Earl Campbell Jersey

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Surely one of the most popular Texas books of the year is going to be Dave Campbell’s Favorite Texas Football Stories (Texas A&M University Press, $38 hardcover).

Campbell, a Texas sports legend at 93 who launched his Texas Football magazine in 1960, has put together a collection of stories, columns, interviews and reflections covering the best games from the old Southwest Conference, the Big 12 and on into this decade. Campbell also was sports editor of the Waco Tribune-Herald from 1953 to 1993.

Anyone who grew up following Southwest Conference football will find plenty of good reading here.

Campbell begins his survey with games from the 1950s, including the 1954 Rice-Alabama Cotton Bowl game in which an Alabama player stepped off the bench to tackle Rice’s Dicky Moegle at midfield as he was en route to a 95-yard touchdown. It’s one of the most famous, or infamous, scenes in college football lore. I remember listening to Kern Tips describe the action on the radio.

Campbell goes into depth discussing Texas A&M’s Bear Bryant and the 1956 A&M–TCU game played at College Station in hurricane-force winds, a 7-6 Aggie upset that Bryant said he would never forget.

The 1960s brought Texas and Arkansas to the pinnacle of SWC and national football power, culminating in the “best football game I ever saw,” says Campbell, when No. 1 Texas edged No. 2 Arkansas in Fayetteville 15-14 in 1969.

Baylor’s remarkable upset of Texas en route to the 1974 SWC championship is one of the top stories in the section on the 1970s. But that decade also included Darrell Royal’s last game at UT in 1976, the University of Houston’s rise to prominence under coach Bill Yeoman,and Earl Campbell winning the Heisman Trophy in 1977.

Throughout the book, Campbell includes special tributes to some of the top coaches he covered, including Bryant, Royal, Yeoman, Baylor’s Grant Teaff, TCU’s Abe Martin and A&M’s Gene Stallings and R.C. Slocum.

The stories are accompanied by more than 170 photographs and numerous Texas Football magazine covers.

Campbell reflects on his more than 60 years watching Texas football.

“I still get excited when the calendar starts to turn toward late summer and early fall — the time when two-a-days start on the practice field all across Texas. I catch the sound of marching bands rehearsing, I get a feeling of anticipation. I know, like everybody else, that football season is about to start, and I can hardly wait.”

Well, this year, you don’t have to wait until fall. Pick up Dave Campbell’s Favorite Texas College Football Stories and enjoy the action — and savor the memories.

Eddie George Jersey

NASHVILLE, TN - DECEMBER 30: Eddie George, former member of the Tennessee Titans, on the field before a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Nissan Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Colts defeated the Titans 33-17. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Eddie George wants young players to appreciate the moment, but also look to what is next after the NFL.

Four-time Pro Bowler Eddie George isn’t one to put his eggs in one basket, and he hopes that players entering the league take the same approach.

It’s not that George wants players to shirk their responsibilities on the field and take up basketweaving in the middle of the season, but having hobbies and passions outside of just being a professional football player will help once the game is over.

“Learn another skillset that is transferable, because football isn’t transferable to the regular work life,” George said to FanSided’s Mark Carman. “This is just a foundation and you have to use that foundation for greater purposes and a better enterprise that can be more lucrative and successful than your playing days. You can’t think of [football] as the end all be all.”

For George, who played a grueling nine years in the league, starting in 136 of 141 games throughout his career, having those interests outside of football helped him ease into his post-NFL career.

After finishing his career with over 10,000 rushing yards and being named to the College Football Hall of Fame, George is now exploring other avenues that are far from the gridiron. Since retiring, George has taken up an acting career, appearing in television shows and in movies.

Most recently George will share the screen with Lawrence Fishburne in Brother’s Keeper, a true story about the 2009 Abiliene High School football team and how they became unlikely state champions in Texas.

Although acting was never something that was on George’s mind during his playing days, it’s something that he hopes he can continue into his old age.

“This is a profession that if you’re lucky enough and good enough that you can do until you’re 90 years old,” George said. “There’s always a role for somebody and that’s why I chose to do it. I do it through theater, writing on television and I’m going to continue to do so.”

While George has put his playing days behind him, he still offers advice to younger players who seek him out asking for help in their careers. Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry has formed a bond with George through the advice George has given him on how to attack the game as a larger running back.

Steve McNair Jersey

Former Tennessee Titans player Eddie George announces the pick for the Titans as Mississippi wide reciever A.J. Brown during the second round of the NFL football draft, Friday, April 26, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Former Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George honored late teammate and quarterback Steve McNair by wearing his No. 9 jersey as his old team’s second-round pick was announced during the 2019 NFL draft in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday evening:
“Definitely here in spirit, Steve McNair,” George said before the pick was announced.

