JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: August 17, 2014

JOE BIDDLE: Sunday Notes: August 17, 2014 (Image 1)

Random ruminations while wondering whatever happened to Danny Almonte…

  • Titans Coach Ken Whisenhunt got his first real take on quarterback Jake Locker Friday night against the Saints. He didn’t take much from Locker’s time playing in monsoon conditions in the first preseason game.

    “It wasn’t perfect, but there were a lot of good things about it,” Whisenhunt said after the 31-24 loss to the Saints. “The offense in general responded with the first series, going down and scoring a touchdown. That’s what you have to do, especially on the road in a hostile environment.”

    The first-year head coach also said there is room for improvement.

    “I think that we just have to keep progressing with Jake. We need to keep working. Obviously it is very encouraging to see him operate the way he did.”

  • Whisenhunt was not pleased with the Titans defense.

    For the second straight game, they allowed the opponents to score a touchdown on their first possession.

    “We had another long series where we let them score a touchdown. That’s not what we want to do. I don’t think our defense will continue to do that. I think we have to have a greater sense of urgency starting in other games,” Whisenhunt said.

    Former Titans star and Hall of Fame running back Eddie George provided the analysis on the WKRN-Channel 2 broadcast during the Saints opening drive.

    George pointed out the Titans defense was “off balance” and “lethargic.”

    “Do we want (the growth) to happen faster? Yes. To me, it was more about mistakes,” Whisenhunt said. “We still need to learn some of the nuances of the defense. We got two more games to do that.”

  • Pro Football Now broke down every NFL team before the preseason games began.

    It deemed nine teams as “clueless,” including the Titans.

    Others who drew the same fate were Jacksonville (I disagree), the St. Louis Rams, the Bucs, Dolphins, Redskins, Browns, Bills and Raiders.

  • Senior golfer Mark Calcavecchia is still miffed about American Airlines canceling his flight to the British Open played at Royal Liverpool.

    It caused him to miss the tournament.

    “Totally depressed I can’t be at my favorite tournament in the world,” Cal said at the time. “American Airlines killed us for no reason. The weather was fine.”

  • If you want a good high school sports site, try 104.5 FM talk show host Chad Withrow‘s TN Prep Weekly.

    He has a great article on how five former NFL quarterbacks will be coaching at high schools in the Mid-State area.

    You can Google TN Prep Weekly and it is the lead story, or the link is: and that should put you there.

  • Those SEC Media Days voters must not think Tennessee or Vanderbilt have any star quality on their rosters.

    The Vols had one player (linebacker A.J. Johnson) on the media’s first team defense. The Vols landed one player on the offense’s third team.

    Vanderbilt fared even worse. The Commodores didn’t have an offensive player on the first three teams, and they didn’t have any on the defense’s three teams.

    Neither team had a specialist make the team.

    The Vols game against Utah State will give Vols fans an early read on how they will fare this season. If they lose that home game, I don’t see how they will get bowl eligible.

    They have really good young talent, but they have to play like veterans to beat their opponents. They have a tough schedule that doesn’t do them any favors. If Butch Jones keeps landing players like he did in his last recruiting class, they should be able to compete with the best in the SEC East in two years.

    Vanderbilt has better players than many fans think. James Franklin red-shirted many of the players out of a class that was highly ranked and they didn’t play last season. It should pay off in the future.

  • I know one thing. If I had to bat off of Philadelphia pitcher Mo’Ne Davis when I played Little League, she would have sent me back to the dugout just as quick as she did the South Nashville team that lost to her on a two-hit 4-0 shutout.

    She is 13 years old and throws gas. She struck out eight, didn’t walk a batter, as she got Nashville hitters chase the high heaters. She is composed for an athlete that age and in control on the mound.

    Davis and Canada’s Emma March became the first girls to play in the LL World Series since 2004. Kathryn “Tubby” Johnston Massar was the first, back in 1950. It led to a LL ban on girls until 1974.

    Davis got the loudest ovations of the day.

    “It’s unreal,” she said. “I never thought at the age of 13, I would be a role model.”

  • What a tragedy it was when NASCAR driver Tony Stewart‘s sprint car hit driver Kevin Ward Jr., after Ward came out on the track pointing at Stewart after he thought Stewart had wrecked Ward, putting him out of the race.

    Ward had to be out of his mind with rage, as he kept coming out where he should not have been when the right rear of Stewart’s car clipped him and dragged him before throwing him farther down the banked dirt track.

    You can watch the YouTube video until you are cross-eyed, but no one can say they know unequivocally what Stewart’s intention was, and he may not even know.

    What we do know is that Ward would still be alive today if he had remained in his car, or stood beside it until it was safe. NASCAR immediately passed a rule that prohibits drivers involved in a wreck to exit their car until the all clear sign is given. Why that common sense rule hasn’t been in place until now is negligent on NASCAR’s part.

  • According to, five NFL rookies are in the top 20 of the highest selling game jerseys from April 1 to July 17.

    Who is surprised that Johnny Manziel has the NFL’s top selling jersey and he hasn’t played his first regular season game?

    No. 2 is Seattle QB Russell Wilson followed by Denver QB Peyton Manning, 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman.

    The four other rookies to make the top 20? Rams DE Michael Sam (6), Vikings QB Teddy Bridgewater (13), Texans Jadeveon Clowney (16) and Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (18).

    Clowney wears No. 90. That number served former Titans star DE Jevon Kearse well. Clowney has some freakish-like talents of his own.

    Contact Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at

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