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06.10.2019 05:04
The Tennessee Titans are honoring their past by retiring the Nos. 27 Antworten

NASHVILLE Christian Wilkins Jersey , Tenn. (AP) — 9 of Eddie George and the late Steve McNair.George, the franchise’s career rushing leader challenged, the Titans to seize the moment Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts and establish themselves as an AFC power once again.“My message to them was take this game personal,” George said Thursday. “There are games where you take as business, then there are games you take as personal. For me, it was Baltimore. For me, it was Pittsburgh. It was Indianapolis and Jacksonville. It was those games that get your attention because they count twice but more importantly it was a shift of power.”George spoke to the Titans after practice. McNair and George’s numbers will be retired Sunday at halftime of the home opener against the Colts.He told the current Titans former players appreciate three straight 9-7 seasons — the first since this team relocated to Tennessee in 1997.George also made clear these Titans have a chance Sunday to turn the tide in a division they haven’t won since 2008. He mentioned how his Titans took control of the then-AFC Central with a comeback win in Jacksonville in 1999 on the way to this franchise’s lone Super Bowl berth.He believes this is that moment for these Titans (1-0).“Indianapolis for a long time has been a thorn in their side, has been a hurdle they have to overcome,” George said. “And this week in my opinion is bigger than a playoff game. It’s bigger than a Super Bowl because it’s the changing of power. Now they can establish … to say, ‘Hey, we’re for real.'”The Titans are holding a “Fantennial Weekend” featuring George, plenty of his former teammates and other Titans taking part in events, including Sunday’s retirement ceremony at halftime. Neil O’Donnell, who backed up McNair for five seasons, hopes it’s more a celebration than mourning the man killed at the age of 36 on July 4, 2009.“You will always remember No. 9 Michael Deiter Jersey , but you want this for his family and all the people who supported and helped Steve get to where he was as a player,” O’Donnell said. “You want him to have the respect and to retire that number because it’s well deserved.”George thanked controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk for both making him and his family feel welcome and that he and McNair’s careers meant something to the organization.“She’s definitely taken it to another level in terms of reaching back and bringing along guys like myself and Steve and acknowledging us,” George said.Together, McNair and George went 80-48 for a .625 winning percentage between 1996 and 2003, the NFL’s third-best record in that span behind only Green Bay (88-40) and Denver (83-45). The duo helped the Titans reach the 2000 Super Bowl, two AFC championship games, four playoff berths and two division titles.McNair played 11 of his 13 seasons here and remains the franchise’s second all-time leading passer (27,141) behind only Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. McNair’s 76 wins still are a team record. A four-time Pro Bowl running back, George’s 10,009 yards rushing remain the franchise mark to beat.With this retirement, the NFL will have 153 numbers retired across the league. This will be the first No. 9 or No. 27 retired by any team. Of the Titans’ six other numbers retired, all six are members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. George is among 122 nominees announced Thursday for the 2020 induction class.Zach Piller, who blocked for McNair and George, says it’s fitting the men are being recognized for what they did. Piller called the men almost a “yin and yang” with George working hard in the weight room while McNair was busy recovering from his latest injury in the training room.“Somehow they got it done,” Piller said. “Eddie’s over there, he’s intense. He got everybody fired up. I think Steve’s over there waking up from his nap. It’s two different ways to go about it Daniel Jones Jersey , and you can’t argue with what they did and what they accomplished on the field.”Safety Kevin Byard knows the perfect way to cap Sunday’s celebration.“If we want to honor those guys as players, it’s going to be by beating the Colts,” Byard said. It didn’t take long for TJ Linta to select an agent for a potential pro football career.