McNair was killed in a murder-suicide by his girlfriend in 2009.

George and McNair were teammates from 1996-2003 and played for the Houston Oilers at the tail end of their tenure before the franchise moved to Tennessee in 1997. The two were on four Titans playoff teams, two division winners and the 1999 AFC Champion team that took the St. Louis Rams to the limit in Super Bowl XXXIV before losing 23-16.

George was part of a group of former and current players tasked with announcing their former or current teams’ second- and third-round picks. There were a couple exceptions in that group: Namely, the family of fallen U.S. Navy Lieutenant William Gilbert announced the Titans’ second-round selection of Ole Miss wideout A.J. Brown.

Warren Moon Jersey

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) – A former Alabama State football standout was selected for induction into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame.

Terry Greer played at Alabama State from 1976 to 1979, and was the first player to win both the Super Bowl and Grey Cup. He was a 1980 draftee of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, but began his pro career that year in Toronto.

The former Alabama State star surpassed the 1,000-yard mark from 1982-85 and in 1983 became pro football’s first 2,000-yard receiver. That year he finished with 113 catches for 2,003 yards, averaging 17.7 yards per catch and caught eight touchdowns. Edmonton quarterback Warren Moon was the CFL’s most outstanding player that year, but Greer capped his record-setting season with the Grey Cup title.

He helped end a long 31-year championship drought by Toronto.

Greer left Toronto following the 1985 season for the NFL, playing with Cleveland (1986), San Francisco (1987-89) and Detroit (1990). He earned two Super Bowl rings with the 49ers – becoming the first player to achieve the championship honors in the CFL and NFL. He finished with 38 catches for 640 yards, averaging 18.2-yards per catch, with four touchdowns over 50 career games in the NFL.

Greer will be inducted on August 9 in Hamilton, Ontario.

Brett Kern Jersey

Titans punter Brett Kern (Getty Images)

Periods of cold rain, sustained winds around 20 mph from the east-northeast, and gusts of up to 30-40 mph. Hardly a punter’s paradise.

The detailed report from @NashSevereWx, a Twitter account with about 156,000 followers accomplished two things: First and foremost, it gave Brett Kern an accurate, reliable assessment of the dicey conditions to expect at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Dec. 16, when the Titans played the Giants.

Two, it tugged at one of Kern’s lifelong passions.

Yeah, there was always the dream of making it as a punter in the NFL, but there was also the interest in becoming a storm chaser — as in one of those meteorologists who tracks and follows tornadoes, hurricanes and other terrifying natural phenomena, all in the name of science.

Punting seemed safer.

“I told my wife when we first met in college that I was thinking about becoming a storm chaser,” Kern said ahead of the Titans’ game against the Indianapolis Colts on “Sunday Night Football” (7:20 p.m. CT, NBC) at Nissan Stadium. “She said if we want to start a family and have kids, you’re not doing that. So that ended pretty quickly.”

The two-time Pro Bowl punter’s passion for weather, though, has persisted. And his punting is better for it.
Complementary passions

To the north was Lake Ontario. To the southwest was Lake Erie. And at the center was suburban Buffalo’s Grand Island High School, where Kern graduated in 2004.

“We had lake effect up there and a lot of different types of weather,” said Kern, who earned a degree in geography and urban development at Toledo but also dabbled plenty in meteorology. “So I’ve always been really, really interested in it. It’s just a coincidence that weather plays an important part of punting.”

It’s something he plans to pursue after football.

“I think it’d be probably more of a hobby than actually getting into weather on TV or something like that,” Kern said. “Maybe get some cool equipment in the basement and start my own Twitter account or something.”

In the meantime, he’s got eight apps on his iPhone — including a couple that he pays for, like RadarScope and MyRadar Pro — all geared toward preparing him for what to expect on game day. He’ll begin checking them with frequency about 48 hours before kickoff.

And then there is the fail-safe, personalized reports that Kern (and Titans kicker Ryan Succop) gets on Twitter from @NashSevereWx, like the one that helped him in East Rutherford.

“They do a really good job. Accurate, detailed,” Kern said. “A lot of different apps say a lot of different things, so if you can find one source that you really trust and they’re very accurate, they’re your go-to.”

Their history began innocently enough: After @NashSevereWx posted a weather outlook for a game at Nissan Stadium last season, Kern tweeted a thank-you message back. Nashville Severe Weather has been supplying kicking-specific forecasts for games ever since.

Jurrell Casey Jersey

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NASHVILLE – Jurrell Casey likes what he’s heard about first-round pick Jeffery Simmons.

