Tennessee all-time team: Nickel back


Nickel back is in some ways a little different to judge in the voting for our all-time Tennessee team. Although nickels normally get more playing time than middle linebackers, they often are not considered to be starters by some people, if only because they aren’t good enough to be a starting corner or safety.
The following players saw the most playing time as the nickel back for Tennessee:
Samari Rolle — played nickel in his 2000 1998 rookie season. He’s already on our all-time Tennessee team as the right cornerback.
Donald Mitchell — was with the Titans in 1999 and 2001-2002 and started ten games in 2002 when the Titans began with three-CB packages. He had an interception return for a touchdown in 1999 and scored twice in 2001 on special teams. Perhaps the best nickel who played as that for more than one year.
Andre Woolfolk — The Titans’ first-round draft pick in 2003, Woolfolk was injured too often and didn’t play too well when he wasn’t. In fairness to Andre, he was much better as a nickel in the slot than he was playing outside. He played nickel in his rookie year, then lost his starting job as a corner in 2005 and returned to nickel.
Vince Fuller — Drafted out of Virginia Tech as a “defensive back”, he played both corner and safety in college and he became a natural as a nickel. He broke his ankle on the second game of the 2005 season and was lost for the year, then reclaimed the job and had two pick-sixes last year.
Cortland Finnegan — I don’t mean to say he’s in the same class as Samari, but he also spent his rookie season as a nickelback before moving to corner the next year. My favorite play of his was the hit he put on Chad Pennington to force a fumble which the Titans recovered on the Jets’ one-yard line.
Mitchell’s longevity and continued fine level of play will get him my vote. I’ve got to say I like Fuller and Finnegan too. Who do you like?
In our last poll, Marcus Robertson was your choice as the free safety for our all-time Tennessee team.
Our all-time Tennessee defensive team so far:
LDE Jevon Kearse
LDT Kevin Carter
RDT Albert Haynesworth
RDE Kyle Vanden Bosch
LLB David Thornton
MLB Randall Godfrey
RLB Keith Bulluck
LCB Andre Dyson
RCB Samari Rolle
SS Blaine Bishop
FS Marcus Robertson


12 Responses to “Tennessee all-time team: Nickel back”

  1. WoolfolksUncle Says:

    Andre has emerged again… When he takes his spot on the Jets final roster _AS A STARTER opposite Darrelle Revis and the Titans and Jets square off this season, and Vince throws not only one but two INTs, both snagged by Andre…. then Karma will have her say… and I will return with a should have had patience blog… until then.. Fare Well Titans, for your day of doom and gloom will truly be recognized at the cost of your 2003 1st round pick….

  2. JimOKC Says:

    I am really enjoying this site. Thanks for your work on it.
    As I am in Soonerland (and enjoyed seeing him play collegiately), I hope to see Andre do well. I would hope that he doesn’t have hard feelings for the Titans organization. I do think that I would understand him wanting to do a great job against his former team.
    That being said, my vote was for Mitchell.

  3. Tom Gower Says:

    Nit: Rolle was drafted and played nickel in ’98, not 2000. I want to say the NB in ’00 was Dainon Sidney or Perry Phenix.
    I thought about writing in Lance Schulters, then realized all my memories of him as a nickel are getting beat-Heap’s TD in the playoffs to tie the game, I think, was over him.

  4. Tom Gower Says:

    Oh, and I voted for Donald Mitchell on the “contributions as a nickelback” theory.

  5. jrtitans Says:

    I will go with Finnegan. Im impressed with his consistency and he seems to still be getting better.

  6. jerry t Says:

    Finnegan, is the man and will only get better. this will
    be his breakout year. i say finn…….good luck andre
    but for now finn is the man…GO TITANS.

  7. Garland Says:

    As you said, Andrew, the nickel is usually the guy that’s not quite as good as the 4 starters in the secondary. So should this pick be the guy that is the next best corner/safety instead of the guy that actually played best at this position for TN? If you are trying to put the best 11 guys out there on defense, I think Finnegan gets the nod over Mitchell even though Donald had more success at the actual position than Cortland had. Maybe that means that Mitchell wasn’t good enough to make the move to corner and Finnegan was.

  8. Dave Says:

    I really liked Andre Woolfolk when he first came to the Titans. I have a bunch of autographed pictures, cards, mini-helmets, etc. Unfortunately they aren’t worth the paper/plastic they’re printed on ….Good luck Andre, you are definitely going to need it.
    I’d also like to predict that VY will not throw a single interception to Andre and the Titans WILL mop the floor with the lowly Jets.

  9. David H. Says:

    From one Dave to another… Ditto

  10. David H. Says:

    Matter a fact… Andre’s Uncle, I’ll see your two interceptions and I’ll raise you two touchdowns.

  11. Andrew Strickert Says:

    I don’t know how I screwed that up, Tom. Just a brain fart I guess. At least I got it right in the piece on the right corners. I’ve corrected that nit now. Thanks for catching it. I believe you’re right, Sidney was the nickel in 2000. And I may be wrong, but if memory serves correctly, Heap’s TD was over Tank Williams.

  12. Tom Gower Says:

    Mea culpa, Andrew, the AP recap confirms it was over Tank. Sorry, Lance.

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