AFC South: Houston Oilers

Kevin DysonAllen Kee/Getty Images
Score: Titans 22, Bills 16
Date: Jan. 8, 2000 Site: Adelphia Coliseum

ESPN.com readers rated the Music City Miracle the franchise’s most memorable play in a landslide vote, and they got it right.

SportsNation

Which is the most memorable play in Titans' history?

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    73%
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    23%
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    4%

Discuss (Total votes: 28,050)

Mike Renfro's non-catch catch in the 1979 AFC Championship Game influenced the creation of the instant replay system and hurt the Oilers badly. Had it gone the other way, maybe the Oilers would have won the game and a Super Bowl. Maybe Bum Phillips would have coached them for more than one more year. Maybe they never would have moved.

Kevin Dyson's fruitless reach for the end zone that came up 1 yard short on the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV is an iconic NFL play, but much more for the Rams and Mike Jones, who made the tackle.

But two "negative" plays never stood a chance against a phenomenal positive play.

The Music City Miracle is a prominent fixture in lists and videos of all-time great finishes in the NFL and in sports.

It was a creative surprise. It pulled a win out of a loss. It sparked a playoff run.

It made or enhanced reputations for coach Jeff Fisher; play architect Alan Lowry; Lorenzo Neal, who fielded Steve Christie's squib kickoff; Frank Wycheck, who threw the lateral; and Kevin Dyson, who fielded the lateral and scored a 75-yard touchdown.

Although it seems clear that the throw didn't go forward, good luck convincing anyone in Buffalo of that.

The lasting controversy over that only helps to make it more memorable.

The most memorable play in the franchise's history.
Mike RenfroAP Photo
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in team history. In the next two days we’ll feature: the Music City Miracle trick kickoff return that won a playoff game against the Bills for the Titans in January 2000; and Kevin Dyson’s desperate, unsuccessful reach for the end zone that came up a yard short of forcing overtime as time expired on Super Bowl XXXIV. Please vote for your choice as the Oilers/Titans’ most memorable play.

Score: Steelers 27, Oilers 13
Date: Jan. 6, 1980 Site: Three Rivers Stadium

Oh, for replay in the 1979 NFL playoffs.

SportsNation

Which is the most memorable play in Titans' history?

  •  
    73%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    4%

Discuss (Total votes: 28,050)

The first version of replay wasn’t instituted by the league until 1986, and it was far too late to help side judge Donald Orr, who ruled that Houston receiver Mike Renfro didn’t get both feet down in the end zone for what would have been a game-tying third-quarter touchdown in Pittsburgh.

The Oilers went on to lose the AFC title game 27-13, failing to get to the Super Bowl with a second consecutive championship-game loss in Pittsburgh.

Houston lost in the playoffs after the 1980 season, too, to eventual champion Oakland, and Bum Phillips was fired as coach after three playoff seasons with a good team failed to produce a Super Bowl appearance.

Renfro’s “catch” would have only tied the game with plenty still to play. Who knows what would have happened from there? Oilers fans would have liked to have found out. Had their team won that game and gone on to a Super Bowl title, a lot could have changed between then and 1996, when the Oilers struck a deal to leave Houston and move to Nashville, Tennessee.

The impact of the play went well beyond Houston.

"It brought about the use of instant replay a lot faster than it would've gotten here," Renfro said in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram piece in 2008. "I do know that."
 
Bum Phillips was one of those people who transcended his job and came to symbolize and characterize a time and a place.

“Luv Ya Blue” in Houston with the Oilers was, in many ways, loving Phillips -- his drawl, his style, his hat and the team he coached.

Now the city mourns his passing.

His son, Houston Texans defensive coordinator Wade Phillips tweeted: “Bum is gone to Heaven-loved and will be missed by all -great Dad,Coach, and Christian.”

As famous sports quotations go, I rank his comment on Don Shula as one of the all-time greats: "He can take his'n and beat your'n and take your'n and beat his'n."

The Oilers lost consecutive AFC Championship games to Pittsburgh to close out the 1970s. In 1980, after a first-round playoff loss, Oilers owner Bud Adams fired Phillips in what he later called one of his most regrettable moves.

This is from David Barron’s obituary of Phillips in the Houston Chronicle:
Former KHOU (Channel 11) sports director Gifford Nielsen, who played quarterback for Phillips in the late 1970s, then worked with him on Oilers radio broadcasts in the 1990s, said Phillips built winning teams by knocking down barriers between players.

