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Music City Miracles - All Posts An SB Nation Blog for Tennessee Titans Fans
The Browns offered Jadeveon Clowney the most moneyby Jimmy Morris on May 27, 2020 at 9:04 pm
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports Will Jadeveon Clowney ever pick a team? Adam Schefter is reporting that the Cleveland Browns have offered Jadeveon Clowney the most money, but that he hasn’t accepted that offer because he doesn’t want to go to Cleveland: Adam Schefter, on The Next Level on @ESPNCleveland today, had this to say about DE Jadeveon Clowney and the Browns @AdamSchefter @egoldie80: pic.twitter.com/d3URysUQ7M— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) May 27, 2020 I guess this is good news for the Titans. He has passed on getting the most money out there to this point, but if history tells us that most guys take the money in the end. It is very rare that a player turns down security for fit, but hey, maybe Clowney is that guy. Maybe he remembers the glory days in Houston with Mike Vrabel and will be willing to bet that he can recreate that success and get more money next year. At this point I am just ready for him to make a decision. This has been going on for at least 3 years now and there is no pressure on him to make a decision with everything being shutdown.
More than a Mustache: The Steve Underwood Storyby Justin Melo on May 27, 2020 at 2:55 pm
Photo by Getty Images Hey Alexa, can facial hair go viral? The answer would seemingly be no, but that’s exactly what happened when the now-former Tennessee Titans President and CEO Steve Underwood announced his retirement. If you’re a Titans fan, you were likely aware of Underwood’s appearance, and probably made a joke or two about his glorious mustache over the years. But as the rest of the world seemed to discover Underwood’s choice of facial hair on May 8th, his mustache became the talking point for the masses. It was all in good fun, but I’m here to tell you why Titans fans should appreciate Underwood for far more than his mustache. This marks the second time Underwood is stepping away from the franchise, and this time, it’s seemingly for good. Underwood was originally hired by the Titans in 1991, and played a key role in assisting Bud Adams behind the scenes. When the team moved from Houston to Tennessee in 1997, Underwood was there. He worked with three different local governments (Houston, Memphis and Nashville) to ensure that the move went smoothly for all involved. It did, and the Titans made a Super Bowl appearance just a few years later. Underwood may have been a behind-the-scenes worker, but the early on-field success that the Titans experienced in Tennessee wouldn’t have been possible without his hard work and dedication off it. Underwood retired for the first time in 2011, stepping away from an organization that seemingly no longer needed him. He could step away from a taxing role with a smile on his face, knowing that his life’s work was appreciated, and that the organization remained in capable hands. Little did he know that darker years were on the horizon. Bud Adams passed away in 2013 at the age of 90. When the original owner of a franchise passes away, things can get muddy. Without a clear succession plan in place, things became incredibly difficult for the Titans. The organization needed a strong presence to step up to the plate, somebody that could help navigate the uncertainty ahead. Unfortunately, they got the opposite of that when Tommy Smith, the husband of part-owner Susie Adams Smith, was named as the chief decision maker. Smith would last less than two years in the role, but the damage was done. The Titans would win less than 10 games under Smith’s watchful eye. While there’s plenty of blame to go around for how bad the Titans were throughout the Smith era, he was clearly in over his head and made bad decision after bad decision. Remember how much he paid Ken Whisenhunt to become the head coach? Whisenhunt would go on to compile a 3-23 record in his time as the head coach. Yikes. If you’re reading this, I probably don’t have to go into great detail to remind you just how terrible those years were. Despite the less-than-desirable results, Smith ruled the team with an iron fist. The Smith era was, in my opinion, the darkest years of Nashville football. The Titans were a rudderless ship, a league-wide embarrassment with a questionable ownership structure that was consistently under the watchful eye of the league. The on-field results weren’t any better. Members of the Adams family realized the turmoil that the franchise was in, and current Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk stepped