Nate Washington and Jovan Haye Press Conference



Monday, March 2, 2009

GM MIKE REINFELDT

opening comments)

I want to thank everybody for being here on such short notice.  We apologize for that, and I do appreciate you all taking the time to come here.  We're here today to introduce the two newest members of the Tennessee Titans: Nate Washington, Tiffin College, formerly of Pittsburgh; Jovan Haye, formerly of Tampa, from Vanderbilt.  These are two young men that we targeted in free agency that were important to us, and we're really excited to have them here.  We think they'll fit in well with the rest of the Titan team and make us a better team.  This is a big day for us, and we're excited.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

opening comments)

Our process started weeks and weeks ago once the season was over.  We identified a number of players that we felt like could come in and contribute immediately.  As was the case with Jovan, Jovan was a restricted free agent last year, so we did a lot of work on Jovan. [Looking at Haye] You didn't know that, but we did a lot of work with him last year.  And, of course, identifying the receiver position as a need position in free agency, we did a lot of work on Nate.  We're just thrilled that we were able to get things done.  So I have to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Adams for giving us this opportunity and Mike and Vin [Marino] for the work they've done and of course both of their [players] representatives that put us in a position where we could get it done in such a timely fashion.  We're off to a great start.  Both of them are going to play for us and play a lot and be productive for us.  Nate, we played against Nate, obviously, this year and watched a lot of tape as we were preparing for the Steelers and were concerned of him as an opponent.  We're glad to have him now running down the field catching passes.  Jovan, on the other hand, had six sacks in '07.  Last year he battled through a lot of injuries, and we feel we'll get him back to 100 percent and he'll be very productive for us.  With that, I'll open it up to questions.

WIDE RECEIVER NATE WASHINGTON

on playing behind Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes in Pittsburgh)

I think the main thing I learned is patience.  In Pittsburgh, their offense is pretty much carbon copy of the offense here.  You have opportunities, and when you have opportunities, you have to seize them.  Playing behind those two guys, you understand and know that they're going to get the majority of the offense, but at the same time, you're going to have your opportunity.  So, in saying that, I think for the most part I learned patience.  I learned how to be patient in my route running, be patient enough to let them get into their routes enough to, if I am open, give the opportunity for the quarterback to look at those two and then find me.  I kind of understood that.  It made me humble, and it made me understand the type of things that can go on when you play team ball.  We played together up there, and so hopefully I can bring that here, make these guys understand that as long as we play together, we'll be unstoppable.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE JOVAN HAYE

on what it means to come back to the city where he played his college football)

It means a lot.  I say to myself now, I'm back home.  This is a place where I visited often.  During Super Bowl week, this is where I was the whole week.  It feels good.  Vanderbilt is right up the street.  I have a lot of friends here, and just to have an opportunity to play for a great organization, that was key in the decision.

WIDE RECEIVER NATE WASHINGTON

on what he identified with the Titans that made this an appealing option)

Like I said, Tennessee is pretty much … Their organization here is pretty much a carbon copy of Pittsburgh.  They run pretty much the same offense, and it'll be the same opportunity that I would have even if I stayed in Pittsburgh – Justin Gage on the other side, and they have a great running game here with their offensive line being the way that they are, and they have a great quarterback, and then the stand-up defense that they have.  So I really wasn't losing coming here.  I was pretty much leaving Pittsburgh and coming to Pittsburgh.  But this is Tennessee, and I'm happy to be in blue, and I'm happy to be having a new beginning.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE JOVAN HAYE

(on replacing the departed Albert Haynesworth)

Albert [Haynesworth] was a great player.  He did many great things here in Tennessee.  I'm not coming in this position to try to replace him and fill his shoes.  I'm just going to be me.  Whatever I have to offer, is what I'm going to give.  I don't see it as replacing Albert.  I don't think you could ever replace Albert.  He is a big, massive guy.  He is a great football player.

<(on last season being tough for him)

I had a few injuries.  I don't want to make any excuses and there were other situations that led to it.  I'm just happy for a new beginning, to start over healthy with a new team, new players, new coaches.  I just want to let the past be the past and work on today and the future.

<(on his injuries last season)

There were just a few between my groin and my knee.  They were just little nicks that I fought through, where some other guys may have taken a few weeks off; I decided to play through it.  It was all I wanted to do, all I know how to do.

(on a Commodore replacing a Vol on the defensive line)

[Laughter] If you say so.  It is just good to be back.

