Before training camps kick off, a number of players and some coaches will pay tribute to people who helped them make it to the NFL as part of the AFC South Blog’s summer series: “Early Influence.”
Rennie Curran, Titans linebacker
“One of my great influences was my little league coach, his name is Ronnie Benton. I started playing for him Snellville, Georgia when I was 10. We had great years, all of us played together on his team from about sixth grade until we were 13, we only lost six games. He took me to my first Georgia game, which was my dream as a child from the first time I went. He taught me the traditions there and I ended up working hard enough and playing there, 45 minutes down the road. That was a huge accomplishment.
“He was like a second father to me. One of the big things he told us was to control what we could control, and that goes to me today. There are a lot of things I can’t control: my height, or what somebody else does, or who’s in front of me. I know I can control how hard I work, how much extra work I put in, my effort, my attitude, things like that.
“That’s something I take with me on and off the field.
“I always think about that stuff, take out the little league videos. That was something special. For him to watch me play in the NFL now I think is special for him knowing the influence he had on me. Without a doubt he’ll be at my first game.”