“He could take a conservative kid out of Utah, put him with a kid who grew up in the projects in Pittsburgh, a guy from Southern California and a guy from the Deep South, and it didn’t matter what color was their skin, how big they were and what their talent level was,” Nielsen said. “He would bring them together as a team.

“The reason people liked Bum so much is because he was real. He always said, ‘Trust me, and we’ll do things my way and great things will happen.’ When we did trust him, we were successful, and it carried over not only to the team but the fans.

“Whenever we went on the road, people wanted to see Bum Phillips, and it was because of the genuine person he is. That is his legacy.”
Update: The Titans sent out this statement today on Phillips' passing:

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Bum Phillips. He meant a great deal to this franchise, the NFL and the city of Houston, and he was instrumental to the Oilers during the ‘Luv Ya Blue’ era. Growing up in Texas and working his way up through the Texas football ranks, he was a natural match for our team. Those were such magical years, and his leadership and personality helped our team rise to the top. He became an iconic figure on our sideline. Our thoughts are with his family, and we know he will be missed.
I cannot do anything better with this than what Stephanie Stradley did here at her Houston Chronicle Texans blog:
[+] EnlargeBum Phillips
Jamie Squire/Getty ImagesCould an opera about Bum Phillips really make it to New York?
Last April, online fan support helped create the Bum Phillips Opera. Now we need to kick the door down with some more money to get it produced.

The world premiere of the opera is scheduled for March 2014 in New York City. The people putting it together are from Texas, and want to find a partner in Houston to get it here as well. (Let me know if you are someone who can make this happen).

But first things first.

To produce this show, they need to raise $20,000 by the end of the month. With this seed money, it makes them eligible for additional grants. They’ve raised $950 so far.

Here’s the link to donate money to the Bum Phillips Opera. The way that the USA Projects website works is you don’t pay unless it is funded by the deadline. All the proceeds go to the production with no fees taken out. And the donation is tax deductible. Very easy site to use.

Yes, Bum Phillips as the subject of an opera that could see the stage. How many Texans would make a trip to New York to see that? How many New Yorkers who remember the Love Ya Blue Houston Oilers would see it? How many fans of opera versus fans of football? How many people rank as fans of both?

If it doesn't get the financing it needs, these and other crucial questions -- like how a Wade Phillips character will sing, and about what -- could go unanswered.

RTC: Elway was nearly an Oiler

April, 24, 2013
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Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

General manager Rick Smith is ready to make the big decisions that are central to the Texans’ team-building, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

The John Elway-Dan Marino "30 for 30" special prompted McClain to retell the story of how the Houston Oilers missed out on drafting Elway only because of one blown call.

To which I say: I once did the story for The Tennessean, and it featured a big picture of Elway in an Oilers blue uniform.

Like most teams at this stage, the Texans say they are willing to trade out of their first-round pick, says Tania Ganguli of the Chronicle.

A surprise first-round pick projection from Battle Red Blog.

Indianapolis Colts

Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay wrestled a bit over their grading of Andrew Luck a year ago, says Mike Chappell of the Indianapolis Star.

Tight end Dwayne Allen remembers the draft bitterly, as his fall into the third round made him miserable, says Mike Chappell.

To which I say: I like that Allen settled down after a night's sleep and called back position coach Alfredo Roberts to apologize for his tone in their initial conversation.

Breaking down some first-round cornerback possibilities with Marcus Dugan of Colts Authority.

A case for the Colts trading out of the 24th pick from Josh Wilson of Stampede Blue.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Owner Shad Khan knows the Jaguars' plan with the No. 2 pick and approves of it, says Vito Stellino.

Khan sees something magical about Nike and loves the new uniform the company designed including a two-toned helmet, says Ryan O’Halloran.

To which I say: The two-toned helmet is already creating a lot of conversation, and conversation is healthy for the Jaguars.

Some second-round possibilities for he Jaguars at 33 or with a trade down, from O’Halloran.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans are looking to add a press, man-to-man cornerback in the draft, says John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Could the Titans draft an offensive tackle? Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean considers the idea.

To which I say: I expect bounce-back seasons from Michael Roos and David Stewart, and don't think the position should be much of a priority right now.

How guys who have visited the Titans could fit the slate of picks, from Tom Gower of Total Titans.

Jack Pardee left a big imprint on Houston and on the franchise that went on to become the Tennessee Titans.

