Hood would like to stay a Titan; wonders if team wants him

Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 2:06pm

When Rod Hood came to the Tennessee Titans in October, he played more like Robin Hood, robbing opposing quarterbacks with interceptions in his first three starts and giving the downtrodden Titans a much needed boost on defense.

But once Nick Harper returned from a broken forearm in late November, it was back to the bench for Hood, who did not return to the lineup until Harper was shut down for the season finale because the forearm kept getting aggravated from contact.

So now, Hood is left to ponder his future once again, just as he had to after being a cap cut by the Arizona Cardinals this past off-season and being dropped by both Cleveland and Chicago in preseason this year.

All the traveling around and being deactivated hasn’t shaken Hood’s confidence in himself.

“I’ve been a starter in this league. It’s kind of funny to me. I’ve been a starter in this league pretty much ever since I got here,” Hood said. “I went to the Super Bowl, played in the Super Bowl. If you look at my stats, they match up pretty much against anybody.

"You know what I’m saying. It’s unfortunate that people think I’m not supposed to be here, but I make a case every time I step on the field that I belong in this league as a formidable starter.”

Hood had interceptions in three straight games as a Titan, including returning one 31 yards for a touchdown against Buffalo. But after that, it was back to the bench as the 35-year-old Harper reclaimed his starting job.

It would appear that Harper, also a free agent, won’t be re-signed to start opposite Cortland Finnegan. The question now becomes, will Hood be retained to compete for the other starting cornerback role. Or will the Titans give ’09 rookies Jason McCourty or Ryan Mouton the chance, or go a completely different direction in free agency or the draft.

For his part, Hood would like to return to Tennessee and pick up where he left off. Despite missing a couple of tackles in the finale against the Seahawks, he was pleased overall with his performance and likes the potential of the Titans for 2010.

“It ended pretty well. I was a little rusty, but we got a win and I think I played OK. I talked to the coaches, just about the season, and if the opportunity presents itself to be here, I think it’s a good opportunity for me,” Hood said. “I know that this team is on the rise, and it’s a good situation, because I know the coaches and know the players here, and I feel comfortable here.”

Hood said he hasn’t gotten a read yet on how much the Titans value him as a cornerback, but hopes to find out over the next couple of weeks.

“I can’t speak on behalf of this organization. It’s a two-sided thing. I can’t speak on where they see me at as a player. That has a lot to do with it as well,” he said. “It’s a good team, a good coaching staff and good players. If the opportunity presented itself, I would [come back]. I would like to be here.

“For me, yeah, wherever I go, I feel like I belong there. But that’s for them to decide and I just continue to keep playing and every opportunity I get, I try to make the best of it.”

Finnegan said he was impressed with how Hood played in a fill-in role this season.

“I think when Rod was called on, he performed well. He performed real well. He was a solid guy,” Finnegan said. “To be inactive for five or six games and then ask the guy to play the last game was tough on him. But I thought he did well, and we’ll see what happens next year.”

As for Harper’s situation, Finnegan is in wait-and-see mode there as well to find out who will play on the other cornerback spot next year.

“He was solid at what he did. Sometimes people on the outside say what they want to, but he was a solid contributor, and I learned a lot from him,” Finnegan said of Harper. “There’s always a business side to everything, so we’ll just see.”

A sentiment that could apply to Hood’s situation as well.

9 Comments on this post:

By: cmarcus45 on 1/6/10 at 3:53

I think Hood proved himself in his limited playing time this year. Harper has lost a step. I would be satisfied if we re-signed Hood and allowed him to compete with Mouton and McCourty for the starting gig.

By: NGNG34 on 1/7/10 at 6:42

I am willing to attribute the missed tackles versus the Seahawks to end-of-year off-the-bench rust. He was good in both coverage and run support in the three games in which he played and should only get better after an offseason with the club. I would like to see him come back... at the right price.

