Finnegan says he was talking about Tim Walton, not the Rams

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The comments from former Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan about former Rams defensive coordinator Tim Walton struck a chord in St. Louis.  An article on PFT containing an off-the-record response to the comments struck a chord with Finnegan.

I know that because he called me.

While watching the first half of the U.S. and Germany game/match/whatever, the phone rang.  And it was Finnegan.

He took issue with my characterization of his attack on Walton as an attack on the Rams.  Finnegan said that he wasn’t talking about the Rams, only about Walton.  I told Finnegan that, because Walton was a member of the Rams coaching staff, Finnegan necessarily was talking about the Rams.

“Someone asked me about a particular individual,” Finnegan said, referring to Walton, whom Finnegan previously called atrocious in 2013.  “Obviously they fired him for that reason.”

Finnegan also didn’t appreciate the reference to his 2010 in-game fight with Andre Johnson, and Finnegan particularly wasn’t pleased with the last paragraph of the article:  “While Finnegan currently is saying all the right things in Miami, those who know him predict it’s simply a matter of time before he has issues with the coaching staff there — especially if he struggles and needs someone other than himself to blame for it.”

While “those” would have been more accurate if the word “some” had been used (and I regret not using “some” instead of “those”), Finnegan accused me of expressing an opinion that he can’t get along with coaches.  I tried to explain to Finnegan that it’s not my opinion, and that the information came from a source in position to appropriately have that opinion.

Finnegan didn’t accept that explanation, questioning my “morals” and “backbone” before adding that if/when we meet, the conversation will be more interesting.

I asked how that conversation would be different from the current one, and I came away with the impression that he was suggesting I’d possibly be getting the Andre Johnson treatment.  (Someone who knows Finnegan believes he was just “clowning,” but that’s easy to say when you’re not the one who would get punched once or more than once.)

While trying to understand Finnegan’s frustration, I asked him how someone suggesting he would have problems with the coaching staff in Miami is any different than Finnegan calling Walton atrocious.

“Was he not?” Finnegan shot back.  “Call James Laurinaitis.  Call Chris Long.  Call Robert Quinn.  Coach Fisher fired him.”

Finnegan closed by asking that the next time I plan to write something about him I get the whole story.  I told him that, before writing anything about him in the future, I will call him.

“Don’t call me,” he said.

I’m not quite sure how that will allow me to get the whole story the next time I write about Finnegan.

And now you have the whole story.  Which is probably a lot more of the whole story than you wanted to hear.

34 responses to “Finnegan says he was talking about Tim Walton, not the Rams

  1. That is classic! I’ve been a pft’er since ’01, and that is one of the funniest stories that have ever been on here. Hey mike, get my side of the story, but don’t call me !

  2. Don’t worry Mike. The next time you will be writing about Finnegan based on his performance the past two years will be to announce his retirement.

  3. I think he is accusing you of being a keyboard cowboy. I don’t condone his action of threatening you at all, but I think the underlying message is a pretty pertinent one.

    I have seen SOME in the media print something and make a judgement and condemn somebody before the entire story gets out. I have seen some journalists pick and choose lines from quotes or taking “journalistic license” with a quote and because context is so important and is hard to sometimes establish in written word, the quote reads like something other than intended.

    While the internet has made access to information much easier and more readily available is has come at the cost of people wanting to have the story out first being the most important thing rather than having the story being correct.

  4. Cortland Finnegan has had a reputation for being a mouthy, impetuous punk throughout his career and the encounter described herein does nothing but reinforce that image. Mr. Cortland, if you are reading this post, here is a suggestion.: Conduct yourself with the same level of maturity, dignity, class and respect that you demand of others and maybe they won’t be able to write things about you that might hurt your feelings.

  5. Maybe since he’s not showing up to camp you can hire Andre Johnson as a bodyguard, I mean he already took down Finnegan.

  6. I’m working hard to remember that last time this guy contributed anything significant on the field. 5 years ago?

    And the next you speak with him Florio it WILL be much more interesting. He will be interested if you want to purchase the undercoating on your new car.

