Linebacker Keith Bulluck knows the highs and the lows of playing in the NFL. The seventh-year veteran has seen both during his tenure with the Tennessee Titans, from highs of a 13-3 season and a trip to the playoffs to the lows of a four-win outing just two seasons ago. This year Bulluck has experienced both.
After an 0-5 start that had the makings of another losing season, the Titans turned their fortunes around with an improbable winning streak that has them perched on the edge of the playoffs. One more win, a little good fortune, and the Titans will receive a postseason bid. That bid, however, comes only with a win over the 11-4 New England Patriots.
The Titans haven't had an easy time earning their wins. The first victory of the season was an 11-point come from behind triumph over the Washington Redskins fueled by a solid rushing game. Running back Travis Henry ran for 178 yards and one touchdown in a game that set the tone for other improbable wins. Henry also played a key role in the Titan's latest victory, a 30-29 win over the Buffalo Bills.
"Travis all week last week was talking about how bad he wanted the game because of how he felt he was dealt at Buffalo," Bulluck said of the Titans' feature running back. "He felt he was dealt a raw deal. I was a Travis Henry fan before he was on the Tennessee Titans, because the year we played him where we had the top ranked rush defense and on a fractured leg he still managed almost a hundred yards. He managed almost 1,400 yards that year."
The Titans had more good fortune on their side in their win over the Bills, and that was Mother Nature. After overcoming a 9-point deficit in the final 12 minutes, the Titans desperately held onto the 1-point lead in the game's final minute. The Bills drove to the Titans 28 yard line but elected to go for it on a fourth and 5 play instead of trying to kick a field goal for the win.
"The wind factor was certainly an issue," Bulluck said of the Bills decision to go for it. "Rob [Bironas] tried to kick a 35-yarder earlier and it just hung up there and limped over the goal posts."
Although the Titans defense had yielded over 350 yards, it was the defense that came through in the end when Renaldo Hill intercepted a desperation heave by Bills quarterback J.P. Losman.
"The last play we kind of forced [Losman] out of the pocket and he had to try and make something happen," Bulluck said. "You saw when he threw the ball it kind of just held up [in the wind], and Renaldo Hill was able to get up under it to seal the game."
Bulluck went on to discuss the play of quarterback Vince Young, the future of head coach Jeff Fisher, Tom Brady and his ability to spread the ball around and much more.
Subscribers can listen to the entire interview by clicking on the links below.
Part 1 Bulluck on Travis Henry: Listen to Audio
Part 2 Bulluck on Jeff Fisher, the Patriots and more: Listen to Audio
Special thanks to the folks at Sirius NFL Radio for providing the interview audio.