Titans Rookie LB Rennie Curran Preparing Like a Starter

Chosen with a compensatory pick in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Tennessee Titans linebacker Rennie Curran's rookie season was expected to include covering kicks and punts while backing up Will Witherspoon, Gerald McRath, and David Thornton at outside linebacker.

With McGrath suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, and Thornton recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, Curran may be in the starting lineup sooner than expected, something the former Georgia Bulldog is preparing for.

"I'll take any opportunity I can get," Curran told David Ching of the Athens Daily Herald on Saturday. "My job is to train as if I'm a starter, and I'm just waiting for that break to come. That's the same thing I did at UGA when I got here as a freshman. I tried to play my role and do extra work and doing whatever it takes."

Curran comes with a stamp of approval from former NFL linebacker Randall Godfrey, a fellow former UGA alum who spent three seasons with the Titans.

"Out of all the coaches in the league, I thought (Tennessee) was a great place for him," Godfrey said. "You're talking about a defensive-minded coach, a guy who loves linebackers. I think he's gonna have a great career in Tennessee.

"I wish we coulda had him another year (at Georgia), but I think he made the right decision. He's gonna be a great pro," Godfrey said. "The thing I like about him is not only football, he's also a great person with a great attitude and a hard worker. If you take all that to the NFL, he'll play a long time. He's just gotta stay healthy."

Curran started 30 of his 37 games in Athens, posting 298 tackles, including 24 for a loss and 6.5 quarterback sacks. Curran was twice named first-team All-SEC, and opted to forego his final year of eligibility, a decision Curran admits was aided by parental instinct.

"She's (his daughter, Eleana) just making life great," Curran said. "I got back from signing a contract and all that and went and saw her and she ran up and gave me a big hug and told me that she loved me. I just forgot the contract and everything. I forgot about all of it...There's nothing like (parenthood). It's awesome."

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