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Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ocho Cinco: Self-promotion would make Finnegan huge

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Chad Ocho Cinco thinks Cortland Finnegan needs just one thing to be regarded as a top-flight cornerback: self-promotion.

Finnegan

Finnegan was the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week after two interceptions in the Titans' win over the Jaguars, the first of which showed him to be the Titans' best player on offense or defense at going up and snatching a throw out of the air.

"Open his mouth, just one time," Ocho Cinco advised. "Just say, 'I'm going to shut down whoever.' Just say it. Out of a 16-week schedule, he can probably lock down everybody he plays. Seriously. I'm going off of what I see on film and he's above average as a corner.

How about a chart where he tracked the receiver he expected to face week-by-week, like Ocho Cinco put up a few seasons ago?

"That would take him to No. 1 in the NFL," Ocho Cinco said, clearly pleased with the thought of someone copying his concept. "You don't want to add fuel to my fire, though."

While Finnegan has a reputation for chirping at opponents on the field, he's a low-key, down-to-earth soft-spoken type in the locker room. He's likely to laugh when he hears Ocho Cinco's comments. But it would take a Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation for him to become the guy Ocho Cinco is asking about. I wrote about him as a breakout star candidate in the division not long ago.

More Ocho Cinco on Finnegan:

"He's fast, for one. And then what separates corners in the NFL is when you're able to run, and not just being able to run, but being able to stop and transition. It's very, very hard. That's what separates Champ Bailey and the rest of the greats from the rest because you're able to run at full tilt and transition with receivers at a high rate of speed. Like last week, he was able to beat receivers off of the break twice. Maybe more than that because he had two picks. So that's what makes him special and I'm really looking forward to that challenge again."

He was reluctant to compare Finnegan to Adam Jones, saying they are "two different types of animals altogether." But he did invoke a hallowed sports name while discussing Finnegan.

"Cortland is sort of your Michael Jordan -- he's very, very good and he's not going to be nasty to you, but he's going to smile at you and then kill you at the same time."

UPDATE at 4:23 p.m.

Talked to Finnegan after Titans practice.

"I'm humbled by it. You're talking about an elite receiver in the NFL, and for him to say something good, you take that," he said. "At the same time, you try not to let him butter you up, because on Sunday it's going down, baby."

As for the advice:

"No list," Finnegan said. "...Not my style. I appreciate him, but that's not my style. That's his style and I can appreciate him."