up to the plate. Smith “retired” (did he, though?) from his role as President and CEO in March of 2015 after just 18 months on the job. Adams Strunk was named as controlling owner, inheriting the mess that the Titans franchise had become. She needed help to turn around her father’s beloved organization, and a familiar face returned to the fold. That’s right, in the middle of their darkest hour, the Titans turned to a familiar face (or facial hair). Underwood returned to the team just four years after his initial retirement. He was named as the interim President and CEO in March of 2015, with a plan that he would stay in the role for the remainder of the season, while searching for a permanent successor. Except it wasn’t interim at all. Despite the original plan, Underwood would remain in his role up until his retirement earlier this month. In my opinion, these two figures were the turning point that got the organization back on track. In a short period of time, Adams Strunk and Underwood returned pride to a franchise that had quickly lost its way. They brought stability back to a franchise that had lacked any resemblance of it. They collaborated on a number of good hirings (Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel, anyone?), which quickly transformed the franchise. That resulted in a roster turnover that made the team unrecognizable from the debacle that was 2014-15. Being a Titans fan became fun again, both on and off the field. Winning football returned, and the organization began to win even more off the field. The team unveiled new uniforms in an impressive event hosted in downtown Nashville (better known as Broadway) in April of 2018. The event was such a hit that it quickly caught the attention of the NFL’s elite. The event was the brainchild of Adams Strunk, and the league took notice. The city of Nashville was awarded the 2019 NFL Draft and like most things Adams Strunk and Underwood have done since partnering together in 2015, it was a huge success. Fast forward to today, and the Titans are coming off their most successful season in nearly two decades. Don’t look now, but the Titans have completely turned this thing on its head. Not only are they a far-cry away from the embarrassment they were not that long ago, but they actually sport one of the better front offices in the NFL today. Adams Strunk has proven herself as a quality controlling owner. She hired an excellent general manager in Robinson, and Vrabel is one of the better head coaches in the league. Robinson also has two potential future general managers working under him in Ryan Cowden and the newly-hired Monti Ossenfort, who left the Patriots for the Titans. I repeat, Ossenfort left the Patriots for the Titans. Could you have envisioned anybody leaving the Patriots for the Titans back in 2015? I couldn’t have. The Titans organization is filled with quality people, from top to bottom. What a time to be alive. So as Underwood steps away from the Titans organization for the second time, let’s remember him for more than his mustache. Let’s remember him as the man that ensured the team’s move from Houston to Nashville was a painless and successful one. Let’s remember him as the man that couldn’t sit idly by as he watched the franchise he once proudly worked for self-destruct in years of uncertainty. When Adams Strunk was tasked with righting the ship, she looked to Underwood for support and he answered the call. He made a selfless decision to return to the team in the middle of its most troubling time and helped bring stability and success back to the franchise. Underwood now leaves the Titans for the second time, but they won’t need to call on him for further assistance anytime soon. They’re in even better hands today than they were when he first retired in 2011. And for that, Underwood deserves your respect. He may be a mustache-driven meme for many NFL fans, but for Titans fans around the world, he should be much more than that.
Titans News: No More Shadeby Robert Greenlaw on May 27, 2020 at 11:00 am
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Ryan Tannehill was excellent for the Titans in his only season with them, and yet people want to continue to bring up the Dolphins as a reason he won’t succeed. Couldn’t it be likely that Adam Gase is just a really bad coach and Joe Philbin before that was also terrible? I think so. Give Tannehill respect until he proves he doesn’t deserve it. I know we’ve given guys that have proven much less that same respect. AJ Brown is making a lot of friends in the fanbase by getting fans jerseys this offseason. The guy is a superstar. What do the Texans do without DeAndre Hopkins? Probably not win the AFC South.