Pardee, who coached the run-and-shoot Houston Oilers, passed away Monday.

Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon had high praise for his old coach in a conversation with John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

“Coach Pardee was a genuine Texas legend,” Moon said. “He was successful on so many levels. He had such appreciation and respect for the game.

"'How many Texans do what he did?' He starred in high school (Christoval), played for Bear Bryant (Texas A&M), survived Junction and became an All-American. After his playing career (Rams and Redskins) ended, he coached three teams in Texas. That’s about as Texas as they come.”

The Oilers' run-and-shoot had its limitations. But when you see four wide receivers, spread fields and even read options you’re seeing a lot of run and shoot principles at work.

Pardee’s Oilers teams never broke through to a Super Bowl, but they sure were fun to watch.
Pro Football Hall of Fame senior inductee Curley Culp started off with Kansas City, but he made a huge impact with the Houston Oilers, too.

Culp
The six-time Pro Bowler was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year by the Newspaper Enterprise Association in 1975 after helping lead Houston to its first winning season in eight years.

He will be inducted into the Hall in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3, along with six others -- offensive lineman Larry Allen, wide receiver Cris Carter, tackle Jonathan Ogden, coach Bill Parcells, linebacker Dave Robinson and defensive tackle Warren Sapp. Robinson was the other senior nominee.

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News presented Culp at the selection meeting, and John McClain of the Houston Chronicle also led the discussion of Culp’s candidacy.

McClain spoke to Culp leading up to selection day.

“I’m anticipating a great outcome,” said Culp, who resides in Austin. “I’m blessed to be in this position. I was part of a Super Bowl winner with the Chiefs, and those Luv Ya Blue teams were special.

“I’m not sure what I’ll be doing, probably pulling weeds and raking the yard.”

Said McClain this week in New Orleans: “Curley was the epitome of a 3-4 nose tackle. Strong, quick, nasty -- an NCAA wrestling champion who could get leverage and keep it.”

“The Oilers traded [defensive tackle] John Matuszak to the Chiefs in 1974 for Culp and the No. 1 pick they used on outside linebacker Robert Brazile. It was a tremendous trade. Along with Hall of Fame defensive end Elvin Bethea, they were the cornerstones of the Luv Ya Blue defense.”

Culp is the ninth member of the Oilers/Tennessee Titans to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The capsule on Culp from the Hall:
Defensive Tackle … 6-foot-2, 265 pounds … Arizona State … 1968-1974 Kansas City Chiefs, 1974-1980 Houston Oilers, 1980-81 Detroit Lions … 14 seasons, 179 games … Selected in second round (31st player overall) in 1968 draft by Denver Broncos … Denver attempted to switch him to offense before trading him to Chiefs during training camp … Fit in perfectly with Chiefs’ dominating defense … Member of team’s Super Bowl IV championship team in second season … Started at left defensive tackle in Super Bowl win over Vikings and registered three tackles and one assisted tackle … Dealt to Houston Oilers in blockbuster trade during 1974 season … Key veteran leader with 11.5 sacks to help Oilers to 10-4 record in his first full season with club … Winning record in ’75 was Oilers first winning season in eight years and just second in 13 seasons … Named NFL’s defensive player of the year by Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1975 … Culp led defense that helped Oilers earn back-to-back appearances in AFC Championship Game, 1978-79 … Named All-Pro, 1975 … All-Pro second team 1971, 1977-1979 … First- or second-team All-AFC five times … Elected to six Pro Bowls … Born March 10, 1946 in Yuma, Ariz.
Reading the coverage …

An interesting read on strategy in the (still) new construct of overtime, from Brian Burke of Advanced NFL Stats.

Houston Texans

Since an Oct. 23 win in Nashville last year, the Texans are 11-1 in games started by Matt Schaub, who’s on a great streak, says John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

To which I say: Schaub's been giving the Texans whatever they need and they have to be thrilled with his ability to lead.

The Texans remain atop McClain’s NFL power rankings.

Former Houston Oilers coach Jack Pardee is ill with cancer, says the AP.

Indianapolis Colts

Five things to consider as the Colts prepare for the Lions, from Phillip B. Wilson. Among them: Where’s Ndamukong Suh and how can the Colts keep Andrew Luck upright?

Defensive tackle Josh Chapman’s rookie year is a washout because of the knee injury he came into the league with, but he can still be an impact guy next year, says, Phillip. B. Wilson.

To which I say: Too many people got too fired up about the rookie as a potential savior.

