Tomlin note part of Washington's motivation

September, 8, 2009
9/08/09
3:11
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky


NASHVILLE. Tenn. -- We won’t know until 90 minutes before kickoff Thursday night whether the Titans and Nate Washington were spinning positive this week or whether he can really return from his hamstring injury to help his new team take on his old.

Here's my news story on Tuesday’s developments.

Washington owns a Super Bowl ring from being part of the Steelers last year, but doesn’t wear it, referring to it as more of a trophy because it’s so big. While the context is important to him, it certainly won’t influence the team’s decision about whether, or how much, he plays.

After he answered a lot of post-practice questions, a beat reporter asked him about a note taped up in his locker. It’s a small card bearing Mike Tomlin’s name printed across the top and dated June 30, 2007.

"Nate,

Where’s your head at?

What’s your expectation for you?

What are you willing to do?

Experience it!

See you soon.

Mike T."



Washington said he’s kept the note handy since he got it and refers to it often because he felt like he’s come up short on work ethic at practice and of plays he could make in games.

“It’s not about coach Tomlin,” he said. “It’s written by him, but it’s about what it says, what it means to me.”

And what if he’s able to use some of the wisdom he pulls from it to help beat Tomlin and the Steelers Thursday night?

“I’m going to repeat it back to him,” Washington said, smiling.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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