Titans finally get on the field
Posted: Wednesday January 26, 2000 03:45 PM
On Monday, they secured hotel rooms and sifted through seemingly endless ticket requests. On Tuesday, they met the media and were given the playbook for Super Bowl XXXIV.
On Wednesday, the Tennessee Titans finally did something physical. They practiced for the first time as AFC Champions at Georgia Tech.
And that meant braving the Atlanta elements, which included temperatures in the low- to mid-30s, with a stiff wind.
For most Titans, the less-than-Super weather is just another annoying distraction to overcome. But for a few, it was perfectly fitting.
"I think this is how it ought to be," tight end Jackie Harris said inside a frigid tent adjacent to the Titans' hotel. "I think it keeps the grittiness of football . . . It makes me tougher."
"I don't think it will be a problem because everyone will bundle up and we'll be looking like the Sta-Puft Marshmallow man," linebacker Barron Wortham said.
One player who actually welcomed the cold was quarterback Steve McNair, whose injured left big toe will be closely monitored all week.
For McNair, the wintry conditions serve as a makeshift ice bucket. "This is a good treatment for it," McNair said. "As long as my toe is cold, that's what I do in rehab anyway."
Seen and heard
The most unfortunate Titan at Wednesday's media roundtable session was offensive lineman Jason Layman, one of three Tennessee natives on the roster.
Layman arrived in Georgia expecting weather more representative of the South, and was dressed only in a T-shirt and jeans. He was mercifully dismissed before the 75-minute session ended.
Head coach Jeff Fisher said if the Titans need a long-range, last-second field goal on Sunday, power-legged punter Craig Hentrich would get the call instead of Al Del Greco.
For Hentrich, having that opportunity would top one of his favorite sports moments -- when he played 18 holes of golf with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley.
"I shot a 68 that day with six birdies and a double bogey," Hentrich said. "It was one of the greatest days of my life."
When RB Eddie George arrived in Atlanta, one of his first duties was to renew acquaintances with an old friend and college teammate -- Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace.
"He's not only a talented athlete, he's also a great guy," George said.
Replied Pace: "It's a shame one of us isn't going to get the win. But we're both happy and excited to be here."
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