After a disastrous start, the Titans may finally have righted the ship.
Tennessee lost their first six games a year after going 13-3. Only a bye week seemed to be of any help, as the Titans have won two straight, beating Jacksonville and San Francisco.
Starting middle linebacker Stephen Tulloch leads the team with 68 tackles, one more than fellow linebacker Keith Bulluck, through eight games. Tulloch, in his second season as a starter, also has one sack and has recorded double digits in tackles in 5 of 8 games. He said a talk with coach Jeff Fisher went a long way toward righting the ship over the bye week.
“Coach Fisher said going into our bye week, get away from football and reflect on the first half of the season, then come back and forget about it,” Tulloch said. “A lot of guys took that to heart. I saw a new team, with more life, an extra spark. Now we want to keep building and not regress.”
Tulloch, a 4th-round draft pick out of North Carolina State by the Titans in 2006, took over from Ryan Fowler as the starting middle linebacker in the fifth game of the 2008 season and started every game through the end of the year and into the playoffs, where Tennessee was stunned by the Baltimore Ravens.
Tulloch finished 2008 with 84 tackles, second-most on the team after Bulluck, including 64 solos, and one sack while earning a reputation for big plays and crucial times. His one-on-one tackle of Dominic Rhodes on fourth-and-short led directly to the Titans’ victory over the Colts in Week 8 and the Titans got off to a 10-0 start before finishing 13-3 and winning the AFC South division title. “Tully” also had a big fumble recovery the following week in an overtime victory against Green Bay.