Titans wide receiver Nate Washington has carved out a nice career for himself after leaving Pittsburgh for Tennessee. While the team hasn't had much consistent success, Washington is viewed as a leader both in their locker room and on the field. He serves as a team captain and is one of the team's more popular players.
His words carry weight when the dreaded "T" word floats around the Twitter-verse.
"I have worked too hard personally to listen to anybody that tells me to go out and tank a season," Washington said, as reported by The Tennessean's Jim Wyatt. "I wouldn't know the meaning of that. To those naysayers who think we should go out and mail it in the rest the season, maybe they shouldn't go to work for the next month and see if they expect a paycheck. Let's see how it works out for them."
The idea of "tanking" a season for the sake of improving positioning in the next draft is pretty much the topic of conversation among fans of teams sitting at 2-7, like the Titans. But that concept is lost on the players, who know draft picks serve mainly as a reminder of the lack of job security which just about all of them have.
"I can't see one individual in here that would be able to look at himself in mirror if they 'tanked it.' Not one guy is comfortable with that," Washington said. "This is a prideful group of guys and, no matter what the scoreboard is, everyone is going to give his all."
That kind of mentality was on display when the Jets tore through the heavily-favored Steelers in Week 10. The Steelers should expect the same thing on Monday night when they take on the Titans in Week 11. The Titans have spent a good number of their high draft picks on offensive linemen, and if those picks were valuable to them during the last two seasons at this point in the year, the product they're putting on the field should, theoretically, be better.
Teams with losing records become dangerous at this time of year because the prospect of job loss starts to come into sharper focus. The Steelers would be wise to remember this aspect heading into the game. They undoubtedly are, but another performance like they had against New York last week would put them closer to where Tennessee is now.