Titans TE Scaife takes the high road after benching

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee tight end Bo Scaife doesn't know if talking about a possibly divided locker room got him benched.

That also isn't stopping the veteran from talking about what could be his final days with the franchise that drafted him.

"My gut feeling tells me just not to worry about that and get these next two games over with, and then we'll see," Scaife said. "I've enjoyed my time here. I love being a Titan. They gave me my first opportunity. They helped mold Bo Scaife into being an exciting NFL player for the first six years of his career."

Scaife has been playing on a year-to-year basis with Tennessee the past couple of seasons. The Titans tabbed him as their franchise player in 2009 for a salary of $4.46 million and took advantage of the league's labor deal allowing them to offer him a one-year tender for $4.9 million this year.

The tight end played at the University of Texas with quarterback Vince Young, and he told a reporter he thought the locker room might be divided between supporting Young and coach Jeff Fisher last week. Then the Titans benched him for last week's game with Houston.

Scaife had started 12 of the 13 games he played in this season but said he didn't know if his comments led to him being benched.

"That's up to Coach. Coach makes all the decisions on the team," Scaife said. "So if he felt that I needed to be inactive and that was the best decision for the team, then that's how he felt."

Fisher said they needed some players at other positions and also wanted to get more work for Jared Cook. Craig Stevens got the start in Scaife's place. But Fisher said expects Scaife to be active Sunday when Tennessee (6-8) visit Kansas City (9-5), a must-win game if the Titans are going to keep their scant playoff hopes alive.

Scaife said he believes he's had an average year, with 36 catches for 318 yards and four touchdown catches. Two of those came Dec. 9 in a 30-28 loss to Indianapolis, just before he was benched.

The tight end said he appreciates everything the Titans have done for him. He said he's learned as a veteran how to handle certain situations and about the business of the NFL.

"I've seen things, and I've heard things," Scaife said. "I learned a lot from Keith Bulluck. I'm not the first person to go through this or the last person. I know how to handle it, and I'll always take the high road and enjoy myself. ... I'm not here to be a distraction."

Scaife also said he thinks Vince Young, his college teammate, wants to be back in 2011 in his final year under contract with Tennessee. The Titans will owe Young a $4.25 million roster bonus on the 10th day of the new league year, whenever that starts.

Young's fifth NFL season ended in November when he tore the flexor tendon in his right thumb.

"[Young] doesn't want to leave and go out like this, having what was said about him being said," Scaife said. "He wants to go out there and play and show them he's a franchise quarterback. I think he has some unfinished business here."

The Titans' playoff hopes hinge on winning Sunday in Kansas City and closing out with a victory at Indianapolis on Jan. 2. They also need lots of help, requiring the Jaguars and Colts to lose their final two games. But the Titans agree they can only take care of their game, so that means no scoreboard watching in Arrowhead Stadium.

"We just watch and focus on what we've got to do," defensive end Jason Babin said. "We can check the scores afterward."

Chris Johnson believes the Titans can't even think about playoffs with a 6-8 record. "Ain't no reason to be thinking about playoffs. You just have to worry about winning one game at a time," he said.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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