Titans Notebook: LenDale’s numbers game might cost him some change

Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 12:52am

Running back LenDale White said Wednesday that he is working on getting his college jersey number, 21, with the Titans.

White has worn No. 25 during his first three NFL seasons, because cornerback Reynaldo Hill had No. 21. However, Hill is an unrestricted free agent, who is not likely to be re-signed, and the jersey number has not been assigned to any other players who have joined the Titans roster. He donned No. 21 throughout his college career at Southern California.

White said financial details of making the switch are still pending.

“We’re still working on that. It’s still in the works,” White said. “It’s definitely the league. The NFL and Reebok, they’ve got to get their cash. You just can’t change the number. They’ve got to get some of that money.”

Tight end Bo Scaife said his phone began ringing like crazy at the posting of an apparent trade to Philadelphia on the player’s Wikipedia page.

“I heard something like that, and my phone was going off the hook. I knew that wasn’t true. I had to sign my deal first before anything like that could go down,” Scaife said.

Of course, Wikipedia is not always accurate, and the deal turned out not to happen, but according to a league source, a potential deal with the Eagles wasn’t all that farfetched. Scaife, who led the Titans with 58 catches, signed a regular tender offer, and unlike Albert Haynesworth, will not have incentives worked in that can keep him from being franchised again in 2010.

INJURY UPDATE: Defensive end Jevon Kearse sat out practice after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery that will sideline him from some of the off-season work.

In addition, defensive end Jacob Ford was out because of muscle soreness, while Kevin Mawae continues to rehab his surgically repaired elbow. Ulrich Winkler was sidelined as he continues to work his way back from a knee injury from last year in training camp.

Nick Harper (groin) and Dave Ball (back) were limited participants in Wednesday’s work, while Keith Bulluck and Tony Brown were excused for personal reasons.

CHANGE IN PHILOSOPHY: The Titans used to flesh out their roster with a host of undrafted free agents to supplement their rookie class.

However, over the past couple of seasons, that philosophy appears to be evolving as the Titans have veteran players like receiver Craphonso Thorpe and cornerback Christian Morton, both of whom were out of the NFL last year, in the fold this year. Last year, Dave Ball, in a similar situation, made the 53-man roster.

“Basically, we’re going to go to camp with a set number [of players] and as opposed to signing a lot of undrafted college free agents that don’t have a lot of NFL experience, you choose to go the other direction with guys who have had NFL experience that you can get in the off-season program and it makes your overall roster more competitive,” Titans coach Jeff Fisher said.

Morton had an interception in Wednesday work, while Thorpe appeared to catch a pass that Michael Griffin had batted toward the turf while Thorpe on the ground.

OUCH: Free agent receiver Nate Washington made a nice catch of a Kerry Collins pass on a deep ball during workouts, but then had an unexpected collision with a riser used by the video crew. Fortunately, for Washington there were padded mats in front of the crane, and he escaped injury.

Asked which one won that battled, Washington said, “Actually, the crane did. Thank God the pass was there and I didn’t get hurt or anything. I wish I had caught myself before it happened so I wouldn’t have to discuss this.”

BACK IN ACTION: Running back Rafael Little lost his entire rookie season to a knee injury suffered in practice for the 2008 Senior Bowl. But he was on the field and taking full part in OTA work Wednesday for the Titans, hoping to win a spot as a backup running back and kick returner.

“Everything else healed up. It’s just me learning the plays now,” Little said. “Last year, I didn’t take [learning the plays] as seriously as I would have, because I knew I wasn’t going to play. This year, it’s coming to me faster than I thought it would.”

Jeff Fisher said Little is basically beginning his rookie season.

“You have to take into consideration that we are not in pads, but from a commitment and work ethic and the things he has done, it looks like he has the knee behind him and he will be competing for a spot,” Fisher said “He is a very talented, young back and actually is just starting his rookie year.