Originally written on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Jerry Gray uttered the words of a man boiling over with frustration on Thursday the kind of words that might not escape the view of the NFL commissioners office. The performance of the Titans defense through four games has been historically bad. The team has yielded 151 points. Twenty-one of those points have come as a result of scores by opposing defenses, bringing Grays units share down to 130, which would still extrapolate to 520 allowed at seasons end. That total would represent the second-worst single-season mark in NFL history. The 1981 Baltimore Colts yielded 533 and the winless 2008 Detroit Lions allowed 517. The 1966 New York Giants rank third with 501, but only played a 14-game season, giving them the dubious title for the most points allowed per game at 35.8. For the record, this year's1-3 Titans have allowed 37.8 points per game. Grays comments came on Thursday in his weekly meeting with Nashville media when he was asked if perhaps his players were too fearful of being fined for illegal hits. Like I said, the thing is if youre worrying about that, youre not going to try and blow the guy up, Gray said of a big hit to break up the pass. I know one thing, if youre thinking about one thing, that one thing youre thinking about is probably going to show up. And great football players have to put that out of their mind. You got to say, Hey, look, this is my territory between the numbers and if you throw the football, you better bring the Gator truck. And thats how you got to play. You cant play timid in the NFL. The reference to the Gator truck is the four-wheel vehicle that helps to remove those players from the field who are seriously injured. In fairness to Gray, he did not explicitly say he was advocating illegal play. Instead, the former defensive back, a four-time Pro-Bowler in a nine-year NFL career, could have been referring to clean, hard-hitting plays that accidentally result in injury, as so many football plays do. Nonetheless, he might have reason to be concerned if the commissioners office comes calling. However, seen in a different light, Grays words will only continue the debate over defenseless receivers and player safety. But they also illustrate the quandary for defensive players over how to play the game with recent changes in the game to protect players and concussions becoming sucha hot-button issue and legal quagmire for the league. In Week 3, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Mundy put a dangerous hit on Oakland Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey that reportedly resulted in a fine of 21,000. Heyward-Beys route took him across the middle and Mundy, coming in the opposite direction, put his helmet into the chest of Heyward-Bey, clipping his Titanshelmet in the process. Heyward-Bey stayed down for an extended period, since saying he has no memory of the hit. He only returned to practice this week. On the flip side of that equation is a player like Atlanta Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson, who last year was fined for a hit on a Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver for the second time in two seasons. Robinson protested the decisions and his 50,000 fine from 2010 on DeSean Jackson was later cut in half. Ive been in this league for eight years, Robinson told FOXSportsSouth.com. You can go back and watch film, year after year, Ive played hard and Ive played physical, so I dont know why now its being called dirty football. Thats just the way I play, man. I dont intentionally go out there and try to hurt people. I play hard. The way Robinson plays the style that got him fined twice is how Gray wants his unit to play. Football, after all, is a game in which intimidation plays a major role. Clearly, Gray believes his defense is not intimidating enough, if at all. He ended a chat with Nashville media on Thursday with a performance that was a classic example of the Socratic method. A video of the 12-minute session, from which his quotes for this story were taken, is posted on the Titans website. Gray turned the questions around on his questioners when the query came as to whether his defense was playing too timidly. Has anybody caught the ball in the middle of the field? Gray asked. Yes, was the answer. Have we blown anybody up? Gray asked. No, was the answer. Maybe were playing too timid, he said, then strode off to amused chuckles. But debate is less of a laughing matter and it will continue to rage on.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

2014 World Series: Game Three live blog

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

8 NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

NBA Replay Center readies for its debut on Opening Night

WATCH: Former NBAer delivers vicious flying elbow Down Under

RNS looking to add agents with existing client rosters

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.