Titans LB Colin McCarthy loses mane to honor Brian Urlacher

6/24/13 in NFL   |   BrianMaddock   |   1429 respect

FanIQ | Sports Rumors, Gossip, Blogs, News & Discussion ForumsFormer Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher may not have football on his mind right now but he is already being missed by fans and other NFL players across the league. Tennessee Titans middle linebacker Colin McCarthy is taking up Urlacher’s look, after he was spotted sporting a shaved head as a tribute to one of his idols and to bring good luck after an injury plagued year. Urlacher retired this offseason after he was not re-signed by the Chicago Bears following 14 seasons with the team.
“It’s for [Brian] Urlacher, since he hung it up,” McCarthy said via the Tennessean.  “Hopefully it will bring me good luck, and bring me 16 games of playing.”
McCarthy will need all the luck he can get this season after he missed nine games due to injuries in 2012. The 25-year-old spent a majority of the 2012 season on the injured reserve with a combination of concussion and an ankle injury he suffered during Week 1 against the New England Patriots.
This offseason doesn’t get any easier for McCarthy, who is dealing with lingering concussion symptoms and underwent ankle surgery in January. While he admitted that his ankle still isn’t 100 percent, Titans coach Mike Munchak has noticed a visible difference in McCarthy over the past few offseason practices.
“When he gets back for training camp,” said Munchak, “his confidence should be high and ready to go.”
McCarthy has further reason for optimism heading into training camp after recently meeting with Dr. Mickey Collins, a concussion specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who gave McCarthy a new set of instruction to help him deal with the symptoms.
“I’m feeling as good as I’ve felt in a long, long time,” said McCarthy.  “I will continue to compete and continue to work. I haven’t had any setbacks, so that’s great.”
“It’s good to have all that behind me,” McCarthy said of his history with injuries. “I know I have to get back to my old ways, and now I feel like I’m not that far off.  Things are positive.”
Although McCarthy may be on his way to playing a 16-games season again, it necessarily doesn’t mean he’ll be starting. The Titans signed veteran middle linebacker Moise Fokou, who worked with the first-team during practices this offseason.
Titans linebacker coach Chet Parlavecchio said there will be open completion for the middle-linebacker job this summer and nothing has been set at this point.
“When we come back in July, that is when you win jobs, and there is going to be a great competition,” said Parlavecchio. “But just getting through (offseason practices) has to be a big confidence builder for Colin.”
A fourth-round pick out of Miami in 2011, McCarthy started seven games (while appearing in 13 regular season contests) for the Tennessee Titans, posting 76 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries as a rookie. McCarthy performed well during offseason and training camp before being held back by injuries last season.
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