Tulloch’s time to shine


All throughout OTA’s and training camp, we heard about the constant praise being delivered in the direction of 3rd year linebacker Stephen Tulloch. His athleticism was turning heads as well as putting them on a swivel anytime #55 was in the vicinity.
Yesterday, Jeff Fisher declared that Tulloch would be replacing Ryan Fowler at starting MLB for the upcoming tussle with the Vikings.
What does this lineup change mean for the Tennessee Titan defense?

There’s an old saying that states, “the rich get richer.” In the case of Tulloch becoming a starter for the “Tennessee Tyrant” defense, “the fast get faster.” Tulloch will fit in nicely on a Titan defense known for its tenacity and toughness.
Tulloch’s explosiveness has been a blessing and a curse. His speed may allow him to get to ball carriers quicker, but that same God-given talent is also responsible for his penchant to overpursue.
Despite lacking Tulloch’s athleticism, Ryan Fowler has been the starter up to this point because of his knack of consistently being in the right place at the right time.
The timing of Fisher’s decision to insert Tulloch into the starting lineup suggests that the Titans are preparing for an all-out assault on Viking RB Adrian “All Day” Peterson. Tulloch’s speed will come in handy as the Titan defense attempts to surround AD with two-tone blue uniforms all day long.
The move could have also been a response to rookie Steve Slaton’s 116-yard performance against the Titans last Sunday. Peterson is much bigger than Slaton, but he possesses speed that is similar to the rookie RB from West Virginia who torched the Titans to the tune of 6.4 yards per carry.
Tulloch’s wheels may match up better against Peterson than Fowler’s savvy.
Personally, I’m excited about Tulloch being the starting MLB this week. The Titans will now have their three best linebackers (IMO) on the field simultaneously, and Tully’s speed will be yet another factor for opposing offenses to consider as they prepare to face the intimidating Titan defense.
So, what do you guys think? Is inserting Tulloch into the starting lineup against the Vikes a good move? If successful, should Tulloch’s starting assignment continue through the rest of the regular season?


10 Responses to “Tulloch’s time to shine”

  1. bobcomu Says:

    Yeah Slaton had over a hundred yards, but if Tony Brown would have wrapped him up in the backfield on his 50 yard run it would have been a much more average day for the Titan D. Tullochs speed will add a new wrinkle for the Vikes in the running as well as passing games. I bet Fowler will still see plenty of snaps though. Oh yeah, Tulloch didnt overpursue in the Bengals game he was trying to fill his gap and the gap of another defender who was still on the sidelines. I think the Titans get the win in a tight defensive battle.

  2. Seth Leonard Says:

    I’ve liked Tulloch from the beginning. He’s an NC State boy, so he’s local. Might have to question his intelligence…..But seriously, he should do well and leaves us with a strong backup at the position.
    I figure we wont be able to shut down Peterson, but I don’t see the Vikings taking more than a few points, read 10-17, with them this week.

  3. Markus Says:

    Yes, Tulloch is faster, but Tulloch also overpursued and cost us the TD vs. the Bengals when Perry ran it in from 7 out on 4th down…he missed that gap assignment. If the same happens vs. Peterson, it will be 6 again for sure…Titans, 27-13…

  4. adam Says:

    Fowler really seemed to show up the first two weeks, but I didn’t notice him much last week. I like Tulloch’s athleticism and think this change will work out well for the Titans. I just hope he keeps his head in the game and doesn’t start celebrating before the the whistle is blown (see playoff game in SD last year).

  5. Robert F. Ludwick Says:

    I’d like to see the Titans roll out a 3-4 defense to confuse the Vikes sometime… With four starter-quality linebackers on the team, I think that’s a wrinkle we could pop in if the timing is right, ala Miami @ New England this last week.

  6. Drexel Perry Says:

    Bobcomu’s right about the Chris Perry TD, according to Jeff Fisher:
    “I think Stephen’s situation was unique in that it was a big hole. He read the play, he scraped in position but we’re a man short and I think [that] caught him by surprise. Their only touchdown came against a defense in which we had only 10 players on the field.”
    Here’s an interesting article on Fowler’s reaction to his demotion:
    Fowler believes that Tully’s promotion will extend beyond this week’s game against the Vikes.
    As always, thanks for commenting guys.

  7. Markus Says:

    I stand corrected on the Perry TD. I forgot there were only 10 on the field. So maybe Tully did what he was supposed to do…either way, thanks Drex and bobcomu…

  8. jerryt. Says:

    titans D will be faster this sunday with tully starting he will be able to defend AP when he’s not running and trying to catch the ball so fisher made the right move, fowler is good but not as fast as tully.

  9. brad Says:

    I like Robert Ludwick’s idea. Come out with a 3-4 defense to confuse the vikings. After the vikes adjust at halftime come back out with a 4-3.

  10. Retaining Stephen Tulloch: A no-brainer for the Tennessee Titans « Total Titans Says:

    […] replacing Ryan Fowler as the team’s starting MLB in early 2008, Tulloch has emerged as a positive force on the Titan defense. What he lacks in size […]

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