And as Simmons prepares to enter the NFL, the eight-year veteran and four-time Pro Bowler is more than willing to help show him the way.

“Our saying is: ‘If you take care of the team, the team is going to take care of you’,” Casey said. “From day one, if he comes in and has his mind on right, I am willing to help him. My biggest thing is getting him under my wing early, and getting him going fast.”

Simmons, the 19th overall pick of the NFL Draft out of Mississippi State, sounds like a guy who is ready to work, and ready to learn from Casey, who has 46 sacks and 611 tackles in his eight seasons with the Titans.

The defensive linemen should be a force together in Tennessee.

Simmons and the Titans, of course, will have to be patient. Simmons is still recovering from an ACL injury, and the team’s doctors and trainers will get a better idea of his timetable when he reports to Nashville for the rookie camp this weekend, and continues his rehab under the eyes of Titans officials.

Simmons made it clear he wants to learn from Casey, a player he has admired from afar.

“I watched him play and he’s probably one of the best D-tackles in the league right now,” Simmons said of Casey. “I’m not even trying to pick his brain, I want him to pick my brain. I want him to try to see what he could get out of me. I’m mature enough to ask him a lot of questions. I’m here to learn, especially coming in, him playing so long and me being a rookie. I just want to learn — How can I get better as a man first, then as a player on the field.

“I know he’s one of the leaders of the defense. Eventually one day he may be gone, one day I may be gone. Just the traits of a leader that I can learn from him, that’s what my thing is right now. Just take in everything I can take in from him, him being a veteran.”

Casey, speaking from the Titans Caravan on Monday night at Dickson County High School, said he’s already spoken to Simmons on the phone. He’s looking forward to meeting him in person, and playing alongside him.

Casey has liked what he’s seen on film, and loves the thought of wreaking havoc with Simmons.

“I am ready to work with him, and in the next couple of days I know he’ll be coming to town and I’m sure we’ll be sitting down a whole lot and getting to know one another,” Casey said. “I am definitely excited about (having him). When you see a guy that big and see a guy that talented and can move as big as he is, I think he is going to be a great asset for our defense. I am looking for him to come in nice and healthy, and when he gets on that field be ready to work.

“From what I have seen he is going to be a monster – I don’t think (they’re) going to be able to block him,” Casey continued. “The length that he has, and the speed and the strength that he has, it is unbelievable. I’ve never seen a guy move (like that) who is that big and that strong. So to be able to see that and have him next to me is going to make the game that much easier. They can’t double-team me no more.”

Ryan Succop Jersey

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans kicker Ryan Succop has partnered as ambassador with The Dairy Alliance this year visiting students at Watertown Middle School in Wilson county to celebrate the continued commitment for youth health & wellness while encouraging students to ‘Fuel Up’ with healthy foods so they can be active for 60 minutes a day.

Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP60), the nation’s largest in-school wellness program, which is a partnership between the National Football League (NFL) and the National Dairy Council (NDC), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. FUTP60 empowers students to live active and healthy lifestyles by playing or exercising for at least 60 minutes each day and fueling up with healthy foods such as low-fat and fat-free dairy.

The NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 – Tennessee Titans Hometown Grant program, focuses on priority school districts in the Tennessee Titans market. Through the Hometown Grants program, deserving schools in the communities are identified to receive funding to help facilitate sustainable physical activity and healthy eating programs for students. Since 2014, the program has provided more than 700 schools nationwide with funds and resources, resulting in more than one million students staying physically active and making healthier food choices. The NFL has committed $10,000 to Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Titans are providing Watertown, Mt. Juliet and West Wilson Middle Schools the Home Town grant to improve access to healthy eating and physical activity initiates.

“Watertown Middle School was selected to receive the Hometown Grant,” said Laura Marbury, MS, RDN, LD, manager of food and nutrition outreach with The Dairy Alliance. “This is provided through The Dairy Alliance partnership with the NFL, specifically with the Titans locally. It’s a wonderful opportunity to provide grant funding to help the school kickoff the Fuel Up to Play 60 program.”

“We are humbled to receive it and very excited!” said Kayla Price, principal of Watertown Middle School. “We have decided to designate part of the money towards nutrition and the other part to promote physical activity, because we know in order for students to participate in physical activity they must fuel up with nutrition. The grant will be used to add another mobile cart breakfast to help promote a healthy breakfast to more of our students.”

“It’s such a great way to give back to the community locally and work with kids to help impact their health, their school performance and make sure they have access to healthy foods and physical activity every day.” said Marbury.

