Titans Postcard (cont'd)
New Face, New Place
This is the first camp away from Flowery Branch for Crumpler after seven seasons with the Falcons, but the 30-year-old's knees look fine and he's excited to be part of Heimerdinger's two tight end sets and to contribute in the red zone. "Oh yeah, thread the needle, throw it high, I'll get blown up, I don't care, I'll take the hit, I'll take it a lot," said the normally soft spoken Crumpler.
Looking at the Schedule
"We need to have a good start," said Fisher. Standard words from any head coach, but the Titans will have a shot. They have three out of their first four games at home but starting against tough divisional rival Jags and then hosting the Texans in Week 3 and Vikings in Week 4. They have the sixth toughest schedule in the league and are in one of the toughest divisions, the AFC South, that sent three teams to the playoffs last year -- including Indianapolis whom the Titans visit for the last game of the season. They should win more than eight games this season and be in the playoff picture once again.
Memorable Image From Camp
Blame it on the heat. Blame it on being sick of just facing each other for the past two weeks. Whatever the reason, when the Rams offense showed up to face the Titans defense in full pads Wednesday morning these two teams Got. It. On.
The first fight began when Calvin Lowry nailed Torry Holt from behind -- knocking his helmet off -- as he made a leaping grab across the middle. Later, Reche Caldwell lost his helmet after taking a right hook from Keith Bulluck. Kyle Vanden Bosch didn't even need a helmet as he dove into a scrum from the sideline. There was wrestling, facemask pulling, punching and one full on bear hug takedown when Caldwell grabbed Cortland Finnegan and brought him to the ground.
The teams needed an octagon more than a playing field as three fights happened in the span of four minutes. "It's that time of year," Rams coach Scott Linehan explained with a shrug. "Guys aren't in very good moods out here."
After all the brawls the day before, both teams found their inner Zen with a 90-minute yoga session under the bubble on Thursday. Media weren't allowed in, but the guys were noticeably calmer in the afternoon session than the day before. Namaste.
What's with special teams? Kicker Rob Bironas and punter Josh Miller were both out with groin injuries this week forcing third string QB and local hero Ingle Martin to fill in. Martin punted and kicked in high school at Nashville's Montgomery Bell Academy, but the Titans picked up another local, John Vaughn, to sub for Bironas. Vaughn is an Auburn alum and Nashville native who plays for the Orlando Predators of the Arena League.
For being in the Music City, the players seem to like easy listening jams in the locker room. I mean, DeBarge's Rhythm of the Night? But the highlight was hearing the entire front half of the room belting You've Lost That Loving Feeling a la Goose and Maverick from Top Gun. Always classic.
There are two Chris Davises on the roster to keep straight. They're both 24, both 5-foot-10, both wide receivers and both have two years experience. This is where they differ: One Chris Davis wears 16. The other 17. Number 16 Davis is 180 pounds. Number 17 Davis weighs 181.
Besides the two Chris Davises, there are three wideouts with the surname Williams. In actuality, there used to be four but Mike Williams was cut this week after dropping too many passes. Besides Roydell and Paul, the least known Williams is Edward out of Division II Lane College, who put on quite a show Thursday afternoon, pulling down balls from Young, Martin and Collins. He even lost a shoe on one throw from Collins but not his focus. He was projected to only make the practice squad, but after Thursday's performance he deserves a shot at the roster.