Titans' Kearse addresses DUI charge

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 at 2:11pm
Jevon Kearse spoke to the media about his DUI charge. Mike Strasinger for The City Paper

Tennessee Titans defensive end Jevon Kearse spoke to the media about the Sunday morning DUI charge he received, but said very little with the case still pending.

“I cannot speak on this incident at this present time, but as soon as I can, I will be sure to let everyone know,” Kearse said Tuesday after the Titans concluded an off-season practice.

He fielded a few questions on the matter, but said nothing specifically related to the case.

“It’s tough, but I’m still thinking positive out here. I can’t bring it onto the football field, because this is my job. I’ve got to handle this [practice] first and foremost,” Kearse said.

Kearse, 31, was stopped at 4:42 a.m. Sunday morning on West End Avenue by Vanderbilt University police, who said they noticed his Cadillac Escalade speeding and weaving in the 30 mph zone.

Police say he failed a field sobriety test and refused a breathalyzer test. Kearse was transported to the Metro Nashville Criminal Justice Center, where he was booked. He has a July 14 court date.

Asked if he was disappointed that young fans had to see him involved in the matter, Kearse, who re-signed with Tennessee in March, invoked a famous phrase from his agent, Drew Rosenhaus.

“In the words of Drew Rosenhaus, ‘Next question,’” Kearse said.

The response drew a chorus of laughs from the media present, but Titans coach Jeff Fisher was clearly not in a joking mood about the latest off-field incident involving one of his players.

“I did speak with Jevon and I can say that clearly the entire organization is disappointed in the incident,” Fisher said. “But that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop what we’re doing. We’re going to continue to do what we’ve done — the safe rides solution that was mentioned. We’re going to continue with the seminars and the tapes and the life skills presentations and the discussions that we have and we’re going to continue to that.”

Fisher saw the matter as another black eye for an organization that has endured a number of incidents in the past several years, many involving since-traded cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones.

“What they’ll see happening is because the organization has had another incident, you’ll go back and list all the others and his name will go to the top, and those guys who were involved as far back as 10 years ago, unfortunately, will resurface again,” Fisher said. “That’s part of it. That’s the world we live in. But the only way can eliminate that is to eliminate the incidents.”

DEFENSE DOMINATES: Quarterback Vince Young endured a bit of a rough day in practice Tuesday, offering up at least four interceptions in various drills.

Young was victimized twice each by cornerbacks Eric King and Nick Harper.

Harper was back in the starting lineup after being excused from last week’s work, while King worked with the first team as Cortland Finnegan continues to be limited in his work.

“Our defense was making a lot of plays today,” Fisher said. “We had a couple of receivers out of position and those types of things. But it’s good to see the defense tightening things up and giving Vince some very, very tight windows to throw in.”

Asked if it was offensive struggles or the defense standing out, King said, “It could have been a little bit of both. Guys got a lot hands on balls, and guys were able to get some interceptions, but I’m sure the offense is going to come out tomorrow and try to do their job and come at us as well.”

CAMPAIGNING: Harper has one request for training camp that he misses from his days with the Indianapolis Colts — a mist tent. And he said he will lobby Fisher to try and purchase one before training camp opens July 25.

“The only thing I wish they would get that we had in Indy was one of those mist tents,” Harper said. “If we can get one of those here, that would be great. I think I’m going to talk to Coach Fisher about that. We’d take a 15-minute break at practice and sit in there, and it was great — 15 minutes of cool mist blowing on you, and then you go right back to practice. We took full advantage of that 15 minutes, even though we didn’t really need it up there. The heat there and here is totally different. It’s a lot worse here. Here it was 105 every day.”

Harper said he would enlist former Colts teammates David Thornton and Jake Scott to help lobby for the tent.

GETTING READY: Mike Williams continues to try and work his way into the mix at wide receiver. Williams said he sees himself working into better shape as the offseason work has progressed.

“I’m a lot farther along as far as conditioning. I feel it. I see it on the tape,” said Williams, who lost more than 30 pounds during the offseason. “I’m more explosive and out of the cuts and the separating and the things that weren’t there at the beginning of OTAs where coach Dinger was talking about you’ve got to be able to go more than two plays and things like that.”

He is confident he can move up the depth chart despite running with the third group on offense during OTAs.

“They say they don’t have a depth chart, but they start every group with the same guys. I’m not discouraged with that,” Williams said. “Those guys do what they do, but I know what I’m going to be able to do, and when it’s time to go, I really think I’ll blow this thing wide open and there won’t be a question.”

INJURIES: Safety Rocky Schwartz and guard Fernando Velasco won’t be ready until training camp because of calf injuries. Tackle Daniel Loper ran on the side as he tries to make it back from a foot injury.

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