By: TitansFan035 on 1/7/10 at 7:43

The guy deserves at least a 1 year deal, let him compete for a starting job next year he proved he can play . Fisher killed the guy's momentum by putting Harper, back knowing he wasn't 100% ready! I have to say that was one of the many bad decisions Field Goal Fisher made this year.. Those 2 rookies will still be green next year and we will once again be the worst secondary in the league.

By: TITAN1 on 1/7/10 at 8:30

Field Goal Fisher, wow 035, think of that all by yourself? He is one of the highest paid coaches in the league for a reason. He is damn good! If he was fired he could almost pick any team and name his price. No coach is perfect. It does amaze me that critical armchair quarterbacks think they know better than the coaches.

By: TitansFan035 on 1/7/10 at 10:37

TITAN1, so you agree with FIELD GOAL FISHER decisions on pulling out Hood out of the line up and putting Harper???? Dude get a life a get out of your mom basement for once.. If Field goal Fisher is so good then how come he doesn't have a super bowl ring in what 16 seasons as a head coach.. Lets see how many more 8-8 season Bud Adams will take before pulling the plug on Conservative Field Goal Fisher. Even the great ones get their plug pulled Fisher would be no different, he ain't no better than Mike Shanahan and he got the boot in Denver! Just wait and see Bud Adams at 87 can't wait any longer to get a championship boy!

By: TITAN1 on 1/7/10 at 12:17

I'm not the expert, but when coach Fisher put Harper back in the lineup Blaine Bishop on the pregame radio broadcast said he agreed with the decision. He said Hood did get those three interceptions but Harper was better against the deep ball and over all a better player. So, at that time coach Fisher must have had seen the same thing. How it turned out really does not matter. The decision at the time was made based on prior performance. "Get a life, move out of my mom's basement?" It sounds like you need to grow up. I see you ignored the part that if coach Fisher got fired he would have another head coaching job and could name his price. BTW, that is not a "rumor". Do you ever watch NFL.com? Having our own team is priceless, being competitive most years is icing on the cake. Winning a Super Bowl would be the cherry on top. But, I can live without the cherry if I have to. There are some of you that if we won the Super Bowl, then you would bitch if we didn't repeat. You will NEVER be happy. Thanks to Mr Adams, then Mayor Bredesen, and us "Yes" voters for making this dream come true!

By: wayneCaluger on 1/7/10 at 1:12

Nick Harper was in his day a good corner back, but like Jevon there comes a time when one has to either hang up their cleats or have someone hang them up for them. It took about seven games before Fisher finally hung up Jevon's cleats for him.

I never understood why you would take a hot corner back who in one game made more interceptions than you starter has made all season and then put him back into the starting team and deactivate the player who went 3-3 on interceptions. Now I'm not so sure Hood's poor tackling issue was rust since he had been on the scout team during the time Harper came back, but I would at least give him another look during 2010 preseason to see if he can beat out Mouton and McCourty for the starting spot.

Mouton was very impressive during preseason but vanished after Fisher experimented in trying to make kick off and punt returners out of Mouton and Ringer.

Mike Shanahan down fall at Denver was due to the owner sitting on his wallet (sounds familiar). It got so bad last year the Bronco's 4th running back came from a cellphone store in a Denver Mall. Had McDaniels not used Culter as trade bait to get some quality players from the Bears back filling with some over the hall players the Bronco's would not have come close this year. Shanahan want have that problem with the Skin's owner and I'm sure Bruce Allen will make sure he gets the players he needs. The Skin's should be back in the hunt in a couple years while Josh will most likely use the Bronco's only good receiver Brandon Marshall for trade bait since the two have butted heads all year.

Sometimes it's not the coach if the owner is willing to pay for one and open up the purse strings to get what the team needs instead of earning interest on his $20 million plus cap money.

By: TitansFan035 on 1/7/10 at 1:58

So i take it as as long as they win 8 games each season you will be happy! C'mon men we need to win and win now. I am not happy with out the cherry, like you say i want the whole tamale or nothing, move the team to alaska if they just want to compete..

By: TITAN1 on 1/7/10 at 2:42

Then if they win it all, you will still whine like a little girl if they don't repeat. Some of you are so weak minded. LOL!