by Don Wassall
The Titans have a fair amount of White backups on the opening day roster, but just 3 White starters, making them one of the more dismal outfits in the affirmative action project known as the NFL.
Since some black players (Larry Johnson being one) have admitted that they play harder for black coaches than white ones, Jeff Fisher’s strategy may be to surround Vince “All He Do Is Win” Young with as many players from the same racial background as possible. If so it’s not a bad idea, as anyone who observes the league with objective eyes can’t help but notice that black players rally around their own. Certainly, the league’s few White receivers and running backs must be aware that the often carefree tackling skills of black defensive players become much more focused when they have the ball in their hands.
The Titans were 0-6 last season — including a blowout in New England that defined the term “giving up” — when Young was named the successor to Kerry Collins as Tennessee’s starting quarterback. “Concidentally” the team instantly played much harder, nearly making it to the playoffs behind Young’s skill set (which includes poor throwing accuracy, running like a deer in headlights when pressured, and a 9 on the Wonderlic test).
All three of the team’s White starters are on the stalwart offensive line, which gives Young great protection and which opened up the holes through which Chris Johnson scampered for over 2,000 rushing yards in 2009. Former Indianapolis Colt Jake Scott is the right guard. He’s in his seventh season out of Idaho. Mississippi State product Dave Stewart holds down right tackle, while 6-7 320 pound Michael Roos is the left tackle.
G Ryan Durand, and tackles Mike Otto and Troy Kropog are backups. Tennessee and New England are the only NFL teams on which all the tackles — until recent years always a White dominated position — are White.
Craig Stevens, a third year man out of Cal, is the third string tight end. He both receives and blocks well.
QB Kerry Collins is beginning his 16th season. He’s a classic immobile pocket passer — almost an extinct breed nowadays although the media still likes to falsely characterize many White quarterbacks as “unathletic” — who is very accurate when given time to throw, but when pressured does not produce well. Rusty Smith, a 6-5 rookie from Florida Atlantic, is the third quarterback.
Rookie Marc Mariani out of Montana made the team as a wide receiver and kick returner. It undoubtedly helped that Fisher’s son also plays for Montana’s football team. Not that Mariani is undeserving; he’s an obvious talent who excelled in preseason games and likely could produce better than any of Tennessee’s annual collection of over-rated and underproducing black WRs if given the same opportunity. In fact, in a fair NFL world, wide receiver and most other positions would be White dominated. Only cornerback and possibly running back would be majority black, and even that’s debatable given the current level of play at both positions.
Tennessee does have 6 White defensive players, but none start and four play only as special teams participants.
Jason Babin (who may be of mixed racial background) is currently starting at left end, but that will likely end as soon as the injured William Hayes returns.
Dave Ball led the country in sacks his senior season at UCLA, but has bounced around the NFL. Tennessee has given him a home for several seasons, but only as a productive backup end, never as a starter.
Outside linebackers Tim Shaw and Patrick Bailey are both being used only as White Special Teams Demons. Shaw is an excellent example of how star White high school running backs are filtered out. He was a sprinting star and unstoppable tailback in Michigan, but was recruited by Joe Paterno and “inexplicably” turned into a linebacker. This happens to White running backs all the time. In 2009, in over half of the 50 states the leading high school rusher was White — but year after year these kids are either not recruited by the big-time college programs, or when they are it’s to play a different position, usually fullback, linebacker or safety. The White domination of high school football is abruptly and deliberately ended at the college level, and then the NFL filters out a good number of the White players who overcome those hurdles, leaving a final product that is artificially, overwhelmingly black.
The Titans also have two White safeties, but they too are mostly Special Teams Demons — Donnie Nickey, the veteran out of Ohio State; and first year man Nick Schommer from North Dakota State.
Plantation boss Fisher has 11 White assistant coaches on his 16 man staff.
NUMBER OF WHITE STARTERS: 3
NUMBER OF WHITE PLAYERS ON 53 MAN ROSTER: 19