At 5-11 and 235 pounds, Titans rookie LB Rennie Curran knows he is not among the tallest players at his position, but he long ago figured out how to succeed against bigger competition.
"So much of my game is just leverage and using my quickness and instincts to my advantage, and it usually works, because it got me here," said Curran, a two-time team MVP at Georgia.
He added, "And I think a lot of times, people get height mixed up with size."
Indeed, Curran's strength is one of his greatest assets; he can bench-press more than 450 pounds and squat more than 600 pounds, products of "years and years in the weight room," he said.
The 21-year-old Curran, who has primarily played on the weak side since joining the Titans, could figure as a reserve as a rookie, but he said the coaching staff has made it clear the role he earns "depends on me" and what he proves capable of doing.
Curran has been struck by how few technical mistakes professional players make.
"The mental side of the game is the biggest difference," he said of the transition from college to the NFL. "Everybody is very football-smart."
Curran, who signed with Tennessee on July 14, said he constantly is learning under the tutelage of LB coach Dave McGinnis, and he credits veteran LB Will Witherspoon, like Curran a former Georgia star, for helping him understand the Titans' terminology, calling him "kind of my translator."
Curran aims to make a positive impact off the field, too. The son of Liberian immigrants, he intends to found his own charitable organization in the future and was to receive the 2010 Outstanding Citizen Award from the Liberian Association of Atlanta on July 24.
"My heritage means a lot to me," he said. "Being a role model to Liberian kids, not only in Atlanta but all over, means a lot to me."
In the meantime, Curran adjusts to his role in a new defense. He'll have to play in coverage more than he did at Georgia, he said, and he wants to improve his ball skills.
His height? It's a non-issue, he said.
"I don't think a couple inches is going to stop me from hopefully being one of the greatest," he said.
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