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Notebook: Titans FB Collin Mooney to Represent Armed Forces as 12th Titan

Posted Nov 7, 2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans fullback Collin Mooney has accepted the opportunity to stand in representation of all who are standing or have stood for America through military service.

The graduate of West Point will be the “12th Titan” during pregame festivities when Tennessee hosts Jacksonville Sunday at LP Field at the annual “Salute to Service” game.

“It means a lot, and when they first talked to me about that, I wanted to be sure that it was the Armed Services that are the 12th Titan and I’m representing them, so it’s a huge honor for me to be able to run out and put that sword at the 50-yard line for all of the Armed Services and for all who have served.”

Mooney learned this week that he is being promoted from 1st Lt. to Capt. in the U.S. Army Reserves.

“It was a huge surprise for me because right before I transitioned into the reserves last year, I had made the list for captain but I didn’t actually get the promotion orders because I transitioned from active duty to the reserves,” Mooney said. “It is a great honor. I was very happy when I heard about it and I’m looking forward to the responsibilities that go along with that.”

The news followed a great week on the ground for Tennessee’s rushing offense at St. Louis, where the Titans rushed for 198 yards. Mooney helped clear the way for Chris Johnson’s 23-carry, 150-yard, two-TD performance and also recorded a career-long 22-yard reception on a screen that he finished with a wallop of Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree.

Mooney played tailback and set the single-season rushing record at Army before fulfilling a three-year commitment. He signed with the Titans in 2012 as an undrafted free agent. He spent most of last season on the practice squad but was activated and had five carries for 19 yards against the Jaguars in the finale last season.

He has played every game this season at fullback and feels like he’s grown into the role and is gaining comfort with the offense.

“You’ve got to get on your block and hold your block but you don’t have to hold it very long with CJ,” Mooney said. “He’s going to hit that hole fast and he’s going to get outside fast. It makes my job easier, and my goal is just to help him do what he needs to do to make plays and let him shine and just do the dirty work.”

Johnson said he likes the speed that Mooney has in getting to the spot where he’s supposed to make the block.

“We’re good. We’ve been working together since camp,” Johnson said. “I think we’re on the same page as far as how to read the blocking and stuff like that because even though he doesn’t have the ball in his hand, he still has to read the defense and know where to get his block on the linebacker.”

Titans coach Mike Munchak said Mooney has played well this season when the Titans have used a fullback and on special teams. Munchak said Mooney does a good job of getting out of Johnson’s way when he is blocking for the speedy back.

“He makes a decision and goes and does the best he can with the decision he made instead of delaying or thinking,” Munchak said. “That’s (when problems occur), when a fullback gets in the way of a running back. I think he’s been pretty good at that.”

SHARE THE LOAD: Johnson said there were plenty of carries to go around between him and Shonn Greene last week. Greene, a five-year pro the Titans signed as a free agent this offseason, suffered a knee injury that required a surgical procedure in the season opener.

Greene carried the ball nine times for 38 yards and turned a screen pass on third-and-1 into a 28-yard gain. He also scored a 5-yard touchdown to end Tennessee’s first possession and converted another third-and-1 with a run play.

“We ran the ball probably 32 times. I don’t think I want to run it that many times,” Johnson said. “If that’s what’s needed and what it takes, and we don’t have anyone else to give me a break, I would never turn down carries, but it’s a situation where you wouldn’t want to go in there (planning to carry it) 35 times. If we run it that many times, he’ll get his carries and I’ll get mine. That’s kind of the formula we’re working toward.”

GOOD STOPPING POINT: Nate Washington has enjoyed wearing jersey No. 85 since his days at Tiffin University, so it’s almost fitting that his streak of consecutive games with at least one catch ended at 85 Sunday.

“I don’t know if I’ve got another 85 in me. I’m just gracious,” Washington said. “Looking back nine years ago, I wasn’t even supposed to be (in the NFL), so I wouldn’t have it any other way right now. It’s an awesome streak but every aspect of the stoppage was great. We stopped with the win, we stopped on my jersey number that I’ve had since college, so I’m just grateful I’m here to get the recognition of 85 straight games with a catch.”

Although he didn’t dent the stat sheet in the receiving column, Washington’s assertive downfield blocking made an impact.  He collided with Johnson to help the running back finish his 14-yard touchdown in the third quarter.

“I should get a tackle for that. I’ve been talking to CJ all week about that. I should get my tackle because I definitely took him down in the end zone, but no, at the beginning of the season, you kind of look yourself in the mirror at the things that haven’t been working out for you in the past. This season had to be different … so the downfield blocking is something I wanted to pride myself in and still be a leader and accountable. Even though I may not have caught a ball, still being accountable is very important to me.”

INJURY UPDATES: Moise Fokou participated in some linebacker drills but didn’t practice. It’s likely that the knee injury he suffered Oct. 13 at Seattle will sideline him for at least another week, Munchak said.

David Stewart (shoulder) and Tommie Campbell (shoulder) didn’t practice for a second straight day. Michael Griffin (quadriceps) “did everything again,” Munchak said.

Click here for the full injury report.

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