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NEW YORK – Here’s where a Bruce Springsteen fanatic tells you Springsteen on Broadway surpassed the hype and my expectations, where my Saturday night in New York was like you at the Super Bowl.

Much has been made about how sportswriters tend to love the guy. I have good friends in the business who share my feelings for him.SpringsteenSigns

At the core, we like the tunes and the authenticity. But we’re jealous of the storytelling. In his songs, and in the stories he shared that revealed the process of his life turning into his music, he uses more active verbs, paints with more colors and evokes more feeling than in anything I read, about sports or anything else.

And I know I can’t and won’t approach it in my work, so to be near it is extraordinary, to hear him detail a family, a friend, a neighborhood, a road trip, a draft notice, a marriage.

Springsteen was really funny at times, talking about putting on the clothes of a factory worker despite never having stepped foot in a factory, about this show being his first five-day-a-week job, about being the Born-to-Run guy and living 10 minutes from the hometown he wanted to bolt, about having no driver’s license and not being able to get an automatic car out of first gear not long before he wrote Racing in the Streets.

“I’m that good,” he said to a big laugh.

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YAZOO PODCAST: Samari Rolle remembers tight-knit Titans vs. 'polarizing personalities' on Ravens

YAZOO podcast stripeNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When you ask me about my favorite guys to cover on the Titans, Samari Rolle is always near the top of the list.

He visited with me from Florida for this week's podcast, where he corrects my pronunciation of 

Ocala, a city in his state, and I correct his pronunciation of Kevin Byard's last name.

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We cover the difference between the Titans and Ravens teams he played on, he shares the story of the one time he lost his head, he recalls when he learned that a co-catch meant a reception for a receiver, talks of his love for Marshon Lattimore and runs through his thoughts on Malcolm Butler and Mickey Andrews. And those are just the things I managed to write down.

Part 1 is available through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes.

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line. 

I hope you enjoy the conversation as much as I did. If you didn't know before why I like him so much, you will after these 50 minutes.

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- You can now make your plans to see Mike Vrabel and his staff run the Titans through camp practices and to see Marcus Mariota and the guys up close.

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That'll have you ready for prime seats for a couple games at Nissan Stadium, which you can get at Tennesse Tickets. There is a discount for members of the site, which you can get below.

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With one exception, NFL hardly valued Titans’ toss-aways

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Through the offseason, the Titans moved on from 16 players who were on the 2017 team.

Seven of them – 44 percent – have landed new jobs in the league so far. And only one of those seven is in line for a role as big or bigger than he held with the Titans, inside linebacker Avery Williamson.

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In relative order of importance in 2017:

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Are there people with the Titans who fear Mike Vrabel?

pickers vodka 847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three people in the NFL I’ve been around in my time covering the NFL have made me nervous: Al Davis; his lieutenant, Amy Trask; and Bill Polian.

Some combination of my respect level, their personas and, in the first two instances, my youth, made me fear them.

Davis and Polian are both now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Titans coach Mike Vrabel doesn’t have anything close to their resumes at 42. But they both had or have big personalities and a lot of swagger, and Vrabel certain possesses those qualities.VrabelHOUPatsVert

(Photo courtesy Houston Texans.)

We’ve had a decent glimpse at how others with the Titans act around Vrabel. And while I think he puts certain

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TicketsBar2NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As a way of introduction, I wanted to ask all the Titans position coaches the same question to help us get a feel for them.

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Most staffs have a screamer or two who coach a bit by volume as well as guys who are typically calm.

How to the position coaches on defense characterize themselves? Are they more likely to get in a guys' face or put an arm around their shoulder?

Here are defensive line coach Terrell Williams, defensive backs coach Kerry Coombs, outside linebacker coach Shane Bowen and inside linebacker coach Tyrone McKenzie responding to the question.

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On guaranteed contracts: I prefer fear of getting fired as a motivator for productive work

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – NFL players should get a bigger piece of the league pie, and the annual discussion about middling NBA players getting free-agent deals worth more than football stars should disappear.

But…

I’m not on board with fully guaranteed contracts.DollarSign

A short one like the three-year deal Kirk Cousins got was a win for him and for players. First round picks basically get four years guaranteed, but not ridiculous numbers. Second-rounders often get two years of certain money.

But even guaranteed three-year deals for everyone on a second contract would lead, I believe, to worse football.

The constant risk of a player not producing to match his getting fired, while not good for his blood pressure, is good for the game.

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How often do you want to see the Titans wear light blue?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The recent fan/brand rankings from an Emory University study put the Titans dead last in the NFL.

It seemed harsh to me given some of the teams ahead of Tennessee, but the Titans are undoubtedly in the bottom third or quarter of the league.TitansBlues

Clad in new uniforms this season and playing under a new coach with new systems, they will have a chance to begin to grow the brand.

We’ve talked on The Midday 180 about how Vanderbilt baseball does itself a disservice by wearing red, white and blue at times. The patriotic push and tribute to veterans is nice. But if someone if flipping channels and comes across Vanderbilt, whose brand is black and gold, the school loses that clear identifiability.

The Titans new uniforms don’t include a random color –

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