All-time Tennessee team: Bruce Matthews – left guard or center?

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Thanks to all for your input on the tight end selection for our all-time Tennessee team. It appears that most of you are in favor of having only one TE, which would be Frank Wycheck. You’ve also voted for Kevin Dyson to be the #3 receiver.
We now move on to the offensive line and have to start the discussion with Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews. Where do you put him on the team?
In his nineteen-year career, Bruce played all five o-line positions. That should make it interesting when we select an all-time franchise team, but he played only two positions in the Tennessee era, which narrows it down a little.
Bruce played five years in Tennessee, the first four at left guard and his final year at center.
Here’s my question for you. Should Matthews be the left guard or the center on our all-time Tennessee team? Please feel free to voice your opinion with your comments and cast your vote in our new poll.
As always, your input is appreciated.
The team so far:
QB Steve McNair
RB Eddie George
FB Lorenzo Neal
WR Derrick Mason
WR Drew Bennett
WR Kevin Dyson
TE Frank Wycheck
P Craig Hentrich

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7 Responses to “All-time Tennessee team: Bruce Matthews – left guard or center?”

  1. Drexel Perry Says:

    Bruce played the majority of the TN portion of his career at G, so I say put him at the starting guard position, with Benji Olson at the other spot.
    Mark Stepnoski was the starting center in TN for 97-98 but he is known more for being the starting center on those early-nineties Dallas Super Bowl teams. I’d select him as the center for the all-time Tennessee team.
    With a guy like Stepnoski manning the fort at C, I’d rather have Matthews playing at his more natural G spot.

  2. Dave Says:

    Drexel, don’t you think Kevin Long should get some love at center?
    Anyway, Bruce was amazing anywhere he played, but in TN guard was his bread and butter.

  3. Drexel Perry Says:

    Dave,
    Between Stepnoski, Mawae and Long, you could go in a variety of directions when it comes to the center position.
    Should be interesting to see what everyone thinks when its time to select the center for our all-time Tennessee team.

  4. Tom Gower Says:

    I voted left guard. If nothing else, Mawae, Stepnoski, and Long would be a much more interesting vote, plus guard is where he did spend the majority of his time.

  5. Garland Says:

    I assumed Piller and Olson would be the guards with Bruce in the middle. If you put Bruce at guard, then you have to trade Piller (presumably) for one of the centers. Stepnoski was not here long enough, Mawae has not been here long enough yet, and I don’t remember Long being better than Piller or Olson. On the other hand, having Bruce lined up next to Mawae would not be too bad.

  6. I.jason Says:

    Much as it’s very tempting to put Bruce as the center, and Piller/Olsen as the guards, he was primarily a guard – especially in Tennessee.
    It’s VERY tempting, regardless. Mostly because Olsen/Piller were the guards for so long, and because there’s no other center who really deserves the spot on the all-time team.
    I’m conflicted. Stats and history say put him at Left Guard; sense of “best players” says use the technicality and put him at center.
    Still, it WOULD be a technicality. Left Guard is where he belongs.
    Unless there was a 6th, “Utility O-line” position???

  7. Garland Says:

    The beauty of Bruce was that he could play anywhere, allowing the team to put the best 5 linemen on the field. That’s exactly what we can do by putting him at center.

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