The man in the middle. He’s in the middle of the field and middle of the defense.
Seven different players have been the primary starter at middle linebacker since the franchise arrived in Tennessee eleven years ago. Three of them started for multiple years and should deserve the most consideration as the MLB on our all-time Titans team:
Barron Wortham 1997, 1999 — Drafted in 1994 by the Houston Oilers, Wortham appeared in 47 games with 20 starts before the franchise moved to Tennessee, where he had 31 starts. His best season was in 1997, when he registered 97 tackles.
Randall Godfrey 2000-2002 — His best season by far was 2000, when he had 121 tackles, five forced fumbles and two interceptions, one for a touchdown. Godfrey was released for salary cap purposes and although I understood why it was done, I didn’t like the way it was done. He didn’t deserve the treatment he got from the front office.
Brad Kassell 2004-2005 — I always liked Kassell. He wasn’t quite that good, but he was a tough guy and an undrafted free agent who beat the odds to make the roster. His best season was 2004, when he had 103 tackles. I’ll always remember the 2004 season finale against Detroit, when he had 18 tackles in a meaningless game. I’ll also fondly remember his INT/TD against the Ratbirds the following year.
The other men who manned the position were Joe Bowden (1998), Rocky Calmus (2003), Peter Sirmon (2006) and Ryan Fowler (2007). Each of them had unremarkable seasons in their only year starting at MLB and I see no reason to include them in our poll. However, if you feel strongly about one of them, you do have the option of adding them to our poll to vote for them.
I’m going to have to vote for Godfrey on this one. Who do you think the middle linebacker on our all-time Tennessee team should be?
You’ve now voted for the following defensive players for our team:
LDE Jevon Kearse
LDT Kevin Carter
RDT Albert Haynesworth
RDE Kyle Vanden Bosch
LLB David Thornton