2014 DRAFT GUIDE
With 15 years of sellouts, Titans busy wooing fans

By TERESA M. WALKER - AP Sports Writer
    2014-02-18 20:01

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Rhonda and Kevin Lawrence have had season tickets for the Titans since their start in Tennessee and couldn't help but notice all the empty seats around them in the upper deck at LP Field.

She said she wants her Titans back.

The Titans are just as eager to get their fans to return.

The team invited season ticket holders to lunch and dinner Tuesday, showing off new coach Ken Whisenhunt as part of fan outreach for a franchise that has sold out 15 straight seasons. They brought in Titans to pose for photos and sign autographs at both sessions, attracting 4,600 fans to Nashville's new Music City Center. Whisenhunt answered questions during each session.

President and CEO Tommy Smith and members of the Adams' family ownership group flew in from Houston for lunch to help make it clear that the status quo is unacceptable for the Titans. Smith said on WGFX-FM 104.5 The Zone's Midday 180 that they had finished studying the franchise from top to bottom, a process that included firing Mike Munchak on Jan. 4 and hiring Whisenhunt.

''You're going to see a marked difference in this organization,'' Smith said.

Whisenhunt, who was headed for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis after dinner, was making his first public appearance in Nashville since being hired. He said he wants fans to be excited about what the Titans will put on the field this year. Whisenhunt also said he has seen Nashville get behind the Titans before.

''I've played here as an opponent, and I know what a tough place it is to play when that's the case, and that's what I want,'' Whisenhunt said. ''It gives you an advantage, and a home-field advantage in this league is something you can use to win games. I've seen it happen. Look what happened in Seattle. They make it a tough place to play, and next thing you know they're in the Super Bowl. Any little bit that helps we'll take.''

The Titans had one of the NFL's best home-field advantages when they opened their stadium for the 1999 season, winning an NFL-record 12 straight games. They have sold out 154 straight games at the stadium, but getting fans to use the tickets has been challenging with the Titans not reaching the playoffs the past five seasons. They went 7-9 last season with a five-game home skid, their longest since leaving Texas for Tennessee in 1997.

Don MacLachlan, executive vice president of administration and facilities, said the franchise finds itself in a similar situation to 1998 and 1999 with Smith instructing the Titans to make sure they build their base well and take nothing for granted.

''The fact that we sold out games for 15 straight years doesn't mean we'll do it for a 16th straight year,'' MacLachlan said. ''That's why we're way in front of the curve this year.''

The Titans currently have 22,000 season ticket holders, a number expected to rise over the next 90 days with renewals. They also will start selling single-game tickets soon after the schedule is released, which is expected in April. Tennessee has devised new concessions, improved cell coverage, and made other changes to lure fans back into the stadium and away from their high-definition TVs.

Smith has said he plans to spend more money in free agency in March, and the Titans hold the No. 11 draft pick in May.

Still, they all know what will pack the stadium fastest: Winning.

''The fans are going to be there early because there is some excitement, and then where it goes from there depends on how we are as a football team,'' quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said. ''The way you get fans in the seats is win football games. That's how it's been, and how it's always going to be.''

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Teresa M. Walker at www.twitter.com/teresamwalker

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Reggie BushNov 22 05:32p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is likely out for Week 12 and is targeting the Thanksgiving Day game Thursday, Nov. 27, to return.

Marcel ReeceNov 22 04:42p

Oakland Raiders FB Marcel Reece earned more carries after his performance in Week 12 Thursday, Nov. 20. Reece rushed for 46 yards during a crucial 17-play, 80-yard drive late [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 22 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is highly unlikely to suit up Sunday, Nov. 23, for Week 12.

Josh GordonNov 22 01:32p

Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon was officially activated from the exempt/commissioner permission list Saturday, Nov. 22. In a subsequent move, the team waived LB Keith Pough.

