Finnegan avoids talking tough before facing Johnson again

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 7:55pm

Cortland Finnegan does not want to get kicked out of Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans.

That’s why the Tennessee Titans’ cornerback was careful not to put his foot in his mouth Wednesday. When asked about his pending matchup with Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson (noon, Sunday, LP Field), he simply smiled and tried to say as little as possible.

“I want to be out there playing for this team,” Finnegan said. “I know they want me out there. We just want to win the next football game.”

Finnegan and Johnson both were ejected with 7:53 to go in the Texans’ 20-0 victory on Nov. 28 at Houston. An exchange of insults — or something along those lines — escalated with each ripping off the other’s helmet. Before it was over, Johnson landed several punches to the head of Finnegan, who did not retaliate in an obvious attempt to keep from being thrown out of the contest.

“I don’t think you ever know personally exactly what’s going on out there between two guys, but they always play hard and they’re always getting after each other and they challenge each other and they both rise to the challenge,” Houston coach Gary Kubiak said. “That’s what makes them both great players —that’s why they are who they are and what they are as players because of their drive to be the best.

“…As a coach you appreciate watching great players go at it and how important it is to them."

Johnson is among the NFL’s top five in receptions and receiving yards. He also is tied for 12th with seven touchdown receptions. He had nine receptions for 56 yards in his abbreviated appearance against the Titans. It was his fewest receiving yards against Tennessee in more than two years.

Finnegan is one of four Titans with at least two interceptions this season, which makes it his third straight with multiple picks. Only one of his 13 career interceptions has come against the Texans.

“[Johnson] is an excellent player, one of the best in the game,” Finnegan said. “... I always get to see where I’m at as far as a defensive back. So I look forward to playing against receivers like that.”

He did get playful at points, such as when he said he and Johnson planned to “exchange grandma’s recipe on how to make pecan pie for Christmas” or when he joked that he looked forward to seeing Johnson’s “beautiful smile.”

Not long after he conceded that he’s regarded by those close to him as something of a “smart-butt.”

He also said that Johnson had not reached out in an attempt to apologize.

“I wasn’t looking for one either,” Finnegan said. “This is football. We just go out there and try to win.”

Mostly, though, he tried to deflect any discussion about the incident last month.

“We’re trying to win a football game, man,” he said. “They’re a really good football team. We had troubles with them … the last time we played them. We’re just looking for a victory.

“…I look forward to it being a clean, physical football game, putting all that in the past and playing clean football.”
 

20 Comments on this post:

By: courier37027 on 12/15/10 at 9:30

"Before it was over, Johnson landed several punches to the head of Finnegan, who did not retaliate in an obvious attempt to keep from being thrown out of the contest." Obvious according to whom: all of the Zone's selectively screened pro-Finnegan callers Tuesday night after this fight?

By: MetalMan on 12/16/10 at 5:18

If I were Courtney, I'd keep my trash-talking pie hole shut too - before Andre Johnson pounds him into the deck AGAIN! You can bet the Texans will be gunning for Courtney Cheap-Shot's little gimlet arse.

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 5:57

If I was Finny, I would do the same again, get under johnson's skin and cause him to look like a fool again. Two 'punches' grazed his face the other one hit his shoulder pads. Good cornerbacks do what he did. Finny should have been penalized for his hand to johnson's facemask, but that is it. Happens every game with all teams. The media jumped on johnson's bandwagon because they saw a headline and ran with it instead of looking at for themselves. People who think johnson pounded him are in denial. johnson lost his cool and looked like a fool.

By: MetalMan on 12/16/10 at 7:35

I don't know, it looked like Courtney was cowering on the ground covering his head while Johnson looked like a pile-driver pounding on him.

By: jefathor on 12/16/10 at 7:45

Clearly, you can't defend the actions of a player who has gotten into as many scuffles as Finnegan has or the consequent penalties he's cost this team. But to condone Johnson losing his cool by saying what a good guy he really is and that he just couldn't take it anymore is ludicrous. Throwing punches during a game is never justified, period. Finnegan needs to keep it professional and Johnson needs to control himself. They both need to grow up.

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 9:03

I'm not saying Finny is an angel, but talking trash and getting under the skin of a receiver is part of his position. I have looked at the 'punch' sequence in slow motion and it was not impressive. That is why Finny was smiling. He should not have been ejected IMO, but penalized for a hand to the face mask. Aggressive play is what it takes. The media thinks johnson can do no wrong, but they forget when he swung Finny to the ground by his face mask last year and was fined for it. johnson looked like a fool both times.

By: gdiafante on 12/16/10 at 9:06

If I were Finnegan, I would worry about doing my job. He's a lousy corner, which is why he has to instigate.

He's been burned more in the past month than Jack Cassidy.

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 9:14

johnson looked like a fool both times.

IT TAKES A FOOL TO KNOW A FOOL!!!!!

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 9:18

You don't play for the TITANS, TITAN1, so you have NO BUSINESS CALLING PLAYERS BY NICKNAMES!!! As far as Cortland Finnegan goes (NOT FINNY), if he hadn't SPOUTTED OFF ABOUT WANTING TO BE THE DIRTIEST PLAYER IN THE NFL, he would not have gotten ejected from the game. Personnally, I think he should have gotten SUSPENDED FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON!!!

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 12:35

jw, fans of all sports use nicknames for players, stop making yourself look stupid. Suspended for the rest of the season? LMAO! Those hate glasses really mess up your brain.

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 1:11

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 9:14

johnson looked like a fool both times.

IT TAKES A FOOL TO KNOW A FOOL!!!!!
Oh I'm sorry, I didn't know you knew johnson.

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 2:24

I don't know Andre Johnson. Your the one who stated that Andre Johnson looked like a fool out there and since you knew WHAT A FOOL LOOKS LIKE, YOU ARE THE FOOL, FOOL!!!!!

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 2:27

Yes, other fans use nicknames for players, but they AREN'T as SICKENING as you are about it. I bet your wife has to dress up like one of the Titans just for you to even know aknowledge she is still exist!

By: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 2:38

TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 5:57
johnson lost his cool and looked like a fool.

You, TITAN1, is the one WHO CLAIMS TO BE A FOOL EXPERT!!! YOU REFERED TO ANDRE JOHNSON AS A FOOL TWICE! Since you are SUCH AN EXPERT ON FOOLS, THAT ONLY PROVE THAT YOU MUST BE A FOOL, TOO!!!

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 3:14

jw, you just let your childish nature show.

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 3:17

y: jwk6179 on 12/16/10 at 2:27

Yes, other fans use nicknames for players, but they AREN'T as SICKENING as you are about it. I bet your wife has to dress up like one of the Titans just for you to even know aknowledge she is still exist!

That is about as childish as you can get.

By: Just Sayin on 12/16/10 at 4:04

Just Sayin can the two of you stop trash talking and let someone who understands the game make comments, if you feel the need to do this just E-mail each other so we don't have read this crap on this site.

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 4:16

I don't think I said anything wrong and you are welcome to post your thoughts on the subject.

By: TITAN1 on 12/16/10 at 6:54

Oh wait, you already did!

By: FNUT45 on 12/18/10 at 12:54

It doesn't matter who "wins the conflict" between these two - the next Tennessee team to win at LP Field will be the Volunteers! I'm really sick of all the conflict between the TItans players as well as the coaches - let's get men who want to play ball and win games, please - be it players or coaches! We've wasted this year!