NFL Nation: Bryan Pride
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- He's a good listener who doesn't talk back. He's reliable and steady. He's always good for a laugh.
He probably ranks as the offensive linemen's favorite teammate.
So popular is Bryan Pride, his offensive linemates got a special nameplate installed above his locker. They track his weight gains like proud parents. They sometimes put a "Monday Night Football" hat on him and drape a towel around his midsection when reporters visit the locker room.
|He started as an empty Gatorade bottle wrapped in tape. Bryan Pride has grown into a running joke for the Titans' offensive line, complete with his own locker stall and a name plate.|
This morning he weighed in with the rest of the fellas, and he's up to 122.4 pounds. He's on the last line of the official report strength and conditioning coach Steve Watterson passes on to general manager Mike Reinfeldt and coach Jeff Fisher.
"So far, he's been a model guy for the locker room," Watterson said. "He's there, he's steady. It's amazing. I don't know that he sleeps at all. He's there before the first guy gets there, and I swear to you, sometimes I've been here late, 11, 11:30 at night, and he's still here. He's dedicated. I don't think he has much of a life outside of here."
That doesn't mean the Titans don't have to monitor him closely.
"If you don't keep him on track and keep him balanced, he will drift away," Watterson said. "If he gets on a slippery slope, you're in trouble."
Pride started as a time-killer for reserve lineman Daniel Loper, who wound athletic tape around a Gatorade bottle. He took the shape of a football or rugby ball, and the group would toss him around.
"He was very oval shaped and football like," Loper said. "And we were throwing him around to people. It was fun when he was like six or seven pounds. Once he got to 20, it stopped being fun and we quit doing it."
The name is homage to Jacob Bell, the guard who jumped to St. Louis as a free agent who called everybody Bryan. Loper said it was left tackle Michael Roos who had the ingenious idea of making Pride round. Someone found an old Christmas tree stand, sat him on it in front of an empty locker and an imaginary teammate, an honorary mascot and running joke was born.
Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
This will be an abbreviated week for me as I need to disappear for a few days.
Apologies that there will be no chat today. There won't be one next week either, as I'll be at Titans-Lions on Thanksgiving. We will resume on Dec. 4.
The remainder of the week will bring you:
- A back-and-forth between me and Tim Graham, who calls me Brocephus, on Jets-Titans.
- A column on Chris Johnson and Steve Slaton from me later today.
- The weekly Friday Audibles post previewing the weekend's games.
- Scouts Inc. will hit you with several posts in my absence.
- Kevin Seifert has signed up to do a substitute "Reading the coverage" Saturday.
I'll be back and at full speed Sunday from LP Field.
Feel free to fill up the mailbox between now and then.
Onto morning links from around the division.
- The Texans take an eight-game road losing streak with them to Cleveland, says Megan Manfull.
- Defensive end Earl Cochran was put on IR with a toe injury, writes John McClain.
- The most recent installment of guard Chester Pitts' blog.
- An overdue acknowledgement of Stephanie Stradley, a fan blogger at Chron.com who consistently provides me with quality feedback. Here, she ties into Football Outsiders and assesses the Texans' defense.
- Phillip B. Wilson's preview page.
- The Colts are joining the NFL's effort to crack down on bad fan behavior, says Steve Ballard.
- With the same starting five for six straight weeks, the Colts' offensive line is on track, writes Mike Chappell.
- A look at how the Colts are doing in their efforts to position themselves for the playoffs, from Phil Richards.
- Not long ago, new Colts tight end Jamie Petrowski was playing the part of Dallas Clark for the Titans as they got ready to play Indy, says Tom James.
- The transcript of Bill Polian's radio show from Colts.com.
- Indy is third in Dr. Z's power rankings.
- Jack Del Rio and David Garrard understand they are targets for fans' anger, according to Vito Stellino.
- Troy Williamson has fighting words for his former coach, says Michael C. Wright.
- Brad Meester honored for off-the-field efforts, writes Wright.
- Albert Haynesworth has a lot of quality competition for Defensive Player of the Year, according to Clark Judge.
- A giant ball of tape the offensive line named Bryan Pride continues to grow in stature and reputation, reports Jim Wyatt.
- Kyle Vanden Bosch is ready to get back to work, writes Terry McCormick.
- Brett Favre's moxie has Jets fans excited, says Gary Estwick.
1:00 PM ET Miami Buffalo 1:00 PM ET Minnesota Cincinnati 1:00 PM ET Indianapolis Kansas City 1:00 PM ET Tampa Bay St. Louis 1:00 PM ET Cleveland New York 1:00 PM ET Dallas Washington 1:00 PM ET New Orleans Carolina 1:00 PM ET Tennessee Jacksonville 1:00 PM ET Denver Houston 4:05 PM ET New York Detroit 4:05 PM ET Arizona Seattle 4:25 PM ET Pittsburgh Green Bay 4:25 PM ET Oakland San Diego 4:25 PM ET New England Baltimore 8:30 PM ET Chicago Philadelphia