Thursday, November 1, 2012
Jared Cook dodges trade talk
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook says he's happy with his role in the team's offense and only wants to win because winning is "huge."
He just never answered questions Thursday on whether or not he asked to be traded.
Coach Mike Munchak said Monday this is not the time for agents to stir the pot when asked if Cook requested a trade.
Cook spoke Thursday after practice and dodged questions about whether or not his agent asked for the tight end to be traded. Cook says he has to do his job and focus on Chicago (6-1) for Sunday's game. He also said he was upset they lost to the Colts 19-13 in overtime.
"I want to win man," Cook said. "That's the big thing. I want to go to the playoffs for once. I just want to win games."
The Titans haven't reached the playoffs since 2008, months before they selected the 6-foot-5, 248-pound Cook in the third round of the 2009 draft. Asked if winning matters, Cook said that's what the game is about.
"We're not here to lose," Cook said. "We're here to win as many games as we can to make it to the playoffs and make it the best season we can. Winning is huge. ... If we're losing, we'd be nobodies. So if we were winning, we'd be everything. Winning is huge."
The tight end is in the last year of his contract, and the Titans fell to 3-5 with the loss to the Colts. He was on the field for 25 of the Titans' 59 offensive snaps with three catches for 45 yards in the loss.
He ranks second in the AFC for yards receiving by a tight end since the start of the 2011 season with 1,132 yards on 77 catches, and he is averaging 14.7 yards per catch. But he has been on the field for 48 percent or fewer offensive snaps in four of Tennessee's eight games this season.
Cook said he was happy with his role in the offense, and Munchak said Cook has been good this week.
"Every week there are a lot of plays that he has an opportunity to make, a lot of plays," Munchak said. "This is a game where if they are going to take away the run, him and the other receivers are going to have an opportunity to be a big part of this game. He's been great, he's been good all year, working hard in practice. Everything is real good there."
Matt Hasselbeck downplayed the report of a trade request Wednesday, saying he made a joke about it. Hasselbeck also said he knows how he and the coaches feel about Cook.
"If anything, I feel like I should throw him the ball more," Hasselbeck said. "I mean he makes plays for us, and I like him a lot. But he's definitely a big part of what we're doing."
Hasselbeck said teams hit adversity during seasons.
"You pull together and either come together, or you don't," Hasselbeck said. "I feel good about what we've got, especially with him."
Cook currently is tied for second in receptions with Nate Washington (28), but the tight end has a team-high 443 yards receiving. He has two touchdown catches. Cook joked that he should bribe the quarterback with a Rolex watch since rookie Kendall Wright gave Hasselbeck a pair of Beats headphones earlier this year. Wright has a team-high 40 catches.
"There's so many tools," Cook said. "This is an explosive offense to be a part of. It's just hard to get the ball around to everybody."
Cook also said he wants to be with the Titans next season.
"Tennessee is my home, whatever is going on with that just let it happen but we have to finish this season first," Cook said. "We're going to focus on the present . You have to take advantage of the moment you're in."
The injury report grew by one to 14 with left guard Steve Hutchinson getting his usual day off Thursday. LT Michael Roos (appendectomy) did more in practice Thursday than Wednesday, though he still was limited. C Fernando Velasco (concussion) was limited after practicing fully Wednesday. RT David Stewart and RG Leroy Harris (right knees) did not practice for a second straight day. S Michael Griffin (hip) was limited a day after practicing fully, and LB Colin McCarthy (right ankle) did not practice. QB Jake Locker (left shoulder) also was limited. CB Tommie Campbell (left ankle) returned to practice for the first time since being hurt Oct. 11.