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Cats in the NFL

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Avery Williamson’s getting paid

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Last night’s news that Avery Williamson is leaving the Titans for the Jets was a little sad for us Titans fans, but it makes total sense when you see the money he’s getting to move to New York.

Tennessee offered Avery a four-year $12 million contract to stay with the Titans, but according to Ian Rapoport, the Jets are giving him a three-year, $22.5 million contract with $16 million guaranteed.

Avery’s one of the most promising young inside linebackers in the league, so kudos to him for getting the money he deserves. His tweet last night says it all:

Avery Williamson headed to the Jets

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

And now, for an NFL update that makes this Tennessee Titans fan sad. According to Ian Rapoport, Avery Williamson has agreed to a deal with the New York Jets. Williamson was drafted by the Titans back in 2014, but upon free agency, turned down a four-year, $12 million deal to stay in Nashville in search of a better offer, which he’s apparently found.

Avery was one of the top inside linebackers on the market, with 92 tackles (52 solo), three sacks, and two forced fumbles last season for the Titans. It will suck to not have him in Nashville next season, but best of luck to him in New York.

Former Kentucky LB Avery Williamson baptized in the Jordan River on trip to Israel

Former Kentucky linebacker Avery Williamson has established himself as one of the key players on the Tennessee Titan defense, but this offseason, he is focused on a completely new aspect of his life.

Williamson arrived in Israel last Tuesday for a week-long tour of the country, including other NFL players such as Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Vic Beasley, Chris Harris Jr., and Josh Norman.

“We actually just left the site where Jesus was hung on the cross, and where he was buried,” Williamson told Jim Wyatt of “We’ve done so much, and I’ve learned so much. It’s been amazing, and very memorable.”

He got to see where Jesus died on the cross and where he was buried, and he then decided to take it one step further by getting baptized in the same water Jesus did.

Williamson and his sister were baptized in the Jordan River, the third most holy site in the Holy Land, according to the Christian faith.

“Now that was really amazing,” Williamson said. “Growing up in church, to be able to relate to it now since I have been here, and to have images of places I’ve been when I read passages in the Bible. I’ve always wanted to come to Israel and this opportunity came up. I always wanted to see the spiritual sites and know more about the Bible. To find out more about the history of the country and get more of an understanding of what is going on, it is pretty cool. I feel like I have a better understanding of the world now.”

This past weekend, Williamson met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and gave him a Titans jersey his name on the back. He also met with local children, signing autographs and talking about football with them.

“(Rivlin) was happy about getting the jersey,” Williamson said. “He was excited to have it. It was cool to meet him, and to meet public figures overseas. And the kids we signed some autographs for, they were excited to meet us. When they heard ‘NFL’, they get super excited. And a lot of the politicians we met with, they knew about the Titans. They said we had a good year. It was pretty cool to know they are watching us overseas.”

Williamson said the country’s rich history makes it easily the best trip he’s ever been on.

“It is crazy to see all of that, and be a part of it,” he said. “It is a magical country, and to know all these miracles happened in this one place, it is pretty amazing. So many centuries of history.”

To read more from Jim Wyatt about Williamson’s entire trip to Israel, head on over here.

Larry Warford is a Pro Bowler

Parker Waters

Former Kentucky offensive lineman Larry Warford is going to the Pro Bowl.  The New Orleans Saints offensive guard became an alternate after Eagles offensive guard Brandon Brooks clinched a Super Bowl berth.

The Pro Bowl appearance is the first for the Madison Central product.  A five-year NFL veteran, he spent his first four years in Detroit.  In his NFL debut, the fourth round pick earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors from Pro Football Focus for not allowing one sack all season.

You can see Warford wearing No. 67 in the Pro Bowl from Orlando this Sunday at 3:00 on ESPN.

Two former Cats remain in NFL postseason

USA Today

And then there were two. Bud Dupree and Larry Warford are the only two former Cats left in the NFL postseason.

Dupree and the Pittsburgh Steelers take on the Sacksonville Jacksonville Jaguars at 1:05 pm ET on CBS.

Warford and the New Orleans Saints travel up north to take on the Minnesota Vikings at 4:40 pm ET on Fox.

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Wesley Woodyard and Avery Williamson’s NFL season ended with Tennessee Titans’ 35-14 loss to the New England Patriots on Saturday.

Woodyard ended his season with 11 total tackles. Williamson with nine.

Unfortunately for Woodyard, his only big highlight of the game wasn’t a good one. Woodyard was level by a block from New England’s Chris Hogan.

Go Bud! Go Larry!

Bud Dupree was not a fan of James Harrison joining the Patriots

Oct 22, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Bud DuPree (48) in the second quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday afternoon, news leaked out that former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison would be signing with the New England Patriots, sparking obvious controversy in the football world.

As you may know, the Patriots defeated the Steelers two weeks ago on a last-minute overturned touchdown reception, and the trash talk has been continuous ever since. Both teams are expected to meet back up in the AFC Championship in a few weeks, and Harrison joining the rival just added gas to the flame.

If you were on social media throughout the afternoon, you may have seen former Kentucky star Bud Dupree’s name get thrown into the mix as a reason for Harrison’s departure. According to several football analysts, the emergence of Dupree and T.J. Watt in the pass rush has limited the need for Harrison on the field, and was one of the key reasons the new Patriot was released from the team on December 23.

