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Titans You May Have Forgotten About: For Better Or Worse

Let’s take a look back and remember the Titans that were left behind in the dustbin of football history.

The Titans moved from Houston to Nashville over twenty years ago and have had some unforgettable players. Steve McNair, Frank Wycheck, Kevin Mawae: Among many that Tennessee fans have revered through the years.

But have you ever sat back and heard a former Titan name and said to yourself, “I forgot about him” or “what a bum”? Well while smooshing the creative juices out of my brains and consuming more coffee than a Portuguese poet I came up with my own list of Titans that I hadn’t heard of in a while.

Brad Hopkins-Tackle

We’ll start out with an old Houston Oiler turned Titan.

Brad Hopkins was drafted in the first round of the 1993 NFL draft out of Illinois. The 13th overall pick would start 11 games at left tackle in his rookie year on the offensive line along side fellow former first round picks Bruce Matthews, Mike Munchak and David Williams.

During his pro career Hopkins earned first team All-Rookie honors, two Pro Bowl selections and was an All-Pro in 2000.

Hopkins would be a mainstay at left tackle for the franchise playing from 1993 until 2005. After 13 seasons and 194 games he would retire in the 2006 offseason.

Post Titans Career

Before retiring he was in talks with the Buccaneers, Jets and Falcons to continue his career but ultimately decided to call it quits and retire in Nashville.

After his playing days Hopkins will pop up from time to time to provide Titans analysis for the NFL.

Fun Facts

*Hopkins was the last first round pick former Oiler GM Mike Holovak would make.

*His son Brycen Hopkins who played tight end at Purdue, is expected to be selected in this year’s draft.

Yancey Thigpen-Wide Receiver

Most recognized for his career in Pittsburgh Yancey came over as a free agent in 1998.

As a Steeler he racked up two Pro Bowl nods before signing a five-year $11 million contract with Tennessee.

Thigpen only caught 91 balls for 1,430 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons for the Titans. He appeared in four playoff games for Tennessee despite a rash of injuries.

Never a deep threat Thigpen was a sure hands receiver who gave the run heavy Titans a valuable weapon.

Post Titans Career

After retiring following the 2000 season Thigpen pretty much avoided the public spotlight.

Fun Facts

*His last name rhymes with, “pigpen”.

Billy Volek-Quarterback

After signing with Tennessee and an undrafted free agent out of Fresno State Volek would only throw three passes in his first three seasons.

In 2003 he would finally get a start and would lead Tennessee to a late season win over Buffalo throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another.

Starter Steve McNair would go down with injuries midway through the 2004 season and Volek would go on to start the last eight games going 2-6 but in the process put himself in the record books. He became the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw over 400 yards in two consecutive games. The other names were Dan Marino, Dan Fouts and Phil Simms. In those two games Volek would complete over 67% of his passes for 918 yards and nine total touchdowns.

Post Titans Career

After McNair was traded following the 2005 season the Titans signed veteran Kerry Collins to compete with Volek. Unhappy with the move Volek would be traded to San Diego for a sixth-round pick in the 2007 draft.

Volek would only attempt 44 passes in five seasons with the Chargers but again had one more shining moment. In a divisional round game against the defending champion Colts Volek would enter the last drive of the game for an injured Phillip Rivers. He would engineer a drive culminating in a one-yard sneak to advance to the next round.

After the 2011 season Volek would announce his retirement.

Fun Facts

Billy Volek is one of only three quarterbacks to run for a game winning touchdown in the playoffs. Tom Brady and Ken Stabler are the other two.

As a Fresno State Bulldog he holds the record for throwing the least amount of interceptions percentage wise including a senior year in which he threw 30 touchdowns and only three picks.

Drew Bennett-Wide Receiver

Titans wide receiver Drew Bennett warms up before the game with the Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee on November 12, 2006. Baltimore won 27-26.

Drew Bennett and Billy Volek shared some similarities. Both were undrafted free agents out of California schools (Bennett-UCLA, Volek-Fresno State) and both had breakout 2004s.

Bennett did see significant playing time upon joining Tennessee in 2001 playing in 42 out of 48 possible games in his first three years.

When Billy Volek came on to replace Steve McNair in 2004 Bennett quickly became his go-to target. He would tally five 100-yard+ games that season including a career high 233 yards and three touchdowns in a week 14 loss to Kansas City.

Eventually he would rack up 80 receptions, 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Bennett would never come close to those stats again but was still a solid player including his last next two seasons in which he would record 700+ yards a year.

Post Titans Career

After the 2006 season Bennett would sign with the St. Louis Rams playing only two more seasons before retiring in the 2009 offseason.

Fun Facts

Bennett was primarily a quarterback at UCLA.

He caught Vince Young’s first career touchdown pass as a pro in 2006.

Lance Schulters-Safety

The Hofstra product played the first four seasons of his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers. He took over for All-Pro safety Merton Hanks in 1999 and earned a Pro Bowl berth.

In 2002 Schulters would sign with Tennessee and in his first season with the team he would tie a career high with six interceptions. He was part of a top ten defense as the Titans would win the AFC South that year.

Schulters would play with the Titans until 2004.

Post Titans Career

After two stints with the Dolphins and one year with Atlanta and New Orleans Schulters would retire after the 2008 season. He would finish his career with over 530 tackles and 19 interceptions.

Fun Facts

Founded the Lance Schulters Foundation in his hometown of New York.

Was a coaching intern for the Atlanta Falcons from 2015-2017.


Follow me on Twitter for more great content @vidal_espinoza.

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Vidal Espinoza
An Austin native covering the Tennessee Titans for Overtime Heroics and Texas State Bobcats football for Underdog Dynasty. Texas State alumni, Oilers/TItans fan since '86, former punter and former cartoonist.
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