Chuck Cecil pumped up the volume. Finally.
The Tennessee Titans’ first-year defensive coordinator made some very loud — and slightly vulgar — corrections of his unit during a walk-through period early in Friday’s offseason workout.
By most accounts, it was the first such outburst since he replaced Jim Schwartz, now the head coach of the Detroit Lions.
“It’s about time Chuck started showing his personality and a little of what (almost) got him banned from the NFL,” defensive end Jevon Kearse said.
Just as it sounds, a walk-through is a low-speed, low-impact practice pace. Typically it involves things coaches want to do at full speed later in the workout, and almost always any constructive criticism comes when the tempo is increased.
Coach Jeff Fisher said this particular period was devoted to run defense against a specific opponent the Titans will face this fall. Fisher declined to say which opponent, but it was difficult to ignore the fact that Tennessee’s 2009 opener will be at Pittsburgh, which perennially is one of the best running teams in the NFL.
“(Cecil) wanted to make sure that it’s paramount people get in the right place,” Fisher said.
As an assistant coach (first as defensive quality control and then as a secondary specialist) Cecil earned the respect of players with his passion, particularly when he went around the locker room prior to games sharing head butts with players who already had strapped on their helmets. It was consistent with the reputation he forged as a player from 1988-95, when he was regarded as one of the most violent in the NFL.
Don’t expect a lot of outbursts now, he said.
“I’m not a real yeller,” Cecil said. “I’ll pick my spots. … It’s different strokes for different folks, and that’s kind of not what I’m about. They’re grown men and they should know what to do. So I try to give them the benefit of the doubt.
“But occasionally some people need to be reminded of certain things.”