The NFL Play 60 campaign is designed to tackle childhood obesity by getting kids active through in school, afterschool and team-based programs. The Dairy Alliance and the Titans work together to help make wellness part of the game plan in Tennessee schools through the Play 60 campaign/Fuel Up to Play 60. The program encourages schools to make healthy changes in students’ eating habits and physical activity.

“Being an ambassador for The Dairy Alliance is something I’m really proud of!” said Succop. “We encourage kids to get the healthy nutrition they need and a lot of that is from dairy products. Encouraging kids to live a healthy and active lifestyle is something I’m very passionate about and something I’m proud to be a part of.”

I know for me, it’s an important part of my life to make sure I’m eating healthy and making sure I’m getting exercise. I just feel better when I do those things and I want to encourage our youth enjoy living a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Many schools lack the resources to execute school wellness and this is why The Dairy Alliance, on behalf of dairy farmer families, is proud to support schools in the fight for healthier kids with the opportunities for Fuel Up to Play 60 schools to write for grants to kick-off or enhance their wellness plan in their schools.

The funds from the Hometown Grants can be utilized by the receiving schools in many ways to optimize healthy eating and physical activity based on local needs and interests. This could range from vending machine wraps to support smart snacking, improving school breakfasts and summer feeding programs to physical activity equipment.

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by the National Dairy Council, the Southeast Dairy Association and the NFL. It’s all about getting students to ‘Fuel Up’ with nutrient-rich foods missing from their diets, like low-fat and fat-free milk and milk products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains and to ‘get-up and play’ for 60 minutes a day. New research shows that better nutrition starting with breakfast, coupled with increased physical activity can lead to better academic achievement.

Whether you are a parent, educator or friend, you can have a positive influence and make a difference in a child’s life by encouraging them to eat well and play for 60 minutes a day.

Wesley Woodyard Jersey

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NASHVILLE – Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard was relatively new to the NFL when a veteran teammate gave him some advice that’s stuck with him.

“A wise vet once told me back in the day: ‘You have to prepare for that day, whenever it is’,” Woodyard recalled. “You never know when it comes, but you always have to be ready for life after football.”

The veteran was linebacker Mario Haggan, Woodyward’s teammate with the Denver Broncos.

Woodyard made his comments at Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, where he was taking part in training with Broadcast Boot Camp, on Radio Row. The camp is part of the NFL’s Player Engagement program.

This week, Woodyard is going through another stage of the 13th annual Broadcast Boot Camp, which gives both current NFL players and NFL Legends the opportunity to try their hand at a multitude of careers in the sports media field. Woodyard is taking part in a four-day program focused on careers in sports media, as a guest speaker.

The program, which began on Monday, covers a wide range of topics with instructors from top media outlets as well as broadcast and radio networks, including Big Ten Network, CBS, ESPN, FOX, Yahoo! Sports, NFL Network, SiriusXM, and Westwood One Radio.

Woodyard and other players in the program receive hands-on experience in areas such as tape study, editing, studio and show preparation, radio production, production meetings, and field reporting.

Woodyard took part in Broadcast Boot Camp two years ago, and last year he went through Advanced Broadcast Boot Camp.

At the Super Bowl, Woodyard was one of four players selected to appear on radio stations being interviewed, or as the interviewer.

“Basically you find your niche on what it is you like to do,” Woodyard said. “It’s pretty much getting practice reps.”

“It’s pretty cool to see the shows you listen to on the radio, or see the shows you watch on TV,” Woodyard said. “To be behind the scenes, and see the ins and outs of a show, what it takes to prepare for the show, it’s pretty cool. Taking off the pads and stepping back, it’s a great set-up after football. To me, this is a great way to meet great people and helps you prepare for that years down the line.”

In addition to Woodyard, other participants this week include:

Jason Cabinda: Current Oakland Raiders Linebacker
Darrell Campbell: Producer, NFL Films; Former NFL Defensive Tackle
Matt Cassel: Current NFL Free Agent; 14 yr. vet / NE, KC, MIN, BUF, DAL, TEN and DET Quarterback
Booger McFarland: ESPN Monday Night Football Analyst; Former NFL Defensive Tackle
Torrey Smith: Current Carolina Panthers Wide Receiver

Woodyard, who’s headed into his 12th NFL season, stressed on numerous occasions when speaking about life after football that he’s not rushing it.

Woodyard is coming off yet another season when he led the Titans in tackles.

He wants to broadcast this:

“I have definitely been juggling and contemplating whether I take that coaching route or the broadcasting route right after my playing career,” Woodyard said. “But I have some years left in the tank. This is for down the road. I am not worried about getting here so fast.”

DaQuan Jones Jersey

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Jon Robinson wasn’t looking for bodies.

