Titans in Final Preparations for NFL Draft

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. —** The Tennessee Titans are in final preparations for the 75th NFL Draft, a three-day event that begins April 22. Owners of the 16th overall selection, the Titans currently possess a total of nine selections through the draft's seven rounds.

The NFL will conduct the draft from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, while Titans personnel will be headquartered at Baptist Sports Park in Nashville.

For the first time, this year's draft will attract a primetime, weeknight audience, beginning with the first round on Thursday night at 6:30 p.m. CT. The second and third rounds are set for Friday, April 23 beginning at 5 p.m. CT, and the draft concludes with Rounds 4-7 on Saturday, April 24 at 9 a.m. CT. In prior years, the draft took place exclusively on Saturday and Sunday.

Fans can watch the draft in its entirety on NFL Network and ESPN, while radio listeners can tune to one of 65-plus stations on the Titans Radio Network, including Nashville flagship 104.5 The Zone (recently changed from 103.3 WKDF). Titans Radio will feature special draft programming throughout the weekend, including gavel-to-gavel coverage of the first round.

TitansOnline.com, the official website of the Tennessee Titans, will provide up-to-the-minute information on the team's selections and live press conferences with general manager Mike Reinfeldt, head coach Jeff Fisher and other members of the organization.

TITANS PICKS

The Titans currently hold at least one pick in all but the second round and have multiple selections in the third, sixth and seventh rounds. Three of their picks (third, sixth and seventh rounds) were awarded as compensatory choices based on net unrestricted free agency losses in 2009. The New England Patriots own the Titans' second-round pick as a result of a trade that yielded the Titans a third-rounder in 2009. They used that pick on tight end Jared Cook.

Draft order is based upon reverse finish in the NFL standings. The Titans, one of five teams to go 8-8 in 2009, pick from the 16th overall position in the first round for the third time in their history. In 1998, they used the pick on wide receiver Kevin Dyson, and in the same spot the next year, they drafted defensive end Jevon Kearse. Those two players had memorable careers in Tennessee and were key figures in the team's run to Super Bowl XXXIV.

Other notable 16th selections in recent NFL history include Jerry Rice (San Francisco, 1985), defensive end Hugh Douglas (N.Y. Jets, 1995), safety Troy Polamalu (Pittsburgh, 2003) and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Arizona, 2008).

The 16th spot is the highest the Titans have selected since 2006, when they chose quarterback Vince Young with the third overall pick. Since then, the Titans have drafted safety Michael Griffin (19th pick in 2007), running back Chris Johnson (24th in 2008) and wide receiver Kenny Britt (30th in 2009) with their first-round picks.

THE DECISION MAKERS

The 2010 draft is the fourth selection process overseen by Reinfeldt, a former Oilers safety who was hired to his current post in February 2007. There have been 28 players drafted by the Titans since Reinfeldt's arrival, and 22 are still with the club. Two of the first-round picks have already been selected to the Pro Bowl—Griffin and Johnson—and Britt led the team as a rookie with 701 receiving yards.

Fisher, also instrumental in the selection process, is entering his 16th full season as head coach of the Titans. His tenure is the longest in the NFL among head coaches with their current teams. With a 136-110 (.553) career record, he holds the franchise record for wins by a head coach.

DRAFTING

Representatives of the 32 NFL clubs in New York communicating by telephone with their general managers, coaches and scouts.

ROUNDS

Seven Rounds – Round 1 on Thursday, April 22; Rounds 2-3 on Friday, April 23; and Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday, April 24. There will be 255 total selections, including 32 compensatory choices that have been awarded to 16 teams which suffered a net loss of quality unrestricted free agents in 2009.  Tennessee was awarded three compensatory picks this year.

TIME LIMITS

Round 1: 10 minutes each team.  Round 2: Seven minutes each team.  Rounds 3 through 7: Five minutes each team.

Teams will have 10 minutes to make a pick in the first round, seven minutes in the second round and five minutes in every subsequent round.  In 2009, the first round consumed three hours and 23 minutes.  The second round lasted two hours and 26 minutes, and the third round took two hours and four minutes.  Rounds 4-7 each lasted two hours or less. 

TELEVISION

Network: NFL Network HD

Channel: Nashville Comcast – 180, 201 (HD); DirecTV – 212;  Dish Network – 154

Times: Thursday 6:30-10 p.m. CDT; Friday 5-9:30 p.m.CDT; Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. CDT
Programming:

Thursday, April 22
10 a.m. CDT "Path to the Draft"
12 p.m. CDT "Total Access Pre-Draf"
6:30 p.m. CDT "2010 NFL Draf"
10 p.m. CDT "NFL Total Access Post-Draft"

Friday, April 23
10 a.m. CDT "Path to the Draft"
12 p.m. CDT "Total Access Pre-Draft"
5 p.m. CDT "2010 NFL Draft"
9:30 p.m. CDT "NFL Total Access Post-Draft"

Saturday, April 24
8 a.m. CDT "Total Access Pre-Draft"
9 a.m. CDT "2010 NFL Draft"
5 p.m. CDT "NFL Total Access Post-Draft"

Sunday, April 25
5 p.m. CDT "Path to the Draft"
6 p.m. CDT "NFL Total Access Draft Recap"
7 p.m. CDT Day 1 encore

Network: ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD

ESPN Channel: Nashville Comcast – 11, 202 (HD); DirecTV – 206; Dish Network – 140

ESPN2 Channel: Nashville Comcast – 29, 203 (HD); DirecTV – 209; Dish Network – 144

TITANS RADIO NETWORK

In Nashville: 104.5 The Zone (Flagship)

Talent: Mike Keith, Larry Stone, Frank Wycheck, Jonathan Hutton

Programming:

Wednesday, April 21, 6-8 p.m. CDT: "Titans Countdown: The 2010 NFL Draft"

Thursday, April 22, 6 p.m. CDT: Complete coverage of the first round on Titans Radio

Friday, April 23, 6-8 p.m. CDT: "Titans Radio Draft Central"

Saturday, April 24, 6-8 p.m. CDT: "Titans Radio Draft Central" wraps up the draft

ONLINE

Titans Website: www.TitansOnline.com

NFL Website: www.NFL.com

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tennesseetitans (@tennesseetitans)

TITANS DRAFT HEADQUARTERS

While the NFL conducts the draft from New York, the Titans are situated in Nashville at Baptist Sports Park, located in MetroCenter. Titans executives, personnel staff and coaches are stationed at a long conference table in the draft room, located on the second floor of the team's facility.   Members of the local media also station themselves at the Nashville headquarters. 

Inside the rectangular-shaped draft room, the four white, magnetic walls are lined from top to bottom with information on NFL personnel.  Every team's current roster is displayed on two walls, broken down by position within each club.  On another wall, hundreds of draft-eligible players are divided among position groups and ranked by grades, which place number values on the team's final assessment of the players.  A "Top 150" board ranks draftees regardless of position.  Finally, another of the room's walls is divided in half, listing the order of draft picks by team (sometimes called the "trade grid") and by round.

With each draft selection, the media has access to the player and at least two other members of the organization.  Typically after each pick, head coach Jeff Fisher and a Titans scout or assistant coach are made available to answer questions in the Baptist Sports Park auditorium.  Additionally, the media is placed on a conference call with each of the team's picks. 

At the conclusion of each day of the draft, general manager Mike Reinfeldt is available to reporters.  The team also typically brings its top one or two selections to team headquarters to meet with reporters the day after they are drafted.

The team's draft class is brought together for the first time at Baptist Sports Park, along with the prospects signed as undrafted free agents, a week after the draft.  NFL rules allow for a three-day rookie minicamp, during which time the players go through orientation, positional meetings, practice and media interviews.  After their initial minicamp, the next date the rookies are allowed to take part in team activities is May 16, barring any remaining final exams at their respective universities.

WHO'S IN NEW YORK?

Representatives of all 32 NFL clubs will be present at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  The representatives are in constant phone contact with their clubs, who instruct the representatives to turn in a card with the selected player's name on it.

The Titans are represented by Frank Fitzgerald Sr., who has enjoyed a decades-long association with the NFL and has had a relationship with the Titans franchise since the early 1990s.  Also present are his son, Frank Fitzgerald Jr., and Harry Pritts.  Frank Sr. and his wife, Adelaide, reside in Larchmont, N.Y.

TYPICAL TIMELINE FOR EACH PICK

The following is a typical series of events for each draft pick the Titans make:

The Titans' personnel staff, coaches and other staff members are stationed in the draft room on the second floor of Baptist Sports Park in Nashville, monitoring the draft as their selection nears and updating their draft board. The team has a separate, direct phone line dedicated to each of the other 31 NFL clubs for use in discussing trades.

The Titans go "on the clock" (10 minutes for Round 1, seven minutes for Round 2, five minutes for Rounds 3-7) immediately following the announcement of the previous team's pick.

After the organization decides upon the pick, Fisher calls the player on the phone to inform him of the selection.

Reinfeldt communicates the pick to the team's draft representatives (Fitzgerald Sr., Fitzgerald Jr. and Pritts) at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

The team representatives in New York submit a card to NFL personnel with the player's name, school and position.

The selection is announced at the podium in Radio City Music Hall by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell (first round) or vice president Gene Washington (second through seventh rounds).

Media at Baptist Sports Park in Nashville receive bios and other information on the selection and are placed on a conference call with the player.

Fisher and another member of the team's coaching or scouting staff meet with the media in the Baptist Sports Park auditorium to answer questions on the player who was just selected. 

