Dear MCM/Titans fans,
It has been an interesting week to say the least. I would like to give my condolences to Kenny McKinley’s family. That is a tragedy to lose a life at such a young age. It really puts into perspective how short life is and the blessings we have waking up each day to experience this phenomenon called life. Also, I would like everyone to continue to pray for Jason McCourty as he is dealing with his injury to his forearm. I am wishing for him to have a speedy recovery as his presence on the team this year has been one of class, maturity, and consistency. I am sure he will be back as soon as possible and contribute to this team as much as he was doing before, if not more. Heard Stafon Johnson is making some more progress and is not of need of crutches to walk right now. That guy is truly a warrior and he continues to amaze and inspire me every day.
I will start off with talking about the week preparing for the Giants. We all knew that they would present a unique challenge for us on the perimeter because Eli Manning is a very good quarterback with capable receivers. I felt I actually got better through the weeks of practices going on the scout team and going against our receivers. So I felt improved going into the weekend. It still been tough adjusting to the time demands faced by us during the week with me having just football to concentrate on. But I am surely but slowly getting used to this change and learning how to manage my time and take care of things.
On to the game we just played. I was very happy that we pulled off the win. It was a big game for us, especially against such a formidable opponent. I thought our offense came up with big plays when called for, highlighted with Kenny Britt returning home and not disappointing his family and friends. CJ was himself and Vince was efficient. I thought special teams were excellent. Marc Mariani continues to show his play-making ability on returns, just waiting for him to take on to the house, which I am sure he will do at least once this year! Rob Bironas and the coverage teams were great as well. Limiting their returns and converting on the field goals we needed at that time, especially with their kicker missing crucial field goals.
Defensively I thought we had a solid day. I would like to say that the 386 passing yards by Eli Manning seems really bad, but you have to put into perspective. He passed the ball for a season high 48 attempts because they were trailing most of the game and had opportunities to do so. His next highest number of attempts was 30 against the Panthers. Then he had his lowest passer rating of the year so far. He only had 8 yards average on his throws, while he had an 8.8 average against the Panthers. So in context, we did a decent job against him. We stopped the run for the most part as well. Big shout out to Jason for getting his first NFL INT and he did it back in his home front to. I had a feeling he was going to get one and he did (you can ask him yourself, I told him in the hotel the day before). Also to Marks for getting an INT. But once again our safeties and Cortland played very well and I would like to give Griffin special recognition. The forced fumble by the goal line was very clutch and a big play for this team, and then he covered punts, which he did to let me save energy to play corner, and downs it on the 1-yard line. That is not too mention the big hits he had during the game as well. So overall, I felt we did a good job, but we need to improve, as we are about to face a very good opponent.
As for me, I got my first real action of the regular season, due to the unfortunate injury to Jason. It definitely came as a surprise to me and I was definitely thrown into the fire early. I definitely made some mistakes, but it was mistakes I needed to get out of my system now than later. The vets and coaches relied on me to come through for them and I think I responded well for the most part. I had a couple opportunities for some plays, but they were out of reach, literally, a couple of times. Got the fumble recovery thanks to Griff. But the experience was priceless and I was truly fortunate to be able to help out the team. It was a great, but essential learning experience for me. It was a pleasure going against that offensive group and I feel it prepared me for what I am to face coming up. I need a good week of preparation and I feel confident I will be ready to go for as long as I am needed to go for. I am not sure of the exact extent of Jason’s injury or even know what the coaches will do in these coming weeks. I just know that I have to be ready for what ever they need.
So going into this week against the Denver Broncos, which I am excited to play against. This team is one of my friend’s favorite teams since we were younger so I have played attention to their organization. I trained with Demaryius Thomas and look forward with the possibility of going up against him in a real game. They have a very good offense, in which Kyle Orton just threw for over 400 yards, so we will have our hands full again. I am going to prepare this week as if I will be the starter, but I have not been told if I will be or not. It is up to the coaches and I am going to ride with whatever decision they make. I am just blessed and extremely appreciative that the coaching stuff has faith in me as a rookie to contribute in so many ways.
Lastly, what about those Bruins! This may make some of you mad, but I can’t leave this post without mentioning my alma mater. They beat the #7 rated Texas Longhorns. They played extremely well and made the whole Bruin alums and me very proud. Akeem Ayers was a big playmaker as usual and is going to be a first rounder sooner or later. But the win also gives me bragging rights to Griff, Ahmad, Bo, and Vince. They were all so disappointed their team lost and I loved it, especially Griff who has been giving me a hard time about the Bruins. To see the look on his face after the game was priceless. So hopefully we gained some respect and I will be rocking my UCLA gear all week as my locker is right next to Griff, so he will be seeing UCLA all week.
Enjoy a great week everyone and may you continue to count your blessings. God is good and he has been providing for me in so many ways that it is unbelievable. Be prepared for a great game at LP field this Sunday.
Alterraun Verner #20
Follow me on Twitter: @alvern_1