1994 Kurt Cobain had just died, O.J. wasn't a murderer,
Morgan Freeman Nelson Mandela wasn't president of South Africa yet and the Chunnel wasn't completed yet.
Nashville is a place that's no stranger to music legends, but it's tough for anyone to top the man who's been here off and on for the past few years: Robert Plant. Plant had a huge hit with this duet album with Allison Krauss, but now he's got a new Americana-style album that's pure Nashville circa 2010. Recorded just down the street from LP Field (and my old home) at Woodland Studio on 5 Points in East Nashville, and featuring the heavy input and performances of Nashville legend Buddy Miller, Robert Plant & the Band of Joy is a heavy-hitter. Here's an early single, Angel Dance.
If you want to hear some things from the players on this team that will make you feel better, I highly suggest you read this article from the Chattanooga Free Press:
"I’m not saying we needed last year," the defensive tackle said of the Titans’ 0-6 start and 8-8 final record in 2009. "But some of the young guys needed to see how important hard work is to winning. I think everybody’s got their focus back this year."
Follow us through the jump for an unusually bountiful day of links...
Fisher continues to play coy with who will start as the second CB. It'd be a stunner if Verner got the nod, but it also might be the best choice. McCourty is still the front-runner, but Fisher is keeping quiet in the hopes of getting a competitive advantage on Sunday.
David Boclair previews the Titans-Raiders match-up this Sunday, including this good note:
• Only eight defensive tackles in the NFL have had nine sacks or more in the last two seasons combined. Two of them, Tony Brown and Jason Jones (nine each) currently play for Tennessee. One of the others, Albert Haynesworth, played for the Titans in 2008.
The Titans are planning on doing what almost every team does when they play the Raiders: stay away from Nnamdi Asomugha. That's exactly how Asomugha has made the Pro Bowl his home away from home despite getting only one INT per year since 2007.
Jeff Pearlman, a journalist who's former employers include The Tennessean, has a new hit piece on Albert Haynesworth. There are so many vitriolic inaccuracies in here that's it's a bit embarassing for a journalist with Pearlman's credability. Highlights include: that Albert was terrible last year (see here for proof otherwise via Superhorn) and the idea that Albert is a worse sports figure than Latrell Sprewell and Bobby Patrino. I know there's a lot of reason's to be hating on Albert, but at some point you can cross the line between reasonable complaining and whining. Pearlman needs binoculars to see reasonable on this one.
Richard Deitsch breaks down the NFL broadcasting landscape for the new season.
Ryan Fagan of the Sporting News is doing a 5 Questions piece with Vince Young, and he's soliciting MCM readers for questions.Just about anything is fair game (other than the Heisman and time-sensative questions). If you have a good one, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to have your questions used!
Antwan Odom left here for a medium-good sized contract in Cincinnati, and he was one of the best DEs in the league last year before rupturing his Achilles in week 6. Now though, Odom is looking at a suspension after failing a PED test. For his part, Odom denies that he cheated and is appealing the suspension to the league.
Have a great weekend, and GO TITANS!!!