WIDE RECEIVER NATE WASHINGTON

(on his long journey to this point after being an undrafted free agent)

I think everybody has their own role.  I took my role and accepted it for what it was.  I understand that we can't all be first round, first picks.  In saying that, it has helped me out and it has helped me understand this game so much more. It has helped me understand the position that I am in now.  I understand that there are still going to be voids in my game that I can get better with.  I feel that this coaching staff and this organization is the place to help me get better.  I think at this point in my career, coming from the place that I came from as an undrafted free agent, of course it has been a long road, but like I said it is not going to stop.  I don't think the road stops here.  I think my game will do nothing but elevate.  As long as these guys in the locker room and the coaching staff, the great coaching that is here, they believe in me, we are going to go far.

<(on the opportunity to be featured more in an offense)

This is the opportunity that I waited for.  I told Coach Fisher earlier that I didn't want to go to a team where I felt like I needed to go there to be God.  That is not the situation that I'm in now.  Just as well as I'm going to be able to teach these guys a lot of things, there are going to be a lot of things of course that I'm going to learn from them, even with the younger guys that I'm going to be playing with and the opportunity that we will both be getting.  At the same time, this is the dream that I have been waiting for when I stepped foot on the NFL field.  In the same breathe, I'm ready for that opportunity and I'm ready for that responsibility to step in and be a number one type of receiver.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER  

(on the speed dynamic that Washington brings to the Titans and how that potentially can change the game)

Well, the more speed you have at all positions the better off you are. He clearly can run. He runs very well. He ran by a lot of good defensive players this past year. And so the speed is a bonus. But he's a football player, and that's what you need at the position. He makes catches and can get open. He's going to be productive. He can run. He understands, can get open, blocks. He does everything that you want a good receiver to do.**

(on bringing in the "pedigree" guys…guys that have won with other teams and if this acquisition follows suit)

Our locker room clearly is very, very important and there is no question that both of these guys fit, and that's important to us. They know what our locker room is about and we know what they're about and that's important.  They're going to fit in well, work well with their teammates and be a big part of the future success.

* (on if he feels like he got his Christmas shopping done early by acquiring these free agents at this time)*

There are still some things to be done. I'm very, very impressed with Mike and his staff and how they've handled things over a tough weekend. We're off to a good start. That doesn't mean to say we'll be active tomorrow, but we're doing our work and there's still some work to be done.

* (on what the dynamic of the defensive tackle position will be this year)*

We're good at the defensive tackle position. We're good. We're going to rotate. There will not be any drop off. Just as Jovan said, you don't replace Albert. We had interest in him [Haye] last year when we had Albert, and if we would have re-signed Albert, we still would have had interest in him, just to fill that spot. It's a very, very important position to us.

* (on if he is able to figure out how an agent and a team could hammer out a $100 million deal with Haynesworth in about 5 1/2 hours)*

They clearly worked a deal that was good for Albert and must have been good for Washington. That's all I can say.

GM MIKE REINFELDT

*(on if he's given any thought to the tampering thing and if that's something he would pursue, or if there's anything to be gained) *

Yeah, I mean that's something at some point that's kind of….we were interested in signing Albert. We tried to sign him and unfortunately it didn't work out. It's always something we can address with the League, but at this point in time we're more focused on the two gentlemen here today, quite honestly. This is kind of their day.

* (on if can provide an update on some of the other free agents, like Chris Carr, Chris Simms, etc…)*

Yeah, there are a number of our own guys that we would like to bring back. We're in contact with those guys and the market's kind of going on and we'll continue to monitor them and see how it works out.

HEAD COACH JEFF FISHER

*(on if he's still waiting on a decision from Craig Hentrich) *

Craig Hentrich, for all intents and purposes, will be our punter again this year. 

GM MIKE REINFELDT

Craig is coming back.

WIDE RECEIVER NATE WASHINGTON

*(on what he can tell us about Tiffin University) *

Oh man, it's about a block and a half long; a very small school. For the most part, it's a very humble type of school. Everybody knows everybody. And in saying that, everybody stays out of trouble for the most part. It's a very small town. The people there actually take care of you. It's a city that's very proud of their own. They've done a great job since I've been in the League, no matter if it was the Super Bowl parade, or just calling me to congratulate me on a season well done. They've done a great job of giving back to me, just as I have worked hard to put them on the map. So they're very proud of what I've done in the League and I've very happy to say I'm representing Tiffin University.

* (on what the enrollment was when he was there) *

Maybe about 2,400. I really don't know. I was just there for school. It was a good education. It was a great school to learn from. I didn't have any troubles, any distractions. It was a great opportunity for me to go there and to stay focused on what I was supposed to be there for.

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