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P.K. Subban, James Neal of Predators support Titans

Check out football practice, continue bonding process with hometown NFL team

by Robby Stanley / NHL.com Correspondent

NASHVILLE -- Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban and forward James Neal took in an NFL practice with the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday.

Subban was a big fan of Titans running back DeMarco Murray when Murray was playing for the Dallas Cowboys, and the two were able to meet Wednesday.

"It was really cool," Subban said. "I'm a huge Dallas Cowboys fan, so now I'm going to have to transition to the Titans, but loved the days when he was a Dallas Cowboy. The team knew about it and gave me the opportunity to meet him, so I'm pretty excited about it."

Subban has had an allegiance to the Cowboys going back to the 1990s, when Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders played in Dallas.

"Always been a Cowboys fan," Subban said. "Started as a Deion Sanders fan and learned to love the Cowboys. My dad's a big Cowboys fan too."

Tweet from @Titans: Thanks to @PredsNHL's @PKSubban1 & @jneal_18 for visiting #Titans practice today!More ��: https://t.co/FXCmUS89YL pic.twitter.com/XaO3Oe3Qxq

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota and tight end Delanie Walker helped get Predators fans at Bridgestone Arena pumped up before Stanley Cup Playoff games last season. Mariota said he was excited to see Subban and Neal come out to practice and return the support.

"It's cool to see support of the community, especially from some of those guys," Mariota said. "It was fun to watch them, and I look forward to their season as well."

The Predators and Titans have developed a special bond through their coaches and players. Titans linebacker Avery Williamson attended Predators games last season and was vocal on Twitter throughout their playoff run.

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said he speaks often with Predators coach Peter Laviolette.

"I talk to [Laviolette] all the time," Mularkey said. "We've become good friends since the season and asked if the players could come out. The [Predators] coaching staff is going to be out here soon to take a look at our facility. The players showing their support is really good for our guys. I think it's neat on both ends."

Sometimes there is competition among major sports franchises in the same city, but that doesn't seem to be the case with the Titans and Predators. The mutual support doesn't go unnoticed by Mularkey.

Tweet from @Titans: .@PKSubban1 + @DeMarcoMurray = epic selfie ��#Smashville #TitanUp pic.twitter.com/HwXr0xFHzx

"There's nothing wrong with it, there's nothing negative," Mularkey said. "I think it's outstanding that these two teams can support each other like they do."

Subban has been in Nashville for a few days and joined his Predators teammates at an informal skate Tuesday. Neal was in charge of that skate and has been spending time with Subban since his arrival.

"He's a leader on this team and a great player in the National Hockey League," Subban said. "I've had some great battles against him, so I look forward to playing with him this year." 

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