[Masthead] Overcast ~ 59°F  
High: 71°F ~ Low: 49°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Johnson: Titans show that they're 'No. 1' in NFL at something

Monday, October 4, 2010

Denver quarterback Kyle Orton gets rid of the football just before taking a hit from Tennessee defensive end Jason Babin (93).
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
NASHVILLE -- Slowly but surely the Tennessee Titans are becoming one of the least classiest organizations in the NFL.

That's a reputation I, as well as all Titan fans should not be happy about.

Tennessee's Cortland Finnegan has let it be known he wants to be the dirtiest player in the NFL and Denver quarterback Kyle Orton is ready to second that thought.

"We were under siege maybe a little bit in the backfield, but I think for the most part we were the tougher team today," Orton said. "You always hear about how tough they are and all of that stuff. I don't think they are tough. I think they are cheap and it was one of the cheapest games that I've ever seen out of some of those players. I thought the refs did a great job of keeping it under control, but when we've got Chris Kuper with his helmet off, getting punched and all of that stuff, it's ridiculous. If that is the type of player that Cortland Finnegan wants to be, well then he is a cheap player--he is not a good player."

I don't agree with Orton's comments. They may have been the "luckiest" team instead of the "tougher," but nonetheless they won the game and that's what counts.

The Titans are the most penalized team for personal fouls in the NFL and entered this past Sunday's game against the Broncos with the most personal foul/unnecessary roughness penalties in the league and lead all teams with fines in the amount of $47,500 already this season.

Look for that fine total to increase by leaps and bounds after this past Sunday.

Just a year later after Titan owner Bud Adams waved his "middle finger" to opposing Buffalo Bills fans from his owner's suite, Tennessee defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil showed his version of the "bird finger" to the game officials in plain view of the CBS cameras and once again the Titans are the laughing stock of the NFL.

I'd much rather be writing about winning games and championships than the middle finger, but such is the case.

Just a short time after the incident occurred, a reporter sitting near me in the press box noticed that Cecil's gesture had already been posted on YouTube.

Tennessee cornerback Cortland Finnegan (31) brings down Denver wide receiver Brandon Lloyd.
(T-G Photo by Danny Parker)
On a day when outstanding plays were the highlight for most teams, the best Titan highlight was a coach and his middle finger.

Given that New York Jets coach Rex Ryan paid $50,000 for the privilege of showing a middle finger to fans at an offseason MMA event in South Florida, Cecil will be facing a much stiffer penalty.

Cecil's fine came down Monday at reportedly $40,000.

Adams paid a reported $250,000 for flying his middle finger.

This won't be the first fine imposed on Cecil by the NFL. Last year he was fined $20,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct during a loss to the Chargers.

At some point someone in the organization is going to have to take control of the situation and quit making excuses for all the unnecessary behavior both on and off the field as well as on the sidelines.

From time to time, coaches are criticized for not using all their timeouts in a game.

I wonder if Cecil forgot he had one finger left?

-- Gary Johnson is a Times-Gazette sports writer. He can be contacted at gjohnson@t-g.com.

Gary Johnson
Point by Point