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Griffin, Walker, McCluster Greet Fans on Day 2 of Titans Caravan

Posted May 13, 2014

Michael Griffin, Delanie Walker and Dexter McCluster visited Jackson and Collierville, Tenn., on the second day of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan.

A Titans mainstay, a player prepping for his second season with Tennessee and a newbie to two-tone blue kept the Academy Sports + Outdoors Titans Caravan rolling Tuesday.

Safety Michael Griffin, tight end Delanie Walker and running back Dexter McCluster greeted fans at West Tennessee Healthcare Sportsplex in Jackson and an Academy Sports + Outdoors store in Collierville, Tenn.

“The fans are awesome,” said Walker, who appeared on his second Caravan since joining Tennessee as a free agent in 2013. “Being on the caravan with your teammates, you get to learn more about them and just interact with them. Then, you get to see the fans, and when you see the fans, they’re so excited. I think that’s the best part because without them, we probably wouldn’t play football if they don’t come to the games and support us, so it’s always good to see the fans.”

Fans of Ole Miss and the Titans were able to meet former Rebel and new addition to Tennessee Dexter McCluster. Click here for a slideshow from Day 2 of the Titans Caravan.

It was a sentiment shared by Griffin, a first-round pick of the Titans in 2007, and McCluster, who joined the Titans in March after four seasons in Kansas City. Droves of Ole Miss fans, still appreciative of McCluster’s college career with the Rebels greeted him with “Hotty Toddy” and memorabilia, similar to the way that waves of Alabama fans greeted Chance Warmack with “Roll Tide” Monday in northern Alabama when the 16th Caravan opened.

Griffin said he is excited by the scheme that Tennessee plans to run under new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, the veterans who were brought in during free agency and recent draft picks: lineman DaQuan Bowers, defensive back Marqueston Huff and linebacker Avery Williamson.

“You just want to bring those guys along,” Griffin said. “You never know when their opportunity may come. When I was a rookie, we went through injuries and I was put in early. You want to coach them up and build team chemistry, a bond. Competition makes a good team.”

McCluster’s versatility and what it will mean for Tennessee’s offense was also a topic during media interviews and the public stops. He joined a running back group that includes returning veterans Shonn Greene, Jackie Battle and Leon Washington, second-round pick Bishop Sankey and undrafted free agent Antonio Andrews.

“(The running backs) all bring a certain element, a different element,” McCluster said. “We have the pounders, we have the short, shifty guys like myself. We have a variety, so if you have a rotation like that, the defense can’t pinpoint what’s going on.”

Walker joked the nickname “Swiss Army Knife” that’s been applied to him has been shifted to McCluster.

“He does everything at practice. You might see him in the backfield, you might see him in the slot, he can run motion all the way out, so I think just having him on the team is going to put defenses in a void,” Walker said. “You’re going to put in a different type of defense out there. You’re going to have to bring in the nickel or dime and then he can motion back and he can run the ball, so that’s going to be explosive for our offense.”

Quarterback Jake Locker, guard Andy Levitre and linebacker Akeem Ayers were continuing the Caravan Wednesday with scheduled public stops at Shoe Carnival in Paducah, Ky., Kroger in Hopkinsville, Ky., and Academy Sports + Outdoors in Clarksville.

ABOUT ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS:  Academy Sports + Outdoors is a premier sports, outdoor and lifestyle retailer with a broad assortment of quality hunting, fishing and camping equipment and gear along with sports and leisure products, footwear, apparel and much more. The Texas-based company operates 175 stores throughout Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. The Academy Sports + Outdoors philosophy is to deliver an unparalleled shopping experience by providing convenience, offering a broad selection of quality products, delivering exceptional customer service and selling the right stuff at everyday low prices. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com, facebook.com/academy, twitter.com/academy, instagram.com/academy, pinterest.com/academy and youtube.com/academy.

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