Titans News: Throw the “X” Up?by Robert Greenlaw on May 26, 2020 at 11:00 am
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports No, do not throw the X up. Don’t even think about it. The only reason it is even mentioned here is because Jim Wyatt makes a joke regarding signing Bryant if Clowney falls through. IT IS A JOKE, PEOPLE. Logan Woodside has something to prove this offseason, and he’s doing as much as he possibly can to win that backup spot behind Ryan Tannehill. Practicing with AJ Brown will help for sure. It also help that he doesn’t have to fix something mechanically with his throwing motion like Cole McDonald does. Bucky Brooks predicts that Kyler Murray will win MVP in 2020. It’s a pretty hot take, but it is the offseason. I just wouldn’t put money on a guy that was the 2nd best rookie QB last year to suddenly surpass the likes of Lamar and Mahomes. Having Hopkins on the team will definitely help him, though. NFL.com wonders if the potential “4th and 15” rule will be more successful than onside kicks were. I’d have to think so, given how futile those kicks were, outside of Younghoe Koo.
2020 NFL Draft: Interview with Titans UDFA TE Tommy Hudsonby Justin Melo on May 25, 2020 at 11:34 pm
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports When an un-drafted free agent is tasked with selecting which team he is to sign with at the conclusion of the draft, a lot goes into that decision making process. Money of course plays a role, but there’s often so much more to it. Which team offers the best opportunity? Where do I really have a chance to make the final roster? And perhaps most importantly, which team did I really vibe with throughout the process? It’s important to analyze culture fit and develop coaching relationships. The Titans recently confirmed the signing of 14 un-drafted free agents, and former Arizona State tight end Tommy Hudson is among them. The Titans are a tough, physical football team and Hudson was one of the toughest blocking tight ends in all of college football. It goes right back to analyzing the culture fit. Hudson recently spoke with MCM about how he formed a relationship with the Titans, what he brings to the table, and what his goals and aspirations are over these next few months as he tries to secure a spot on the Titans roster. I find the fit between Hudson and Titans to be a very good one. JM: Congratulations on signing with the Titans as an un-drafted free agent. What was your draft experience like? TH: Thank you so much. It was a relatively good experience. I didn’t enter the weekend with high expectations. I knew that I wasn’t going to get drafted within the first two days. I had a chance to get drafted on late Day 3. Of course, that didn’t happen. I have a great opportunity in front of me with the Titans. It all worked out for the best. JM: How did the opportunity with the Titans come about? TH: Coach [Mike] Vrabel and his staff reached out to me a few weeks before the draft. We had a good connection. The communication between us just felt right. We continued to build that relationship. Once the draft was over, they were the first team to call me. They called me the second the draft was over. They wanted to work something out with my agent. It worked out really well for me. JM: It sounds like you had some good discussions with them prior to the draft. TH: Yeah, I had a few meetings over FaceTime with coach Vrabel. The general manager [Jon Robinson] was on a few of the calls as well. I also spoke with their tight end coach Todd Downing. I had contact with a good amount of their staff members so I knew that the interest was real. I felt like they really wanted me be a part of their organization. There was a chance they were going to take a tight end late in the seventh round, and there was a good chance it was going to be me. They obviously went in a different direction but they were quick to sign me as a UDFA. TE Tommy Hudson, Arizona State Finished his career top-25 in both pass-blocking (72.9, T-13th) and run-blocking grades (67.8, 24th) among TEs Not know as a receiver, caught 25 of 32 targets for 205 and 0 TDs in the last 3 seasons #Titanup pic.twitter.com/BukiHiG1zl— PFF TEN Titans (@PFF_Titans) April 26, 2020 JM: I imagine you had some other offers on the table, but it sounds like you built some good relationships with the Titans. TH: Yeah, the culture fit here just makes so much sense to me. I look at the way they play football and it really matches my play style. My agent and I identified this opportunity as a place for me to go and compete for a spot on the final roster. They’re all about playing tough, hard-nosed football. This is a very tough football team. Those are also the characteristics that define how I play the game. You don’t get a lot of opportunities at the next level. To have this opportunity here, it just felt right to me. JM: How would you describe your play style? TH: I have a dog mentality. I’m always ready to hit somebody over and over again. I enjoy doing that. I never turn down a chance to engage in physical contact. In fact, I’m always seeking it out. I’m always looking for somebody to block. I’m willing to play the game longer than my opponent is. I’m trying to take their will away. I feel like that’s my best attribute as a football player. I won’t back down from a challenge. I could be smaller than the guy I’m up against, but I’m going to put my face right in there. I’ll live with the results. 