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Predators' easy answers: Start like you mean it, stay out of the box

By John Glennon, guest columnist

NASHVILLE – Nobody expected the Predators to win 16 straight playoff games en route to capturing their first Stanley Cup this year.

Even the modern-era NHL dynasties – the Edmonton Oilers and the New York Islanders of the 1980s – stumbled at least two or three times during each of their postseason runs.

So it's not the fact the Predators lost Monday night in Colorado, falling 5-3 in Game 3 to the Avs, that should be of concern to Preds fans.

What's more problematic is the continuation of some troubling trends, ones that didn't stand out as much when the Preds captured Games 1 and 2 of this series in Nashvillle.

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Draft will tell us how Titans really feel about their WRs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- As the draft nears, the degree of need for the Titans at receiver is a question I keep pondering.

Matt LaFleur was with the Rams last season, and they finished the season with seven wide receivers. Mike TaylorKCVrabel was with the Texans and they had six. The Titans finished with six as well - one of them special teamer Eric Weems who played just 13 offensive snaps.

In a two-tight system, Tennessee receivers played roughly 77 percent of the snaps that Rams receivers played in their three-wide scheme.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Brace yourself. I know this will get a big reaction.

Sometimes I use imperfect logic. I can be stubborn in an argument, dug in. Sometimes it’s unreasonable. 

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Depending on the degree of importance on the matter I am not above shifting my thinking based on opinions or evidence presented to me.

Sometimes I may stick to my guns more because it winds up being funny. But overall, my stances and arguments and comebacks are based in thought. I can explain myself.

Saturday night I was reminded that Vanderbilt has a women’s bowling team when it won the NCAA championship, a great feat in any sport. But my initial reaction was the same as it would be for a lot of people, and I tweeted it in the shape of a poll.

Part jab, sure. Part fun. Part serious.

Well, I might as well have insulted the most sacred thing in the world.

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Pickers mailbag: Under-appreciated and over-recognized Titans

pickers vodaka bar847x63NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Greetings people.

Sorry for a couple days of silence. Not having the best year in terms of staying healthy.

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Hope you’ve heard the podcast from earlier in the week, which includes some good remembrances of Steve Watterson pranking Gregg Williams and Steve McNair and a review of Mike Vrabel’s off tangent on filming in the locker room.

On to your questions in our weekly mailbag brought to you by Pickers Vodka. Grab a bottle for yourself and take one to next party your invited to. If you’re out catching a game or meeting friends, I highly recommend a Moscow Mule with Pickers. Drink Responsibly.

PK: I just don’t see it. He’ll turn 30 this season and a team that loved him and is hardly stacked at receiver without him just let him go.

He seems like a lot of work. The Titans aren’t looking for many aging guys who they’ll need to massage or manage. If he is not a complete non-fit for their MO, he’s close, right?

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YAZOO PODCAST: Remembering a classic Steve Watterson prank on Steve McNair

YAZOO podcast stripeNASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Steve Watterson, the recently retired long-time Titans strength and conditioning coach, played a long game of cat and mouse with Steve McNair.

Watterson was hell-bent on getting McNair on a scale. McNair was equally determined to keep Watterson from knowing what he weighed.BlevinsPodcast

In this week's podcast, I share the story of how Watterson craftily managed to learn McNair's weight.

Part 1, like podcast versions of my public Periscope and Facebook Lives, 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.

We always welcome your feedback.

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.

Other topics: With the addition of Michael Campanaro, do the Titans now have enough at wide receiver? What did I make of Mike Vrabel's odd tangent during his recent press conference about reporters in the locker room?

Madison Blevins rejoined me for a conversation about that and more.

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As Titans move toward minicamp, Mike Vrabel pledges to monitor the pace

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With the first phases of OTAs underway, Mike Vrabel and his staff finally have players in the building.

The temptation for a new, first-time head coach to push the pace must be strong.

But just like he said he wasn’t going to try to accelerate relationship building with Marcus Mariota and his teammates, he’s not going to hurry his guys in leaning the playbook.VrabelPads

(Photo courtesy Houston Texans.)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans have put more of an effort and more resources into building cosmetics and messaging since Amy Adams Strunk has controlled the purse strings.

I walked down a familiar hallway, that was unchanged, for Mike Vrabel's Monday press conference, and into a team auditorium that was slightly changed.

These two phrases that were on the wall during Mularkey's tenure are now gone:

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In their place are these two messages, which are also each on a second spot in the room:

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Vrabel said multiple time after he was hired that he and his staff wouldn’t really be coaches until they had players.

So Monday was a big transition day as he got to stand in front of a room of them as phase one of OTAs, which focuses on conditioning, got underway.IMG 8024

It’s voluntary and he said he didn’t take attendance, locking in on who was there. He a few players made their position coaches aware they wouldn’t make the first day and offered a bit about why.

The early message beyond introductions:

“[We] kind of talked about what we thought the expectations were, or what were our objectives for the first two weeks,” he said. “We talked about learning, conditioning, and communicating, and really that's what

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