Those who think that the Titans don't get enough respect will be happy to see they've been selected to kick off the season at Pittsburgh, the NFL announced yesterday at its first 2009 league meeting. The season opener will be broadcast nationwide in prime time Thursday night, September 10. Many fans will also be happy to know the game will be on NBC rather than on the NFL Network.
Yesterday morning, Drexel wrote a great preliminary preview of what was then a hypothetical season opener.
Expect the Steeler fans to look for revenge for the towel-stomping incident near the end of the Titans decisive thrashing of Pittsburgh last year. The two-tone blue will play in a hostile environment this time, to put it mildly. There will be the usual towel-waving at Heinz Field but it should be more energetic at this game. At least at the beginning of the game. I'd like to see the towel-waving subside, as it did in the fourth quarter at LP Field in December.
More recognition: The Titans have already been selected for another honor, an appearance in the Hall of Fame game, to kick off the NFL preseason.
In other news emanating from the league meetings, Tennessee has been awarded four compensatory draft picks, as predicted in this piece by an expert and reviewed here.
The four compensatory selections will be as follows:
Fourth round, 35th pick (135th overall) for losing Antwan Odom.
Fifth round, 37th pick (173rd overall) for Travis LaBoy.
Sixth round, 33rd pick (206th overall) for Randy Starks.
Seventh round, 33rd pick (242nd overall) for Ben Hartsock.
The Titans will also have six regular draft picks, selecting 30th in every round but the fifth. That pick goes to the Cowboys, thanks to a former Titan who couldn't stay out of trouble in the Big D.