225lb Test since there was no proday. #tightend #NFLDraft #StrengthTraining #makeithappen pic.twitter.com/NElgPEkntv— Tommy Hudson (@TommyHudson15) April 15, 2020 JM: You’re certainly not under-sized for that role. You come in at 6-foot-5, 255 pounds. It sounds like you love to block. TH: It’s fun to catch the ball and move the chains, but physically dominating my opponent is more fulfilling to me. You can see the quit in his eyes. That’s the most enjoyable aspect of football to me. Anyone can go catch a wide open pass and pick up a first down. To specifically take control of another man and watch him quit in the middle of a game, there’s no feeling quite like that. JM: I find that very interesting. I can see why you identified the Titans as the right culture fit for you. You don’t find many tight ends in college nowadays that love to block. The position has almost become a bigger wide receiver. How did you develop your love of blocking? TH: I think it was just the role that I was put into. Arizona State didn’t ask us tight ends to do a ton in the passing game. I had to find my role and carve out a way to get onto the field. They really relied on me heavy in the run game. It became a staple of how we got things going on offense. I take pride in the details and in the dirty work. That was a big coaching point from our staff. I trusted the process and I did things the right way. It all worked out for me. It put me in a position to become a good blocker. I’m very detailed with my assignments. I’m very aggressive as a blocker. It’s what separates me from other tight ends who focus on being a receiver first and foremost. That’s not who I am. A lot of tight ends don’t enjoy playing in the trenches. I couldn’t be any more different than those guys. There’s a lot of guys that can catch a football, but there aren’t enough tight ends that have that dog mentality to go put their hand in the dirt and block a three-technique or a nose blocker on at trap block. I can bang heads with linebackers all day long. It takes a different type of dog to do that. JM: I can tell that you’re truly one of a kind. I actually saw a video of you on Twitter pulling a truck. That’s crazy. Are there any other crazy feats of strength that we should know about? TH: You saw that? (laughs). I love to work hard. I’m always trying to get stronger. I work hard every single day. I pride myself off that. That’s what my day-to-day life is all about. I make sure that I always get my workout in. I’m always pushing myself. I don’t need anybody to motivate me. It shows up on the field. It’s going to give me an advantage at the next level. I have a great work ethic. I’m going to continue to grow at the next level. Just pulling things powered by @Someburros@ASUFootball @espn #nextchapter pic.twitter.com/3Usrr43ol4— Tommy Hudson (@TommyHudson15) April 14, 2020 JM: I love that. Is there one Titans players that you’re excited to meet? Maybe somebody on defense that you’d like to practice against, or even somebody on offense that can give you some advice? TH: I’m excited to get into that tight end room. Jonnu Smith is a beast. I’m excited to pick his brain. Every tight end in that room really, it’s going to be fun to meet all of those guys. I’m mostly excited to see Derrick Henry run the ball (laughs). I think he’s just an absolute beast. I’m excited to block for a guy like that. He’s an All-Pro running back that’s just a freaking giant out there. Watching him run over people and finish for extra yards is very inspiring. I can’t wait to block for him. I’m gonna do everything I can to help him pick up some extra first downs and touchdowns. Derrick Henry would be my answer. JM: The way you love to block, I can totally see that. I’ve really appreciated your time today, Tommy. In closing, what are your goals and aspirations over these next few months? TH: I’m just trying to mentally prepare myself for what’s next. When the time comes for us to hit the field, I want to hit the ground running. I don’t want there to be some giant learning curve because I didn’t prepare myself. The game comes at you fast at the next level. I can control my preparation and attention to detail. I’m going to continue to attack the way that I prepare and lay the foundation down so that I can master the offense. I’m going to spend a lot of time studying and watching film. I’m going to learn as much as possible. That’s what my main focus is right now. I’m staying positive. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity. I’m not taking it for granted.