On sources and the Adnan Virk firing at ESPN

secretNASHVILLE, Tenn. – The hypocrisy of ESPN’s firing of Adnan Virk has been an undercovered story this week, and as the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve felt compelled to chime in.

What really got me churning was Richard Deitch’s excellent podcast with Jim Miller, which I highly recommend, and which is somewhat the basis for this outline of events.

Virk leaked proprietary information, which is against ESPN’s rules.

ESPN fired him for it.

ESPN then leaked that Virk had been fired.

Two major things need to be unpacked here.

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Reader complaint: Titans will never have fearsome passing game

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A reader-spurred post:

@TitansMCM @PaulKuharskyNFL question for you guys: It sounds like once again the Titans are and will be a "tough D, run heavy" team. Fisher, Munchak, Mularkey, and now Vrabel. Do we have to accept that's all this franchise will ever be? We'll NEVER have a fearsome passing game?!

— Jenks Hero (@JenksHero) February 7, 2019

MariotaThrowEaglesI'm not sure what exactly "sounds once again" like anything. We have no idea what the team's plan is for player acquisition in free agency or the draft, and while Arthur Smith said he intends to holdover Matt LaFleur's offense, for the most part, I don't believe that offense was initially installed to be run-happy. It wound up that way largely due to circumstances.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Arthur Smith is a big fan of the Matt LaFleur offense and its roots and plans to stick with it as he takes the reigns as the Titans offensive coordinator.

Smith was introduced Tuesday as the OC after his recent promotion from tight ends coach. He replaces LaFleur, who left after one season as the play-caller to become head coach of the Packers.SmithFlame

While he has no play-calling experience, he is not unfamiliar with presenting to the entire offense, last year he presented red zone offense for LaFleur, who was very complimentary of all his work. [Unlocked]

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Titans' fans can relish win over Patriots, but Super Bowl showed there is still a gulf between them

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans 34-10 win over the Patriots at Nissan Stadium was a 2018 season highlight for sure, and Mike Vrabel and his team can head into 2019 knowing it’s capable of beating the NFL’s best.

But the version of the Patriots that won Super Bowl LIII 13-3 over the Rams Sunday in Atlanta was nothing like the one that lost in Nashville.PatriotsHelmet

So Titans fans can say their team beat the champs for sure, but don’t go too far. I actually heard some saying Tennessee could have won Sunday’s game.

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Hall of Fame selection review: How Kevin Mawae and the rest of the class got in

ATLANTA -- All 18 finalists came here and were told what time to be in their hotel rooms to await a phone call to learn they missed out or a knock on the door from Dave Baker to learn face-to-face from the guy who runs the Pro Football Hall of Fame that they were a new member.

Former Tennessee Titans center Kevin Mawae got the knock, no small accomplishment considering predictions of three first-ballot selections came to fruition with Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey earning their gold jackets and bronze busts. Ty Law fills out an impressive class modern-era class.

Contributors Gil Brandt and Pat Bowlen and veteran committee selection Johnny Robinson are also in.

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The first five of the 15 finalists who were eliminated were: Isaac Bruce, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, John Lynch and Richard Seymour.

The five who advanced to the final 10 but then missed out were Steve Atwater, Tony Boselli, Alan Faneca, Steve Hutchinson and Edgerrin James.

Some thoughts on what unfolded inside the off-the-record meeting, where I was one of the 48 selectors for the sixth time.

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ATLANTA. -- Kevin Mawae is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Saturday I am pleased to again be one of the 48 selectors who will determine which of those five are chose as the class of 2019.

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I sat down with Mawae on Friday to talk about being game-planned for, about his role with the union and a lot more and I hope you will give it a listen.

You can find the whole show on iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes.

It's also below the line for members.

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The Hall of Fame case for Kevin Mawae

ATLANTA, Ga. – I’ve been working hard on my part of the case for Kevin Mawae as a Pro Football Hall of Famer.

The panel of selectors will meet Saturday to trim a list of 15 modern-era finalists to five and then vote yes or no on those five, who will need 80 percent to be enshrined. Gary Myers, who covered Mawae when he played for the Jets, will present the center. I will speak about him after that and John Clayton who covered Mawae with the Seahawks will also speak before the full conversation opens up.

Here is the sheet I will put at every seat in the room.

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I sent selectors this remarkable highlight reel this week:

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The Titans are moving to a variable pricing structure for their tickets in 2019, moving in line with the vast majority of the NFL.

Season ticket-holders are being alerted to the change in an email Thursday morning. Preseason ticket prices will come way down. Six regular season games will have a baseline price. And home games against the Chiefs and Saints will have a premium price.SeasonTicketMemberCardTitans

Some upper deck seat season totals will stay flat or even come down. But other areas in higher demand, like sideline lowers will increase as much as 10 to 14 percent. [Unlocked]

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