Lockout was a learning experience for Titans' union rep

Monday, August 1, 2011 at 12:21am

Based on first-hand experience, Jake Scott believes everyone ought to sit in on a federal court proceeding, although not necessarily under the same circumstances that led him to be there.

As the Tennessee Titans player representative, the veteran offensive lineman attended several hearings and negotiating sessions throughout the lockout, which canceled virtually the entire NFL offseason.

“Those hearings are open to the public,” he said. “So you can go to one anytime. That’s something I didn’t realize. … If anybody gets a chance, you should do it just to see how our legal system works. It’s very enlightening.”

Scott said he was not compelled to attend (the majority of the work was done by the union’s executive committee) but wanted to keep himself as informed as possible so that he was prepared to answer questions from teammates.

“It’s tough from the standpoint that there’s so much riding on it for so many guys,” he said. “But it was very interesting from the standpoint that I got to learn about things — labor law, anti-trust law, things that I never thought I’d know anything about.

“To be able to participate in that and learn about it and sit through a federal courts hearing and see how that works — that’s something most people don’t get to do.”

It is highly unlikely that he ever would have to endure similar circumstances.

Scott is now in his eighth season and the resultant collective bargaining agreement will cover the next 10 seasons, once it is finalized and ratified by both sides. For now, though, he says he would be willing to remain the team’s representative if his teammates desire.

“I would welcome the opportunity if they want me to do it again,” he said.

Weekend transactions: Guard Leroy Harris agreed to a new contract Saturday, which meant that all five of last season’s starting offensive linemen would return.

On Sunday, the team announced deals with linebacker Barrett Ruud and tight end Daniel Graham — both former high draft picks.

Graham was a first-round choice of the New England Patriots (2002) who has 222 career receptions and 24 touchdowns in 126 appearances with two teams, most recently Denver.

“We targeted him a ways back,” coach Mike Munchak said. “… I’m anxious to see him in a Titans uniform.”

Ruud was a second-round pick by Tampa Bay in 2005 and has played 95 career games, all with the Buccaneers. He was Tampa’s leading tackler each of the last four seasons.

"Ruud is a guy that [defensive coordinator] Jerry [Gray] sees in his system being able to play all three downs, stay on the field and do a lot of things with him," Munchak said.

Harris, a Titans’ fourth-round selection in 2007, started 15 games at left guard in 2010 after three seasons as a reserve.

“I’m glad we were able to get him,” left tackle Michael Roos said. “…  I think it’s good to have that cohesiveness back.”

Tulloch moves on: Middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch, the Titans’ leading tackler each of the last two seasons, signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Lions.

The deal reportedly is worth $3.25 million for one year and reunites Tulloch with former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, now the Lions head coach.

Tennessee’s decision to sign Ruud made it unnecessary for the franchise to bring back Tulloch, a fourth-round draft pick in 2006, who started 46 games over five seasons.

Overheard at practice: “You’re both 7-foot tall. One of you has got to get low.” — defensive line coach Tracy Rocker to 6-foot-6 defensive end Pannel Egboh, during a one-on-one blocking drill against 6-foot-5 tackle Byron Stingily.

Public address: Munchak grabbed a microphone, asked for the music to be turned down and spoke to the fans as players stretched prior to the start of Sunday evening’s workout, the first that was open to the public. He thanked them on behalf of the team and ownership for their patience through the lockout and gave a brief rundown of what they would see during the session, specifically a lot of work on first and second-down situations.

“I just thought about it,” he said as he walked back to the workout. “You have music, you have microphones, you have all kinds of possibilities.”

Briefly: Running back Chris Johnson remained absent from camp as part of his attempt to force negotiations on a new contract. … Wide receiver Kenny Britt (hamstring) was held out of the evening practice for the second consecutive day, and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (shoulder) was held out for the first time. The decision on both was precautionary. … Free agent rookie wide receiver O.J. Murdock was carted off the field with what was believed to be an Achilles injury.

Upcoming practices open to the public:

Monday: 3 p.m.
Tuesday: 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 3 p.m.
Thursday: 6:15 p.m.
Friday: 3:15 p.m.
Saturday: 2 p.m. (at LP Field)