The Tennessee Titans general manager wanted to get players, guys who would make the team better in 2019 and beyond. That search yielded six selections in this year’s NFL Draft, one in each of the first six rounds. Four play defense and two play offense.

“I think they’re all good football players,” Robinson said. “That’s what we set out to do. We don’t try to bring bad football players in here, or at least that’s not my goal. … I know the coaches are going to try to put the players in the best position to be successful.”

Fitting those players into the 53-man roster, if they prove worthy of a spot, means somebody is going to be squeezed out. Each newcomer is a threat to a veteran’s playing time or possibly even his roster spot.

With that in mind, here are five Titans whose situations this week are not quite as stable as they were prior to the draft:

• Tajae Sharpe, wide receiver: A fifth-round pick in 2016, he was a revelation as a rookie when he caught 41 passes for 522 yards and two touchdowns. Since then, Sharpe (pictured) has missed one full season with an injury and — more notably — the Titans have added plenty of talent at his position. They signed free agent Adam Humphries this offseason and last week selected A.J. Brown in the second round, which gives Tennessee three wide receivers taken in the first three rounds of the last three drafts. Brown follows 2017 selections Corey Davis (first round) and Taywan Taylor (third round).

• DaQuan Jones, defensive end: Jones has been a solid but unspectacular player during his five seasons with the Titans and seemed to get a measure of security last offseason when he re-signed for three years and $21 million. However, since Robinson became general manager, a number of players he has signed have failed reach the end of their deals (see: DeMarco Murray, Josh Kline and Blaine Gabbert, among others). Jones’ pact includes no guaranteed money for 2020, which is when this year’s first-round pick, Jeffery Simmons, should be back to full health.

• Kevin Pamphile, offensive line: He was a full-time starter for two seasons in Tampa Bay (2016, 2017) before he signed with the Titans last season as a backup who could fill in at any number of spots. With the recent release of Josh Kline and the decision not to re-sign Quinton Spain, Pamphile has a chance to become a starter once again in 2019 (of his 35 career starts, 25 have been at guard). He still has that chance, but the competition increased with the third-round selection of Nate Davis, a player some analysts have said could be one of the biggest success stories of this year’s draft.

• Sharif Finch, linebacker: He made the roster as an undrafted free agent last season and appeared in 15 games. Finch never looked out of place as he recorded 22 tackles with one and a half sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in limited duty. He could find himself out of a job this year, though, after the Titans used their final two draft picks on linebackers, D’Andre Walker (fifth round) and David Long (sixth round). Long, in particular, poses a challenge because he is at his best against the run and Finch primarily played in running situations in 2018.

• Daren Bates, linebacker: He is listed as a linebacker but his primary role is on special teams. And in that regard, Bates has been one of the team’s top players for the past two seasons. In fact, his 16 special teams tackles in 2018 exceed the number of tackles he has made on defense for his entire six-year career (13). He is in the final year of his contract, has no guaranteed money and — like Finch — now faces competition from two drafted linebackers (Walker and Long) who certainly will be asked to be major special teams contributors. That, combined with the fact that Marcus Mariota and Taylor Lewan are now on massive contracts, might render a special teams specialist a luxury this team cannot afford.

David Long Jersey

With their last pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Tennessee Titans selected inside linebacker David Long Jr. in the sixth round.

While Long Jr. is certainly a developmental prospect, he could make an instant impact on special teams and could potentially become an important player on defense later on.

“The guy is an instinctive football player. He loves football. He has proved to be a good special teams player,” head coach Mike Vrabel said.

One thing that is most notable about Long Jr. is his 5-foot-11, 227 pound frame, which Vrabel compared to that of Jayon Brown.
Related
Talk of Titans drafting another tight end didn’t bother Delanie Walker

“The size of linebackers has really diminished over the past 10 years. Most recently it is what is playing in college football,” he said. “The more that offenses become spread out, the more that college defenses recruit athletic, quick, smaller backs. We are very comfortable with where we are with Jayon Brown and his development as a linebacker. I would say that David would probably fit similar to Jayon’s size. As long as you give the guy, the player, enough tools in his tool box to play with his skill-set and then try to develop some other things around it, I think that is always something that we are trying to do.”

CBS Sports analyst Pete Prisco gave the Titans an overall grade of ‘B’ after the selection at No. 188.

“Long plays out of control, and while that hair-on-fire styles leads to missed tackles, it also places him near the football frequently,” he wrote. “He’s a little undersized and better against the run than in coverage. Should stand out on special teams immediately.”

On his college career with the Mountaineers, Long racked up 246 tackles, 39.5 for loss, 12.5 sacks, ten pass breakups and two forced fumbles.