Michael Griffin went to his locker Friday and found a white No. 10 Titans' jersey hanging there, waiting for him. He wore it on the field but didn't look too comfortable.
"I think it was a joke,'' Tennessee's top draft pick said.
The No. 10 belongs to Vince Young, the Titans' franchise quarterback and top draft pick of 2006 from the University of Texas. Griffin is a fellow Longhorn and the team's top draft pick of 2007.
"Hopefully, they strip me down from it (before) he sees it because he may feel real disrespected for wearing his number,'' Griffin said of borrowing Young's jersey.
Young, who wasn't around Friday during the rookie orientation, helped the Titans go 8-8 in his rookie season, missing out on a playoff berth by one game.
The Titans can only hope for similar production out of Griffin, who played safety in college but will start out at cornerback with Tennessee to help the team fill a hole on defense left by the season-long suspension of cornerback Adam "Pacman'' Jones.
Coach Jeff Fisher said he liked what he saw of their latest rookie class, which features 10 draft picks and 12 undrafted free agents. He liked how Griffin handled working at cornerback.
"He improved from this morning to this afternoon, and we expected to see that. As we've said all along, he's a very talented player. He's a very good defensive player and he can play all the positions, and he will only continue to get better outside,'' Fisher said.
The Titans signed veteran free agent Nick Harper to help strengthen the secondary on the NFL's worst defense. Griffin said he needs to work on staying low and his backpedal.
"It's a learning process. I don't think it's no A. You can give me an E for effort,'' Griffin said.
The Titans have been criticized for the past week for trying to tap too much potential in players like second-round selection Chris Henry.
The running back from Arizona had four of his six starts in his final four games. He had 269 carries for 892 yards. He caught only 26 passes for 205 yards and one touchdown.
But he repeatedly showed off the 4.4-second speed he achieved in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in passing drills Friday. He also displayed soft hands in a catch where he never broke stride, turning his head back over his left shoulder and pulling the ball in for a smooth reception.
"It's always been evident that I would be a better NFL running back than I was in college,'' Henry said. "A lot of teams were looking at me on potential because they know one day I'm going to be a really good running back, and I'm excited.''
Henry wore No. 29, the number that had been running back Chris Brown's the past four seasons. Brown lost his starting job last year and is an unrestricted free agent who likely won't be back now that the Titans have drafted Henry.
The rookie said he had to calm himself down when he stepped onto the Titans' indoor practice field Friday morning. He has studied Steven Jackson, Kansas City's Larry Johnson, Jim Brown and even wore the No. 27 two years at Arizona because of Eddie George, the Titans' career rushing leader.
Henry will compete with LenDale White, the Titans' second-round pick of 2006, as the team looks for a new starter after releasing Travis Henry in March. White told a newspaper this week he had never heard of Henry despite playing in the Pac-10 at Southern California.
Asked about White's comments, Henry quickly joked, "Who?''
"I've seen him run for three years when we were in the Pac-10 together. I'm sorry he doesn't know who I am. ... It'll be an honor to play on the same field as him ...,'' Henry said.
And about those numbers. Griffin also wore No. 27 in college, a number the Titans might want to retire someday for George.
"Whatever number they put on my back, I'll wear it proudly,'' Griffin said.
Story Courtesy: The Associated Press & The Tennessee Titans
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