NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans players, coaches and fans know multiple faces of this week’s foes.
Former Titans/Oilers and current Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, along with St. Louis assistants Dave McGinnis, Joe Bowden, Chuck Cecil, Ray Sherman and Frank Bush, all have ties to the Tennessee franchise, and former Titans Cortland Finnegan (2006-11), Jared Cook (2009-12), William Hayes (2008-11) and Will Witherspoon (2010-12) are all with the Rams.
|The Titans are preparing to face Cortland Finnegan for the first time. The cornerback was drafted by Tennessee in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft and spent his first six seasons with the Titans.|
While the connections are numerous and run deep, the challenge that the feisty Finnegan presents may be the most anticipated because it piques the interest of offensive and defensive players.
“Oh man, I’m going to have to get two days of sleep,” receiver
Washington played against Finnegan (drafted by Tennessee in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft) once in 2008 when the receiver was in his final year with the Steelers. The in-game matchups have been more recent for Titans TE
“He’s a good player, but he likes to talk. If you let him talk and get in your ear, he can throw you off your game. I tend not to pay attention to him and he still talks,” Walker said. “He makes plays and he’s been doing it a long time, so I’m going to have to bring my A-game against him. This year, I just feel like talking back to him, so we’re going to see what happens.”
“Normally on defense, you come sit down and go over the plays,” Griffin said, “but it’s going to be interesting to see Cort out there and what his antics are going to be this week because he normally goes into a game plan looking for a certain person to get under their skin.”
Finnegan has played outside and at the nickel position for the Rams this season, similar to what he did with the Titans in 2011.
“He’s tricky in the nickel. I think he’s one of the best nickels in the game because he is crafty,” Tennessee offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “He’s a wily vet, he’s seen a lot. He is willing to take a gamble, so you always have to worry about him. Cortland’s still a tremendous football player. He’s the definition of tough as a secondary guy.”
Finnegan said during a conference call this week that he is looking forward to the matchup. Click here for the transcript.