  7. Crybaby Finnegan. Better be careful Cortland, Florio may kick your ass worse than Johnson did. Clearly Finnegan has anger management problems and has problems getting along with people (coaches, opposing players, reporters etc….). Hey Cortland, denial (daNile) ain’t just a river in Egypt. Man up Finnegan, you can’t run your mouth and punch your coworkers in real life and your next job because you are not long for the NFL.

  8. Here’s the original bit in the Miami Herald:

    “One NFC front office executive said Finnegan has a good chance to rejuvenate his career here partly because he wasn’t properly used by former Rams defensive coordinator Tim Walton, the ex-UM coordinator who was fired by the Rams after last season.

    When I asked Finnegan about that last week, he said Walton’s defensive system was “atrocious. From the game plan to technique to fundamentals, they weren’t in line with a defensive coordinator who knew what he was doing. He was a great defensive backs coach, but when you’re in over your head, it’s kind of tough… Here coaches know to play guys to their strengths. I wish I had been here a long time ago. [Coordinator Kevin] Coyle is so good at dissecting offenses.”

    Finnegan always seemed like a hot head to me, but in this case he is exactly right.

  9. I admire someone that has the fortitude to stand up for their self, especially when they have been slandered by an “unidentified source”. At least Finnegan didn’t go the “unidentified former Ram player” route. I think the guy is in for a bounce back year like Grimes had last year.

  10. “Next time get the whole story”

    “Okay, to get the whole story, next time I’ll call you.”

    “Don’t call me.”

    That’s just a hilarious way to end the call. How the hell is he supposed to get the whole story? Florio, you are one helluva writer. Entertaining to say the least.

  11. Another guy that always runs his mouth, but he happens to be the only one who got his butt kick because of it, and he STILL can’t learn! LOL

  12. Hey – I just threatened you.

    I’m clearly craaaazy.

    You’ve got my number.

    Don’t call me, baby.

    Now that song will be stuck in my head the rest of the day…

  13. I understand where some of y’all could be coming from, some athletes do have a terrible habit of making themselves look worse when opening their mouth opposed to clearing up whatever mess they felt was made..

    With that said, it was painfully obvious the objectivity displayed in this article. Borderline libel. Juicy is preferred over truth, and this article was exhibit A.

    I understand Cortland’s frustration, especially if what he’s saying is being twisted, as most often things are when conjecture gets involved. He didn’t fair so well against Andre (who would?) but I think against Joe Journalist, he may stand a pretty good chance to whip one good.

  14. He implied possible physical violence in a telephone conversation with a writer. What a guy. Anyone who’s followed the NFL knows Finnegan is a dirty player and a bully on the field. This alleged behavior off the field, in response to a freaking blog post, paints him even worse.

  15. He could have discussed his problem with your story without implied threats. These guys are supposed to be college grads, sounds like he’s stuck in junior high.

  16. I’ve been reading this for a number of years now. since before being acquired by the big network. More and more, opinions is being reported as fact.
    Put me on the side of the player on this one.

  17. This reminds me of the Buster Olney vs Deion Sanders story.

    It would be great if Florio takes his van down to Dolphins training camp to interview Finnegan in person.

  18. While I think Finnegan is a troublemaker on & off the field with seemingly his best days behind him, this story is broken down to one paragraph:

    “While trying to understand Finnegan’s frustration, I asked him how someone suggesting he would have problems with the coaching staff in Miami is any different than Finnegan calling Walton atrocious.”

    The difference is:
    Reporting an assumption that a situation will go wrong, as opposed to reporting about a person (player’s) opinion about the aftermath of what already happened, is like putting words in someone’s mouth…

    Insert any player’s name there and their corresponding problem and you will see

      “While Irsay currently is saying all the right things in Indianapolis, those who know him predict it’s simply a matter of time before he has issues with drinking and driving again —

      “While Ray Rice currently is saying all the right things in Baltimore, those who know him predict it’s simply a matter of time before he has issues with domestic violence again —

    I’m a Phins fan and hope Finnegan can deliver as a nickel or depth, but his veiled threats against you Florio show his immaturity and were uncalled for.

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