Luck is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The Colts signed safety Delano Howell from the Bills practice squad and announced Seth Olsen will return to practice but remain on IR. They have three weeks to decide whether to activate Olsen or return him to IR.

Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have had trouble keeping running backs healthy this season. Jalen Parmele is the latest casualty, with a groin injury that landed him on IR, says Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union.

After a slow start, Marcedes Lewis is getting more involved in the passing offense, says Ryan O’Halloran of the Times-Union.

To which I say: Chad Henne's determined to make this happen and seems to have a sense of how to do so.

The Jaguars signed cornerback Antwaun Molden, receiver Quan Cosby, running back Jordan Todman and receiver Toney Clemons, says O’Halloran.

Key storylines to watch as the Jaguars prepare for the Bills, from John Oehser of Jaguars.com. Paul Posluszny will be a key in stopping C.J. Spiller.

Tennessee Titans

Mike Munchak said firing Chris Palmer was the right thing to do at the right time, says Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. The decision was Munchak's, and now he expects fresh ideas from Dowell Loggains. “If we do play better, then a lot of us will be here next year,” Munchak said. “If not, then who knows what could happen? We get that.”

John Glennon of The Tennessean writes that there "seemed to be a disconnect -- perhaps even a generation-gap problem -- between Palmer and some of his key offensive skill players.” The challenge now is to get the unit to be as good as the sum of its parts.

To which I say: It's hard to project how well they'll be able to do that at this stage, but Loggains certainly can connect with younger guys in a different way.

Firing Palmer does little to fix the Titans, says David Climer of The Tennessean who believes Palmer is a scapegoat.

On Munchak as coach -- and caretaker

September, 4, 2012
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Mike Munchak qualifies as more than the coach of the Titans, he’s a caretaker of the franchise’s history.

So writes David Boclair of The Nashville City Paper in this giant piece.
"As the first coach who also played for the franchise, founded by Bud Adams in 1960 as an original member of the American Football League, preservation of the team’s history despite geographical and sobriquetical divides has been a high priority from the moment he was named Jeff Fisher’s replacement.

"Thus he is -- at once -- coach and curator, strategist and storyteller, motivator and mythmaker."

It’s an interesting double life, though the historical element of Munchak’s job is completely secondary to coaching, and naturally springs forth from his primary focus.

There are lots of Oilers vignettes weaved into the middle of this that some of you will take pleasure in reviewing, and good stuff about why Munchak feels it important to connect with old Oilers.
The Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans “had a player-organized performance incentives pool to reward big plays” with money, reports Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Gregg Williams coached for 11 years with the franchise including a term as defensive coordinator from 1997-2000.

But the players who spoke to Wyatt said that Williams, now at the center of the NFL revelation that the Saints ran a bounty program while he was coordinator there, was not involved.

Current and former Oilers and Titans, including some who played for Williams, said the practice is common in NFL locker rooms. They said their coaches were aware of the incentive pools and didn’t discourage them, but they didn’t organize bonus programs or hand out money for deliberately injuring an opponent.
“That stuff has been going on since Buddy Ryan, and long before that,” said former Oilers linebacker Al Smith, who played for Ryan (Oilers defensive coordinator in 1993) and later for Williams. “Buddy used to put it simple: If you take the other team’s best player out, your chance of winning increases dramatically.

“Gregg felt the same way, but that’s the theme across the league. It was never ‘Go blow this guy’s knee out and you’ll get paid.’ It was just football. It was a defensive mentality thing.”

Wyatt talked to 12 players. Former Oilers/Titans safety Blaine Bishop strongly denied that Williams had any sort of program like the one the league found in New Orleans. (Disclosure: Bishop and I work for the same radio Nashville radio station.)

Former linebacker Keith Bulluck did a good job putting into perspective the whole idea of chasing a quarterback with a financial incentive to injure him.
“No coach that I ever played for ever asked me or any of my teammates to deliberately take someone out either on purpose or for any amount of money. It is football, and at the end of the day it is a strategic game, and as a defender I am trying to get to the ball as fast as possible with a bad attitude and hit the ball carrier as hard as I can within the structure of the game,” he said.

“But you don’t try and inflict injury on somebody. And as far as us going out there to take Peyton Manning out — it is hard enough to get to him, so to take him out in a way in which he wouldn’t be able to come back into the game would be pretty noticeable and pretty absurd. We had a hard enough time just hitting him.’’

