Titans running backs sell shirts for charity

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 6:46pm

After thrashing the Kansas City Chiefs for a franchise-record 332 yards rushing back in October, running backs LenDale White and Chris Johnson emerged in the post-game interview sessions calling themselves “Smash ’n Dash.”

The nickname for the tandem began to pick up steam over the next several weeks with newspapers and television outlets beginning to occasionally use the moniker to refer to the Titans’ one-two running back punch.

Now, White and Johnson are using the “Smash ’n Dash” label to raise money for charity.

The duo had their likenesses put on some Columbia blue t-shirts in caricatures to be sold at local Kroger stores. Shipments for sale were scheduled to begin arriving Wednesday.

Anderson Studios on Grissom Ave., in Nashville printed the shirts, after they were designed by another company.

“Me and C.J. were talking about it for awhile, and we called somebody and got them involved and it took off,” White said. “Now, they’ve got the shirts printed up. Hopefully, we can keep it going and sell a lot of them, so we can give back to the community and give some money to foster kids. Hopefully, we can make enough so we can take some of them out shopping for Christmas.”

Asked about their likenesses on the shirts, both liked it.

“It’s pretty close, but they could have given me some more muscles,” Johnson said.

Added White, “I think I’m pretty hot, but we’ll let the ladies decide that.”

YOUNG OUT: Backup quarterback Vince Young missed Wednesday’s practice with an infection in his right thumb.

The thumb apparently became infected after the Thanksgiving win over Detroit, Young’s first action since the season opener. Antibiotics over the off weekend did not help, so the Titans shut him down until the swelling and infection clears up. Titans coach Jeff Fisher said he expects Young to be available if needed Sunday against Cleveland.

“He had an infection in the corner of the cuticle after the ballgame, so we put him on some antibiotics, and he took the weekend off,” Fisher said. “The antibiotics didn’t do the trick and it spread a little bit. We’re just treating the infection and we’re expecting him to play. We’ll back him down from throwing for the next few days.”

OTHER INJURIES: Other than Young, the only Titans not to practice after the weekend off from the Thursday game were starting cornerbacks Nick Harper and Cortland Finnegan. Harper was bothered by an ankle injury that kept him out of a few series against the Lions. Finnegan has a minor hamstring issue.

Both are likely to play against the Browns.

NOT LOOKING AHEAD: The Titans can clinch the AFC South for the first time since 2002 with a win over the Browns this weekend. Also, one more loss by the New York Jets, who play at San Francisco Sunday, would assure the Titans of clinching a first-round bye with three games still to play.

Tight end Alge Crumpler admits the thought of a bye week off is a good one, but he still won’t allow himself to think that far ahead.

“My old bones would love another week off,” Crumpler said. “If you consider after the Thursday game having a few days off, I would enjoy another week off, but keeping with the theme of the Jeff Fisher Titans we’re not going to look to far ahead. We’re going to focus on the Cleveland Browns and handle business.”

REMEMBERING: Titans linebacker Keith Bulluck, readying for his 110th consecutive start on Sunday, said he didn’t recall Browns quarterback Ken Dorsey’s start against Tennessee back in 2005 when Dorsey was a San Francisco 49er, but did remember a Big East matchup in college when Dorsey’s Miami Hurricanes faced Bulluck’s Syracuse team.

“No, I just remember Ken Dorsey from when I played him my senior year in Miami, and there’s no tape on that,” Bulluck said with a smile.

FITTING IN: Veteran Tyrone Poole, signed on the fly two games ago when the Titans lost cornerbacks Eric King and Reynaldo Hill to injuries, got some first-team defensive work with Finnegan and Harper out. He split first-team duties with nickelback Vincent Fuller on the outside.

“He’s learning,” Fisher said of Poole. “He’s got a much better feel obviously than when he got here, and if we need to call on him, we wouldn’t hesitate.”

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