“After an exhausting search, I finally settled on JLSPORTS,” he says with a laugh.The agent there is one Joe Linta, TJ’s father.And also his coach in high school.Joe Linta doesn’t have a huge NFL clientele, but he’s one of the most respected people in the field because of his background as a coach and scout. It certainly didn’t hurt TJ that Joe Flacco is one of his dad’s clients, and the younger Linta happens to be a quarterback.Not a quarterback high on the radar considering he played at Brown and, after graduating last May, spent his final season at Wagner , both FCS schools. TJ didn’t get to throw the ball a ton at Wagner, of the Northeast Conference, in part because of an early-season finger injury that cost him two games, and also because the Seahawks had an All-America running back, Ryan Fulse.The 6-foot-3½, 232-pound Linta was not invited to the NFL combine in Indianapolis Dexter Lawrence Jersey , but he was at a regional combine at Kansas City, an important step in his uphill battle to get noticed.“The biggest challenge for me mostly involves being the underdog in this draft class,” he says. “I wouldn’t want it any other way, though; it pushes me harder to prove myself every day.”He’s proven himself enough to some prominent NFL coaches and talent evaluators that 17 teams sent scouts to Linta’s pro day at Columbia, his father notes.“Let’s look at the plays on film, he plays like a real quarterback,” Joe Linta says. “He has the arm strength and the brain and the physicality, doesn’t flinch in the wake of getting blasted in the pocket.”Then Linta stops his evaluation, recognizing he needs to make it clear he is talking from a football knowledge standpoint, not a familial one.“Yeah, it’s a little weird when calling a general manager or personnel director and talking about your kid,” he says. “But I’m not going to be apologetic. It’s 99 times out of 100 the most important grade for a player is my own; I’ve been doing it for 100 years. In this case, because of the nepotism, I wanted to make sure I did not have beer goggles on. Am I seeing what I think I am?“There are the traits there with TJ: toughness and intelligence, quickness in the pocket, keeping his eyes downfield Deandre Baker Jersey , arm strength and accuracy.”Two keen observers of quarterbacks, former Browns coach Chris Palmer, who was Eli Manning’s position coach when the Giants won the 2008 Super Bowl, and former NFL QB Jim Miller, liked what they saw of TJ enough to identify him as a genuine pro prospect.Palmer saw “a very strong arm comparable to some of the players I worked with in the NFL. I would say his arm strength is a seven out of 10.” The highest mark Palmer ever gave in that category is a nine.“In this throwing session he displayed good accuracy, he carried the ball at chest height with no windup to the delivery,” Palmer adds. “Mechanically, he is very solid, showed very good quickness to catch and throw on slot screens. He clearly displayed a pro level arm.”Miller, now a host on SiriusXM NFL Radio and a knowledgeable evaluator of the position cites TJ “always gets his feet in balance when possible to make an accurate pass. Made off-balance throws accurately when necessary.”“I thought he read coverages quickly to get to the right guy,” Miller adds of highlights against such opponents as Syracuse and Montana State. “He’s oblivious to the pass rush, which you have to be, and reacted when necessary and sturdy in the pocket taking hits.”There are many drawbacks that small-school players, particularly QBs, carry when NFL teams consider whether to draft them or pass and then bring them in for OTAs, minicamps or training camp. Level of competition is among the biggest negatives; only one non-FBS quarterback was invited to Indy Oshane Ximines Jersey , and that was Easton Stick of FCS powerhouse North Dakota State.TJ Linta acknowledges that can be a difficult obstacle to hurdle. He simply doesn’t think that way.“One of my strengths is I don’t see things like that, being intimidated,” he says. “One of my good traits is I don’t really get rattled. One of the most important days of my life, I know, was at the regional combine, but you can’t think like that. I am what I am and here’s what I am.”Like most players on the bubble of getting drafted, Linta might have other avenues to the NFL. With the Alliance of American Football in its first season, which concludes at the end of April, and the XFL launching next year — plus the CFL, of course — there are additional proving grounds.His dad recognizes those — Joe Linta has represented plenty of players who’ve not immediately made the NFL — and also that TJ could see seven rounds of the draft go by without hearing his name.“What I want is for him to have his chance, he deserves a chance to compete and I would like to see him live his dream, as a father. But the pro signs are there,” he says. “Scouting is a very inexact science.”Although Miller isn’t a scout, he looks at film of hundreds of potential NFL players each year. Miller believes Linta could get drafted.“He should be in a camp,” he says. “I would take a flier on him in later rounds.”

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