Notes, Quotes

The Sports Xchange

September 05, 2018 at 1:08 am.

–Of the four undrafted rookies that made the Titans roster, perhaps none of them had been through more than outside linebacker Sharif Finch. Finch, who played college football at Temple, left camp for a few days during the first week of practices because of the death of his father, who suffered a heart attack four days after Finch arrived in Nashville. His father’s death came on the heels of his mother’s death from cancer two years ago.

“You know, it’s been a roller coaster emotionally, but, man, it’s a blessing, having an opportunity to play with my teammates and being a part of this roster. I can’t even describe it. I was elated and just excited to be getting an opportunity to play,” Finch said. “No doubt, I feel like my mom and pop were up there looking down on me and helping me to get this opportunity.”

–Another long shot who beat the odds to make the Titans roster was cornerback Kenneth Durden, who wasn’t even with the team when training camp began.

Durden came in after the Titans’ preseason opener against Green Bay, and was assigned the jersey number (38) of Michael Este, who had just been released to make room for Durden.

Despite coming in as almost an afterthought, Durden made the absolute most of his opportunities and did so right way, knocking a pass away from Bucs receiver Mike Evans in the joint practices on one of his first days in camp.

“It was really hard coming in and guys already knowing the plays and the playbook and me starting from scratch and learning on the fly,” Durden said. “But in the time I put in with coach in the mornings, I caught up pretty fast.”

Titans general manager Jon Robinson, who had had Durden on the practice squad for a brief time last year, noticed the cornerback’s play right away in camp.

“He seized the opportunity. I sat down with him last week and said, ‘Hey, you have a chance here. You have to bring it every single day.’ I think that he went out to practice and had an interception and a pass breakup. He took that to heart. He’s been fighting for a couple years to make a 53-man team. Again, there’s another one. It’s a testament to him for showing up every day and earning it,” Robinson said.

–Tight end Delanie Walker: It took Delanie Walker seven years in San Francisco of languishing as a second tight end before he finally bloomed when he came to Tennessee. There is little doubt that Walker has been one of the Titans’ most valuable players each year since coming to Nashville in 2013. In 76 games with the Titans, Walker has caught 356 passes after catching just 123 in 99 games as a 49er. Walker has been the Titans most productive pass receiver since coming to the club, and continues to be the go-to guy for quarterback Marcus Mariota.

–Linebacker Harold Landry: Before suffering a high ankle sprain against Pittsburgh in preseason, Landry was showing the type of “bend” and pass rushing skills that had the Titans believing they had a draft-day steal when they traded up in the second round to take him. Landry should be back soon, even if he misses the first week or two of the season, and the Titans are hopeful that he can continue to build on what he did in preseason.