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Monday, March 28, 2011
Babin on pre-lockout talk with coaches

By Paul Kuharsky

Guys want to disappear when football season is over, I understand. But a lot of them resurfaced this time around well before the union decertified and the owners locked them out.

Many readers have found it odd that a couple Titans spearheading Nashville workouts, like Cortland Finnegan, said they didn’t chat with new coaches before the labor impasse reached the point where it wasn’t allowed.

And it is odd that if a guy was in Nashville or even working out at team headquarters that some sort of effort to cross paths for a hello wouldn’t have been made.

Jason Babin, in this piece from Peter Schrager in Esquire, made the lack of introductions seem even weirder. This is Babin talking about the one chance he had to talk to either defensive coordinator Jerry Gray or defensive line coach Tracy Rocker.
ESQ: Have you spoken to any of your old Titans coaches?

JB: Weird situation, actually. The new coaching staff sent me a text one night. I called back, but they never got back to me. That's been the case with a lot of the guys -- one text message at some odd hour, a call back from the players, and no return phone call.

ESQ: Huh.

JB: Believe it or not, the coaches are in the toughest spot. These guys' whole lives revolve around football. They eat, drink, breath football twenty-four hours a day. So for them, this is torture. They obviously want to coach us and get to work, but they have to answer to the owners.

It's almost as if the Titans wanted to reach out, but didn't actually want to make contact.

The Titans cancelled a team meeting where they intended to spell out how things would work if and when there was a lockout for fear of getting in trouble with the league. Perhaps coaches weren’t aggressive in terms of searching out players for hellos for the same reasons.

But it would seem that having been assertive in terms of making one connection before a potential lockout would have been advisable.

If the Titans plan to pursue Babin, who will be a free agent, when there is a new agreement, they’ll be like any other team starting from scratch when they could have at least reached out to him for introductions in February.