Seventeen Former Vols In NFL Playoffs

Saturday, January 07, 2012 - by special report to chattanoogan.com

KNOXVILLE -- Seventeen former Vols are participating in the 2012 NFL Playoffs which get underway on Saturday. Here's a look at the UT products in the postseason.

Houston hosts Cincinnati in the opening game on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., on NBC. Pro Bowler Arian Foster finished as the NFL's fifth-leading rusher in the regular-season with 1,224 yards for the Texans. He is joined by defensive back Jason Allen, who made 45 tackles and had four interceptions this season for Houston. With the Bengals, Gibril Wilson made 33 tackles in the secondary and on special teams along with a forced fumble.

The second game on Saturday, pits Detroit at New Orleans at 8 p.m., on NBC. The Saints feature four former Vols, the most of any team in the NFL. Receiver Robert Meachem made 40 catches for 620 yards with six touchdowns in the regular-season. Cornerback Jabari Greer racked up 72 tackles along with an interception. Also on defense, Aubrayo Franklin had 17 tackles from his defensive tackle position. Turk McBride has been hindered by injury and had four tackles with two sacks this season.

On Sunday, the Giants host Atlanta at 1 p.m., on FOX. Deon Grant posted 64 tackles with a sack and an interception for New York.

The final opening-round game will see Denver host Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m., on CBS. The Broncos feature defensive end Robert Ayers, who had 39 tackles with three sacks in 2011. Punter Britton Colquitt booted 101 punts for a 47.4 average with 33 punts inside the 20-yard line. He led the NFL in punting yards (4,783) and was second in punts inside the 20 and total punts (101). He is an alternate for the Pro Bowl. With the Steelers, Ramon Foster started 14 games at right guard this year.

The four teams with first-round byes all feature former Vols.

AFC No. 1 seed New England has a pair of former Vols in linebacker Jerod Mayo and defensive end Shaun Ellis. Mayo racked up 95 tackles and had two key interceptions for the Pats as part of six passes defended. In his first season with New England Ellis had 14 tackles and a sack.

The Baltimore Ravens, have Morgan Cox as their long snapper, who has snapped in all 16 games on kicks and punts.

The top seed in the NFC, the Green Bay Packers feature two Vols on the offensive line in Pro Bowl center Scott Wells, who started all 16 games snapping the ball to Pro Bowler Aaron Rodgers. Chad Clifton returned from a hamstring injury for the regular-season finale and is expected to start in the postseason at his normal left tackle spot after playing six games in 2011.

The No. 2 seed in the NFC is San Francisco, which includes Parys Haralson, who had 30 tackles, two sacks and three forced fumbles as the 49ers starting outside linebacker in all 16 games.

(E-mail Stan Crawley at wscrawley@earthlink.net)


Sherilyn Johnson A Driving Force Behind Track Club Success

Sherilyn Johnson probably prefers doing things behind the scenes where she doesn't have to be seen or heard. Such is the life of one of the hardest working members of the Chattanooga Track Club. Johnson is a Senior Program Analyst for Shaw Industries by day and has been in that position for almost 19 years. And she continues to run about 20 miles a week when time allows, ... (click for more)

Sequatchie Softball Wins 18-0 Over Signal Mountain

Sequatchie County had 10 hits and scored 18 runs in the first inning to beat the Eagles of Signal Mountain 18-0.  Emily Yell got the win for Sequatchie County.                      1st    2nd   3rd   Hits   Errors ... (click for more)

Catoosa Man Convicted Of Sexual Abuse Of 5 Young Girls Gets Life Plus 250 Years

A Catoosa County man convicted of the sexual abuse of five young girls and possession of child pornography has been sentenced to life plus 250 years. James Martin Ferris, 34, was found guilty after a recent trial. The day after his conviction, Judge Ralph Van Pelt set the sentence. Ferris on June 5, 2013, was indicted by the Catoosa County Grand Jury on 46 counts.   ... (click for more)

Rev. Jesse Jackson To Be Guest Speaker At City-Wide Peace And Love Rally On Friday

Rev. Jesse Jackson will be the speaker at the City Wide Peace and Love Rally at Olivet Baptist Church, 740 East ML King Blvd.,  on Friday, from 5:15-7 p.m. Rev. Jackson is the founder and president of Rainbow PUSH Coalition. Cedric Pendleton, actor and humanitarian with Have and Have Nots/House of Payne/Fantasia Story, will be the special guest. (click for more)

Use The Current Rail System Already In Place - And Response

Why spend $20 million or more on an unproven system to run from the Southside of Chattanooga when we already have the beginnings of a system?  The question apparently has surfaced of why the Choo Choo City doesn't have a rail line. We do have a rail line with the Tennessee Valley RR Museum and their hardware. And they already make runs from the Southside to close to Enterprise ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Clemson Prayer And Much More

Clemson’s football program, which has won 11 games in each of the past two years and was ranked 8 th in the nation after whipping Ohio State in this year’s Orange Bowl, has just been “blind-sided.” The Freedom from Religion Foundation claims Coach Dabo Sweeney and his staff are doing far too much “to promote Christianity to their student athletes.” Clemson promptly roared back ... (click for more)