According to Dupree, that wasn’t the reason for his release at all.

“I look on my Instagram, Twitter, people bashing me like I got something to do with him getting cut. Like what?” he said.

Harrison told reporters he asked for a release three times this season due to lack of promised playing time.

Dupree said Harrison wasn’t a “victim” and that his lack of presence in team meetings and lack of interest in the team led to his release. Beyond that, he said signing with the Patriots was just a spit in the face.

“It feels like he went to the Patriots just to spit in Coach Tomlin and Mr. Rooney’s face. That’s all it was to us,” Dupree said. “Like basically you spit on your teammates, you spit on us because the whole season you’ve been shown as someone different than what you were supposed to, so-called, be to us – other than a leader.”

The former Wildcat said the Steelers brought back Harrison to serve as a mentor to some of the young players on the defense like himself, but “it just didn’t work” that way.

“He made it clear to us early [that he didn’t want to be here]. We try to look at Deebo as a mentor, as the O.G. of the team. We all tried to give him a chance just to be the leader and be the person that, before we got here, the Steelers portrayed him to be. Just coming in to it, you see James Harrison and because he’s this great player you try to follow his footsteps.

Needless to say, Bud isn’t the happiest guy in the world right now, though he probably should be with all the playing time he’s set to receive in the immediate future.

Read the entire story on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Cats in the NFL Week 15 Schedule

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s headline game features a battle between the top two AFC teams, the New England Patriots and the Pittsburg Steelers.

I hope Bud Dupree sacks Tom Brady… a lot.

Player GameTime/TV
Danny TrevathanChicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings 1:00/FOX
Randall Cobb Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions1:00/FOX
Bud DupreeCleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers1:00/CBS
Za'Darius SmithCincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens 4:25/CBS
Corey PetersArizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks4:25/FOX
Wesley Woodyard Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans 4:25/CBS
Avery WilliamsonJacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans 4:25/CBS

Brooklyn man recently got a Cleveland Browns Tim Couch tattoo

SB Nation

If you stop by The Good Batch bakery in Brooklyn, you’re likely to see a man with a very unique tattoo. It’s a Tim Couch tattoo — a brown couch and the number 2 — and Kyle Hart, an employee at The Good Batch, got it on his arm because he is a huge fan of the Cleveland Browns and the franchise’s No. 1 overall draft pick in 1999.

According to SB Nation, which has an entire story on the tattoo, Hart isn’t from Ohio or Kentucky, and he once played in a band he named “Couch”:

Hart isn’t from Cleveland, and he isn’t even from Ohio. He’s also not from Kentucky, where Tim Couch was a Heisman finalist in the late ’90s. Hart actually grew up a Niners fan in the Bay Area, but his family was big into college football, and he loved watching Couch play. He was so into this guy that he named his old band Couch (they played music that was “very derivative” of Weezer).

After college, Couch (Tim, not Hart’s band) went on to become one of many somewhat-consistent quarterbacks the Browns have been lucky enough to have on their roster. Johnny Manziel, the promising Cleveland quarterback who flamed out a few years ago, also wore No. 2. The couch was necessary in the tattoo to make it clear which quarterback Hart was honoring.

“There was just something about [Couch],” Hart said. “He always seemed like a good person. He was just a great player, he was exciting to watch. When he got drafted by the Browns, your heart goes out – I just wanted him to succeed so much.”

SB Nation

Read the entire story here, which includes a response from Tim Couch himself.

Wesley Woodyard is the Titans’ Walter Payton Man of the Year

Wesley Hitt | Getty Images

Former Kentucky Wildcat linebacker Wesley Woodyard has been named the Tennessee Titans’ Walter Payton Man of the Year.

Each NFL team awards one of their players for his work in the community.  The individual then becomes one of 32 finalists for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year title, given each year during Super Bowl week.  Along with the trophy, the winner also receives a $1 million donation to split with their charity and the United Way.

“It’s a huge honor,” Woodyard said. “Any time you get a chance to be compared to a great guy like Walter Payton, it means the world to me. The groundwork he put down in the past, and showing guys what to do in the community, it still inspires people to this day.

“I love working in the community and I love trying to make a change with others. And I really feel like it is my purpose to be here, to make a difference in their world and make a difference in their lives.”

The ten-year veteran has been a captain for ten years and his game has not taken a step back, leading the Titans in tackles this year with 139.  However, that’s not why he won this award.  Woodyard’s work through his 16Ways Foundation accomplishes a variety of goals; he’s built mini-libraries in inner-cities, he’s hosted countless free football clinics, and the foundation’s track club competes annual in the Junior Olympics.

If we’re being honest, Woodyard’s work off the field cannot simply be summed up in one post.  To read more on his work and to help his cause, click here.

The Bobblehead Hall of Fame has Randall Cobb in his UK Uniform

If you’re looking to give Mrs. Tyler Thompson a Christmas present, her desk needs Randall Cobb’s goldeneyes on a bobblehead in a Kentucky jersey.

The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame has released a limited series of bobbleheads with NFL players in their college uniforms.  Along with Rob Gronkowski, Von Miller, Carson Wentz and many more, Randall Cobb has been selected to rep his old stomping grounds.

You can own this miniature Cobb in Kentucky blue for $40.  Act fast.  Packer fans are rabid and they only made 2,017 Cobbleheads.  And with that, I’ll show myself out.