Titans figure cursing by coaches comes with territory
It’s all the *@$*%# talk right now in the NFL, thanks to HBO’s Hard Knocks ’10: Training Camp with the New York Jets.
[picapp align=”left” wrap=”true” link=”term=Rex+Ryan&iid=7643325″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/7643325/afc-championship-new-york/afc-championship-new-york.jpg?size=500&imageId=7643325″ width=”234″ height=”351″ /]Jets coach Rex Ryan (left) has been dropping F-bombs as though he spent time as an assistant to Bobby Knight. He’s saltier than the Dead Sea. The only NFL player to drop more bombs is Terrell Owens, but those are with his hands, not his mouth.
“Everybody pretty much knew Rex Ryan was gonna try to take over that series and become the star anyway so that’s not surprising,” Titans fullback Ahmard Hall said.
So along comes that noted rabble-rouser former Bucs and Colts coach Tony Dungy to stir the pot. Instigator Tony Dungy is as oxymoronic as jumbo shrimp or understated Chad Ochocinco.
Nonetheless, Dungy went on The Dan Patrick Show and said the following about Ryan’s colorful language: “I personally don’t want my players to be around that. I don’t want to be around that. It’s hard for me to be around that. If I were in charge, no, I wouldn’t hire someone like that.
“Now, I’ve been around ‘F’ bombs, so it’s not like it’s new. I just don’t think that has to be part of your every-minute, everyday vocabulary to get your point across.”
The Titans have a few coaches who can curse up a storm. Defensive line coach Jim Washburn (below right) could make a Hell’s Angel blush. Offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger can be as colorful as Picasso.
[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=Jim+washburn&iid=9486853″ src=”http://view3.picapp.com/pictures.photo/image/9486853/nfl-titans-training-camp/nfl-titans-training-camp.jpg?size=500&imageId=9486853″ width=”234″ height=”243″ /]“Coach Washburn is pretty hyper out there,” Hall said. “Coach Heimerdinger is pretty hyper out there. But everybody has their own personality. Our running backs coach, Craig Johnson, he doesn’t curse.”
“ ’Dinger isn’t really that bad unless you get him worked up,” guard Jake Scott said. “Wash is just Wash.”
The NFL without cursing would be Letterman without Shaffer, clam chowder without potatoes, Chris Johnson without braids and a grill. No, it’s not the most essential ingredient, but it would be noticeably different without it.
Scott has a unique perspective. He was drafted by Dungy and the Colts in 2004 and spent his first four seasons under him.
“There really weren’t many (coaches) who swore there because he didn’t like it,” Scott said. “Most coaches … occasionally you’re gonna hear that stuff. It’s football.”
Typically there’s more swearing in the rap music heard in the locker room than ever comes out of any coach’s mouth.
“Guys who are bothered by it (swearing) keep it to themselves,” Hall said. “They tell me about it under wraps.
“Coach Sherm, Sherman Smith, a couple of years back (Smith was the Titans running backs coach from 1995-2008), he never cursed. He was the spiritual leader of the team. If guys said something around him he’d say, ‘Brother, please don’t say that in my presence,’ because that’s how he lived his life. There are guys in here who live on the straight and narrow who don’t like that kind of language spoken around them. Yet, they still understand this is a different atmosphere. So many different personalities, different backgrounds, people raised differently, so you have to accept certain things.”
Scott isn’t quite sure what to make of all the cursing or the fussing over it.
“Everybody in here is a grown man,” Scott said. “They’ve been around it before so they gotta get used to it. I guess that’s a little bit the nature of football. Whether it’s really that professional … I don’t know. We are professional football players and in most professional settings people don’t scream profanities at each other.
“It is what it is. They (Ryan and the Jets) win some games over there so he must be doing something right.”
*@$*%# right he is. Or so he’d tell you.