Originally posted on Fox Sports Tennessee  |  Last updated 10/5/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Cavs active in NBA trade market, covet Jared Dudley

Roger Goodell expectedly dodges Patriots-related questions at Super Bowl

Baltimore Orioles acquire starting pitcher Odrisamer Despaigne

USC athletic director Pat Haden to retire in June

Report: Browns owner ‘frustrated, emotional’ about Johnny Manziel

Raiders and Texans to play MNF game in Mexico City in 2016

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Goodell wants to keep Raiders, Chargers in home markets

Deadly shooting breaks out at Dublin boxing weigh-in

Mike Shula vs. Wade Phillips: The best story of Super Bowl 50

LeBron: ‘I don’t really see a problem’ with Hack-a-Shaq

Report: Asking price 'too steep' for Howard trade to Celtics

Ex-teammate: 'Fair to assume' Lynch done with Seahawks

NFL considering moving Pro Bowl to Australia

Joe Montana warns NFL players about potential long-term damage after retirement

Report: Two people fired for leaking Jason Pierre-Paul information

USMNT are big favorites against Canada

‘Crying Jordan’ photographer had no idea it existed until this week

NHL nightmare: No Canadian teams in the NHL playoff hunt

Seven unheralded players set to make major impacts in SB 50

‘Actor’ Todd Gurley wants to make ‘billions’

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

David Price donates $300K to build field for special needs kids

J.R. Smith pulls a Marshawn on 3-point contest slight

Tom Brady has clock counting down to Super Bowl LI

QUIZ: Name the winning starting quarterback from every Super Bowl

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 14 biggest plays in Super Bowl history

Manziel's father fears for QB's life

Johnny Manziel dropped by agent

Michael Irvin: Cowboys should save Manziel

QUIZ: Name the Super Bowl halftime performers since 1991

The merits of trading Blake Griffin to the Hornets

X-factors in Super Bowl 50

Could the Marlins contend in 2016?

Report: Browns to cut Manziel in March

Browns rip Manziel in statement

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker