Ian Rapoport | Tags:
Steve Hutchinson has been around a while. I’m not gonna call him old, though he did mention, “You’re not going to offend me.” So, OK, he’s old. The Tennessee Titans veteran offensive lineman has been around. But today, he took a trip down memory long, all the way back to his Michigan days.
See, Hutchinson was a junior blocking for a quarterback named … something Brady. Tom Brady, I believe it was. Brady’s New England Patriots visit Nashville Sunday, by the way. Anyway, what does Hutch recall?
“Oh, I knew he was going to be good,” Hutchinson said… and he was off.
“He was always one of the tough guys, then,” Hutch said. “I remember we played Ohio State and they got up on us, I think it was my junior year, his senior year. They blocked a couple punts and got up on us quick. And we were playing catch-up throwing the ball. They were blitzing every play, hitting him in the mouth. He was coming back to the huddle, blood running down his face and didn’t even faze him. You know he was going to be tough.”
Pretty strong. That’s the Brady we see now. Not that I didn’t believe him, but I checked on his memory. He’s right. Michigan beat The Ohio State University, 24-17 when Brady found WR Marquise Walker in the end zone. Hutchinson was pretty pumped with Brady that day. I’d say he wouldn’t be as pumped if he replicated that performance Sunday.
Actually, the Titans have been bracing for Brady and that offense all week. The respect for their weapons, I’d say, is overflowing.
“I probably think the toughest thing is just trying to get back there to the QB,” pass-rusher Kamerion Wimbley told me. “He’s a veteran QB, he knows where he wants to go with the ball, he’s going to get rid of it quick.”
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray had some more gushing remarks, and he meant them. His task, slowing them down, is a serious one.
“I’m honest,” Gray said. “I think you have to beat them with the team. You can’t just win on defense. Look at it like, ‘We’re going to hold them down,’ but if they win, it doesn’t matter. The biggest thing is, go out and give a total team effort. That’s what it’s going to take. You look at it, Brady’s a special dude. I (coached) against him when he was first coming in, look at him, he’s a really, really good QB. He understand what’s going on around him, how to create mismatches. I played against him 10 times with Buffalo. He’s really good at what he does.”
What does it take?
“These guys going to make you bring your lunch, your dinner, and hopefully a snack,” Gray said. “That’s what they do. They’re not going to go out and have a bad play. They’re going to force you into bad plays.”