Tennessee Titans: Denver Broncos Badmouth Titans Following Week 4

Ryan CookFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 26: Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs the ball past Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants at New Meadowlands Stadium on September 26, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Titans beat the Giants 29 - 10. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

It's a little sad to think of what the NFL has become.  Gone are the days of a little pushing and shoving that may result in the odd occasion of fisticuffs, and now we arrive in an era that is based around verbal abuse, especially in the likes of the media and social applications.

For the average NFL fan that is unfamiliar with the more recent verbal accusations, one of the better examples would be the newly announced Terrell Owens rumor, that stated the Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver was unhappy with his team's defense against the Cleveland Browns, and more or less blamed the loss on Marvin Lewis' lack of motivation.

But like most things in the league right now, this story turned out to be a big wad of fluff, that was more importantly surrounded by one big fat lie.

To keep the theme of verbal abuse running, the Denver Broncos also decided to step into the limelight recently, and exchange a few cheap words about their Week 4 opponents the Tennessee Titans, who Denver went on to beat 26-20 this past Sunday.

The key word that was used  by Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton following his teams victory was "cheap". 

Who was this in relation to you might ask? 

None other than Tennessee Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan, who Orton claims to have struck Denver Broncos offensive lineman Chris Kuper when his helmet was off.

For the record, evidence of this on field attack is inconclusive.  Although this game was very exciting, it is also important to remember that it was very fast paced, particularly toward the end, so the chances of a solid love tap looking like a well felt punch, are extremely likely.

But while we're on the topic of punching, is it really that unfamiliar in the NFL?

For the most part, in today's modern game it is.  However, when looking at other world sports such as Rugby, Hockey and even Basketball, a trusty closed hand has been used in sports since the age of the caveman.

So why is it that the NFL is so backwards on this type of treatment?

I guess the padding situation does have a lot to do it.  Yet at the same time, players seem to feel that punching a player is in some, way, shape or form, crossing the imaginary white line between civil play and unsportsmanlike conduct.

It's lucky that Vince Lombardi isn't alive, as he'd have even more reason to shout "What the hell is going on out here!?".

Aside from the issue of how the NFL has evolved over the years, fortunately for Titans fans, Tennessee's entire roster has taken Kyle Orton's verbal assault with about as much interest as Al shows Peggy on Married With Children.

No, the Tennessee Titans have brushed off any issues surrounding this poor excuse for a story, claiming that their main focus is on the Dallas Cowboys this upcoming week, who the Tennessee Titans must beat to maintain within throwing distance of the Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, and funnily enough, the Jacksonville Jaguars.

"We don't play the Broncos this week. We play the Cowboys," Cortland Finnegan stated after team practice. "I could care less what another man says. He's a quarterback, man, who cares? If he wants to show up in Nashville and see me, that's cool, too, but I doubt it."

In a typical debate style form, Kyle Orton also had a rebuttal to Finnegan's subtle attempt at a comeback, as he had this to say following on from Finnegan's words.

"I said what I said after the game and stand by it," Orton said. "To me, it's over with, and now I'm moving on."

It's easy to see now that a small cat and mouse game is being played by either player.  Perhaps it is fortunate that no other team players have gotten involved, but at the same time that hasn't stopped the likes of Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward and Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips from defending the Titans in every way possible.

"They just play hard" proclaimed both men briefly.

More to the point though, Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher also went on to express his belief that no other team familiar with the Titans has shared the same views, and even if the Broncos dislike his teams style, it's something they will have to live with.

When watching Tennessee on film, it's obvious the Titans love to hit - hard.  Their defense may not be the most explosive in the league, yet at the same time a physical aspect is always felt, perhaps reflective of the Houston Oilers of old.

As already mentioned, verbal communication seems to be the way of the future in the league.  Instead of confronting a player during the post game handshake or in the locker room, the use of Twitter or a microphone with the media is the way to go.

Realistically this is nothing new, but it is a little disappointing to see at times.  While the league doesn't need irate players storming the field, to call a team, or more importantly a player, "cheap" is a small low blow.

Denver fans mightn't like it, but maybe Tennessee fans seem to.  It's a little unlucky for the neutral fan, as these two teams will not meet up again in the regular season.  Still, there is the hope for the playoffs, considering how the AFC is unfolding.

A low blow to remember?

Probably not, but don't be surprised if Cortland Finnegan has it fresh in his mind for the next time he sees Kyle Orton.  It's likely Finnegan won't pull a Terrell Owens and track him down at a night club anytime soon, but cornerbacks are always unforgiving.

Like Kyle Orton said, let's put this issue behind us now.  At least it hasn't been overly publicized, even though a little trash talk has been exercised.  If by some miracle these two teams meet in the postseason, make sure to clear your schedule, a classy team like Tennessee won't appreciate being labeled "cheap" for very long.

Ryan Cook is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also an NFL columnist for Real Sports Net and a Green Bay Packers writer for Fan Huddle and PackerChatters. Ryan is also a contributing writer for Detroit Lions Talk, Gack Sports and Generation Y Sports.  Don't forget to follow him on Twitter.