A.J. JenkinsNov 22 12:42p

The Kansas City Chiefs have placed WR A.J. Jenkins (shoulder) on the Reserve/Injured list.

Charles ClayNov 21 05:52p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and he is doubtful for Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. Clay suffered a setback in practice [ More ]

Arian FosterNov 21 05:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is questionable for Week 12 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Head coach Bill O'Brien said Foster would [ More ]

Jason AvantNov 21 04:52p

The Kansas City Chiefs will sign free-agent WR Jason Avant (Panthers), according to a source. Avant worked out for the team Friday, Nov. 21.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is listed as probable for Week 12.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 03:12p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) is considered a game-time decision for Week 12, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 03:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's appeal hearing is scheduled to occur Dec. 2, and commissioner Roger Goodell will not be in charge of the hearing. Former NFL employee Harold [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 21 02:22p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was not participating during the media-access portion of practice Friday, Nov. 21. Fitzgerald was working on the side during that part of practice.

Delanie WalkerNov 21 02:22p

Tennessee Titans TE Delanie Walker (concussion) has passed his concussion test and is good to go in Week 12 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Giovani BernardNov 21 02:12p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard (hip, clavicle) fully participated in practice Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12.

Julius ThomasNov 21 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is listed as questionable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins after putting in a limited practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 02:02p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) practiced in full Friday, Nov. 21, and is probable for Week 12 against the Miami Dolphins, according to head coach John Fox.

Julius ThomasNov 21 01:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle), who appeared limited during practice Friday, Nov. 21, figures to be a game-time decision against the Miami Dolphins in Week 12. Thomas said [ More ]

Dwayne AllenNov 21 01:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 12 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Jonas GrayNov 21 01:22p

New England Patriots RB Jonas Gray (undisclosed) was a no-show at practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Jordan ReedNov 21 01:12p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) missed his third straight day of practice Friday, Nov. 21, and head coach Jay Gruden said Reed has been ruled out for Week [ More ]

Emmanuel SandersNov 21 01:12p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) is participating in practice Friday, Nov. 21.

Adrian PetersonNov 21 11:02a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson said he'll gladly return this season if he wins the appeal of his indefinite suspension. If he loses his appeal and has to sit [ More ]

Latavius MurrayNov 21 10:32a

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) has earned himself a larger role in the offense, according to interim head coach Tony Sparano. His concussion, obviously, will dictate when that [ More ]

LeGarrette BlountNov 21 10:32a

New England Patriots RB LeGarrette Blount was not signed by the team to replace RB Jonas Gray as the between-the-tackles runner. Blount's presence gives the team another tough inside [ More ]

Jeremy HillNov 21 10:02a

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill will be the leader in a 65-35 split of the carries with RB Giovani Bernard in Week 12, in the opinion of beat writer Paul Dehner Jr.

Emmanuel SandersNov 20 07:42p

Denver Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders (concussion) has done conditioning work and will be evaluated again Friday, Nov. 21.

Eric KushNov 20 07:03p

The Kansas City Chiefs have declared WR A.J. Jenkins, QB Aaron Murray, CB Christopher Owens, WR Donnie Avery, C Eric Kush, CB Jamell Fleming, OT Laurent Duvernay-Tardif inactive for Week 12.

Matt McGloinNov 20 07:03p

The Oakland Raiders have declared CB Carlos Rogers, TE David Ausberry, OG Gabe Jackson, SS Jonathan Dowling, QB Matt McGloin, OG Tony Bergstrom, CB Travis Carrie inactive for Week 12.

Charles ClayNov 20 06:42p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited Wednesday, Nov. 19.

Tauren PooleNov 20 06:42p

The New Orleans Saints released RB Tauren Poole Thursday, Nov. 20.

Jordan CameronNov 20 06:12p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) did not practice for the second straight day Thursday, Nov. 20.

Arian FosterNov 20 05:52p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) did not practice Thursday, Nov. 20, after being limited the previous day.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group