It’s a fast game. Guys are paid big dollars to hit hard. What level of extra motivation would be added by pools that might award them a couple hundred or a couple thousand dollars for especially big hits?

I question the professionalism of a guy who needs that sort of boost to do his job well.

But maybe later I will be reaching out to the other seven members of the blog network to see if we want to set up something where we all toss in some bucks and the big entry of the week gets something a little extra.
Antonio SmithBrett Davis/US PresswireThe Texans' Antonio Smith believes the team has finally won over some former Houston Oilers fans.
Following their breakthrough into the playoffs, the Houston Texans face some big questions.

Foremost among them are the contracts of outside linebacker Mario Williams and running back Arian Foster. Williams can become an unrestricted free agent and potentially command the richest contract for a defensive player in league history. Foster will be a restricted free agent who could be pursued by another club.

While general manager Rick Smith and coach Gary Kubiak worry about roster construction, and while many analysts like this one predict continued big things for the franchise, team president Jamey Rootes is looking at growing the team’s loyal following.

He’s already using a theme Kubiak is sure to hit with his players when they reassemble:

“You start back at zero. Nobody gives you anything. You’ve got to go out and earn it again.”

As with any team, a playoff breakthrough marked a significant increase in interest in the Texans.

But because theirs was the first time in the postseason, a lot of people were being exposed for the first time. Rootes wants to ensure the big moments of last season -- an AFC South clinching win in Cincinnati, a home playoff win against the Bengals, and a tough divisional-round loss in Baltimore -- are sticky.

“I thought it would be kind of a slow build, kind of a slow climb,” he said. “But from the time we got on the plane to go to Cincinnati to the time we came home as division champs, the world was completely different ...

“While we’ve had this great base of fans, that being recognized as a winner brought a whole new group of people into our family. Now it’s our job to hold them.”

Rootes cited three great indicators:

  • TV ratings for the two playoff games in Houston shot up to a 36 from an average of 24. That’s an estimate of the percentage of the market watching. The playoff game in Baltimore had a 68 share in Houston, meaning 68 percent of the households with TVs on were watching at that given time.
  • Texans gear was under Christmas trees all over Houston. The team sold more than $1 million worth of merchandise in just December, and Rootes said the Texans are up 200 percent, year over year.
  • National attention was up, as Rootes noticed the Texans being featured in ESPN’s weekly “NFL Matchup” show.

Said defensive end Antonio Smith: “It’s way more intense. The fans have done, I don’t want to say a 180, but the city blew up. The difference is noticeable. I think it’s very important we hold onto those new people, that’s big for any organization, starting to secure a legacy…

“There are still people in their hearts who are Houston Oilers fans, they’re torn in between the Titans and us. We won a lot over. We have to continue to do so, and have the city 100 percent behind us.”

Rootes will latch on to that, campaigning to win over anybody and everybody who’s hasn’t connected or committed to wearing Texans colors.

“Now these new people are exposed to us, which is good,” Rootes said. “We weren’t on their radar before. I think it comes back to the fundamentals. The people that loved us, we were on their radar, they saw what we do: ‘These guys are working hard, they're trying to build a champion, they create memorable experiences for us every time I’m involved with them.’

“We talk about 'create raving fans'; that’s our goal. Do whatever it takes to delight people, and that’s how you conduct yourself, and how you serve people and the experiences you provide. Do great things for Houston.”

It’s marketing spin language, for sure. But it’s an important time for the franchise to make it work, no matter how it’s framed or executed.

While the football side plans how to field the best team possible for an encore performance, the administrative side needs to do the same. To grow the team’s footprint, to ensure that deep roots take hold, Rootes and his staff need to seize on the good feelings that linger and make people feel invested.

The Texans didn’t play a prime-time game last season, so as good as they were they had no national game until Cincinnati visited for the playoff opener.

Houston is sure to be a regular presence in prime time in 2012, when an expanded Thursday night package will expand the opportunity. Rootes said he campaigns with the league and with network executives for the publicity, the best advertising he can get.

“There is such energy in the stadium that the world doesn’t know about, it’s like a local phenomenon,” he said. “We want to expose it to the world, and national television is the way to do that.”

I suspect the Texans will go from invisible on the national slate to regularly featured. The hope is that they can play even better than they did while going 10-6 in 2011.

And, that as they do, an additional layer of fans in southeastern Texas and beyond will be invested in it all.
What key event significantly changed the fortunes of the Titans -- for better or worse? Give us your take and we’ll give you our definitive moment on May 20.

Do you lean happy or sad, positive or negative?

The Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans have extreme moments on both sides of the ledger. So as we look to select only one as decisive, do we turn to the good or the bad?

The Luv Ya Blue Oilers were a wonder, and in 1978 and 1979 they may well have been the second-best team in the NFL. Unfortunately for them, they resided in the same division as the best team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. When they fell short of a third consecutive trip to the AFC Championship Game in 1980, owner Bud Adams regrettably fired coach Bum Phillips.

But if you’re looking for a tough turning point -- one that might now even outscore the other Houston option -- there's the famous playoff collapse in Buffalo in January 1993, when the Oilers blew a 35-3 lead. Rare is a significant collapse in an NFL game, or a playoff game in any sport, where the Bills’ comeback on the Oilers isn’t referenced.

Perhaps for Houston, even that was topped by the Oilers’ departure, but of course in Nashville that qualified as a happy occasion.

And while the appearance in Super Bowl XXXIV was the franchise’s football high point, it became possible thanks largely to the Music City Miracle, an improbable, last-second trick kickoff return that beat Buffalo in the 1999 playoffs.

You’re invited to do better than I’ve done here.

If you vote Other, give us your suggestion in the comments area below.
Reading the coverage ...

Peter King says the Texans are in love with Patrick Peterson and has details of Jeff Fisher’s upcoming climb.

An autographed “Luv Ya Blue” Oilers helmet sold for $2 million at a charity auction.

The second round of mediation is mostly for show, says Mike Freeman.

Houston Texans

The directions the Texans can go at No. 11, from John McClain.

Taking a quarterback high is risky business, says McClain.

Greg Cosell assesses Aldon Smith, via Alan Burge.

Indianapolis Colts

The NFL is prepared to move the date of Indianapolis’ Super Bowl if needed.

Bill Polian’s being honored by Marian University.

Some possibilities at center in the draft, from Brett Mock.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Even with more blackouts it would be too early to worry about the Jaguars leaving, says Vito Stellino.

Are prospects rising or falling or are reporters just catching up to values? John Oehser discusses.

Tennessee Titans

The Titans' draft approach can’t help but change because of the lockout, says John Glennon.

Pondering Ryan Mallett with Jim Wyatt.

David Boclair wonders about how Mike Munchak will deal with Kenny Britt.

Once upon a time: Three combines

February, 24, 2011
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INDIANAPOLIS -- Before Mike Munchak was drafted eighth overall by the Houston Oilers, the Penn State interior offensive lineman didn’t get to come to one scouting combine.

The Tennessee Titans new head coach actually went to three.

“There were three different groups I went to in 82, so unfortunately we had to do this three different times plus a pro day,” Munchak remembered. “It was a lot more difficult on the players. They’ve made it much easier it all being in one weekend, it’s much more efficient for everybody. Come out here in Indianapolis, spend a week here, get all the information you can get and everyone is on the same playing level. It’s changed dramatically in that regard for the better.”

But while Munchak got measured and worked out multiple times, he hardly faced the probing lines of questioning today’s prospects endure.

“I think it’s gotten a lot more intense,” he said. “…It’s a lot more in depth. I don’t remember us even having meetings. They were very minimal if you had one. That’s changed quite a bit. It’s such a big investment in a player you’re trying to find every way to not make a mistake.”

One bullet point of news from Munchak: He indicated the Titans won’t use their franchise or transition tag on anyone. The deadline for that is Thursday. Defensive end Jason Babin looked to have the best chance, but it would have cost roughly $13 million.

RTC: Kampman, Britton rehab updates

February, 16, 2011
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Reading the coverage ...

Houston Texans

Hall of Fame voting is tricky business, says John McClain. And some of his voting rationale.

Indianapolis Colts

Colts.com’s third-quarter review.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Aaron Kampman and Eben Britton are on pace for summer comebacks, says Tania Ganguli.

Can the Jaguars finally make a jump? Steve Wyche has some questions.

The debut of the John Oehser’s O-Zone.

Looking at the Jaguars at quarterback, with Brian Levenson.

Tennessee Titans

Jerry Gray plans to increase defensive discipline, says John Glennon.

Chris Palmer tells Glennon he doesn’t think the Titans are too far off.

New Titans hires give the Titans an old Oilers feel, says David Climer.

Why Palmer was in the UFL last year, from Glennon.

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