Michael Griffin was horrible last year. He allowed personal stuff to distract him.
But he also had a left shoulder injury that was worse than the team ever let on -- as reported here by Jim Wyatt.
It’s a too typical injury story. Griffin didn’t reveal details, surely out of a combination of fearing giving opponents too much information and the team not wanting him to. The Titans didn’t reveal it, either.
And so Griffin got hung out to dry. People like me wrote about how terrible he was. If we knew about the shoulder, we would have written he was terrible -- but that the shoulder was at least a piece of the reason why. That's an important piece of the story, even for a guy who tends to make excuses.
It’s not fair for a team to leave a guy to get killed by the media and fans for playing badly when an injury is part of the reason. Even when Tennessee revealed the surgery AFTER the season, the team made it sound minor.
Does this sound minor?
"After the season he had surgery to repair a torn labrum, a procedure that required 11 anchors almost completely encircling the shoulder."
I think Griffin is the most important story on the Titans, bigger than even Vince Young. If Griffin plays well, the Titans can be good. If he cannot compartmentalize his personal and professional stuff and get back to form, the defense could be doomed.
Unless Robert Johnson passes him and plays well.