He has spent the past day spreading news of his engagement to friends and family in Norfolk, Virginia, reminiscing with them about a time when this kind of self-confidence and contentedness felt far away. The “old Kam,” as he calls his younger self, was shy and sometimes insecure while growing up in a housing project in Norfolk, where he was targeted by neighborhood bullies because his skin was too dark, his lips too chapped, his shoes tattered and his cornrows frayed. He also had a single mother whom many knew because of her transportation jobs. She drove a dump truck, delivered a newspaper, drove a bus and ran the trolley — sometimes working three jobs at once to support six children she was raising alone. “Everything bad people could say about a family that was struggling, I heard it,” Chancellor says.
Game Karl Malone Jersey But he was also a natural athlete, and by junior high he had become one of the city’s best basketball and football players. He was quiet and disciplined, setting his alarm for 6 a.m. summer workouts, and over time his peers began to credit his success less to ability than to work ethic.
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Remember, the Titans spent their first-round pick in 2016 on offensive lineman Jack Conklin. They then added the downhill style of running back Derrick Henry in the second round, and they traded for DeMarco Murray. This team was building to control the line of scrimmage and pound the ball. I understand that with a young quarterback, and it’s the same style of football that is playing out in Dallas this season with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott. Controlled tempo, physicality and a game plan that can facilitate more manageable production at the quarterback position.
However, when looking at the receiver position in Tennessee, I don’t see a group that has to be consistently accounted for from a defensive game plan perspective. Yes, tight end Delanie Walker can create matchups, especially in the red zone. And I know wide receiver Rishard Matthews has elevated his game this season. But the Titans lack a consistent deep-ball threat (or deep-ball speed), and they don’t have a true No. 1 like Dez Bryant.
Instead, they have a group that is being elevated by Mariota’s development within the system. From his anticipation to deliver the ball into tight windows to his ability to quickly read and diagnose coverages, Mariota is attacking NFL defenses like an experienced veteran.