The process repeats itself until the end of the draft day, when Reinfeldt and Fisher meet with the media for a final time.  During the second or third day, the team's top pick is typically flown into Nashville to meet with the media.

GM MIKE REINFELDT

Mike Reinfeldt is entering his 31st season in the NFL, his fourth as executive vice president/general manager and 12th with the Oilers/Titans franchise. Originally an All-Pro safety with the Oilers from 1976-83, he re-joined the franchise in 2007 after spending seven years with the Seattle Seahawks.  This is the fourth draft process over which Reinfeldt has presided as Titans general manager.

In his 18 post-playing years as an NFL executive with Tennessee, Seattle and Green Bay, his teams have won a combined seven division titles, made 12 playoff appearances, four NFC Championship game appearances, three Super Bowl appearances, captured one world title (1996) and amassed 14 winning seasons.

Reinfeldt has directed three previous offseasons in his current role, supplementing the roster with talented young contributors and experienced veterans through both the draft and free agency. 

The 28 players the Titans have drafted in his tenure include two first-round picks that already have been selected to the Pro Bowl: safety Michael Griffin (2007 first-rounder) and running back Chris Johnson (2008). In 2009, Reinfeldt and the Titans selected Rutgers wide receiver Kenny Britt in the first round.  Britt led the team and finished fifth among NFL rookies with 701 receiving yards.

In Reinfeldt's first first three years of free agency with the Titans (2007-09), key players added to the roster included cornerback Nick Harper, wide receiver Justin Gage, guard Jake Scott, wide receiver Nate Washington and defensive tackle Jovan Haye. In 2010, the club already has added veteran linebacker Will Witherspoon.

Reinfeldt also has worked to retain several key players through contract extensions.  Since the start of the 2008 offseason, nine projected starters in 2010 have signed new, multi-year deals: Gage, fullback Ahmard Hall, defensive tackle Tony Brown, guard Eugene Amano, cornerback Cortland Finnegan, bookend offensive tackles Michael Roos and David Stewart, nickel defensive back Vincent Fuller and guard/center Eugene Amano.

Additionally, Reinfeldt helped bring aboard new members of the team's administration upon his arrival, including Senior Director of Football Administration Vincent Marino and Director of Pro Personnel Lake Dawson.  Each has made significant contributions to the team since arriving in 2007.

In Seattle, Reinfeldt last held the title of Vice President of Football Administration and was responsible for player contract negotiations, salary cap management, player evaluations and numerous aspects of the day-to-day football operations.

In eight seasons with the Packers, he served a number of roles, including Chief Financial Officer for three years (1991-93) and VP of Administration from 1994-98.

Before joining the Packers in 1991, Reinfeldt spent three years (1988-90) at the University of Southern California as the associate athletic director and spent another three years (1985-88) with the L.A. Raiders as CFO.

A former safety for the Oilers franchise from 1976-83, Reinfeldt earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in 1979. He ranks seventh on the club's career interception list with 26 and matched the team record for interceptions in a season with 12 in 1979. An undrafted free agent out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he originally signed with the Oakland Raiders and played in two games before being released and signed by the Oilers.

TITANS SCOUTING TERRITORIES

The draft is a culmination of thousands of hours of work by the club's personnel department.  Ten fulltime employees are solely devoted to the acquistion of college talent, starting on the front lines with the college scouts.  Information they provide on hundreds of draft-eligible players is used to ultimately determine, on average, nine or 10 draft choices plus a handful of undrafted free agents.

Scouts are generally assigned a geographical region to research during the year.  They attend countless college practices and games, speak with coaches and watch film of prospects.  Below is a breakdown of the Titans' scouting regions.

C.O. Brocato: Since entering the NFL as a scout with the Oilers in 1974, Brocato has become one of the most respected personnel men in the NFL.  As national supervisor of college scouting, he helps oversee the entire scouting process.  Additionally, he scouts Texas schools and crosschecks players in the Central United States.

Mike Ackerley: As director of college scouting–eastern region, he crosschecks prospects east of the Mississippi River.

Blake Beddingfield: Among his duties as scouting coordinator, he organizes the evaluation and ranking process of NFL draft-eligible prospects. He also scouts a portion of the Southeast, from Kentucky to Mississippi, and crosschecks the top prospects in the draft.

Ray Biggs: The team's combine scout contributes to an alliance between several NFL clubs known as The National.

Johnny Meads: Scouts the Midwest, from Michigan to the Dakotas.

Phil Neri: Crosschecks draft prospects west of the Mississippi River.

Cole Proctor: Scouts a large portion of the Southeast, from North Carolina to Florida.

Jon Salge: Scouts the Central United States, including Oklahoma, Nebraska and Colorado.

Richard Shelton: Scouts the Northeast, from Ohio and Virginia to Maine.

Marvin Sunderland: Scouts the West, from Montana to Alaska and Arizona to Hawaii.

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