NASHVILLE, Tenn. –Former Titans safety Blaine Bishop walked into the tent where current Titans were putting on their new uniforms on Wednesday night, and delivered a motivational message. ** • See more at TitansOnline.com/uniforms
He reminded them of the franchise's past, back in 1999.
"The first year we wore (new uniforms), we went to the Super Bowl," Bishop said. "The first year y'all wear them, y'all going to the Super Bowl. But y'all don't just go there. Y'all win that thing! Win that thing! Win that thing!"
Tight end Delanie Walker slapped hands with Bishop, and gave him a hug.
It was just part of an unforgettable night in downtown Nashville, where a crowd estimated at 20,000 turned out to see the Titans replace the old uniforms with new ones.
"Wow," Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk said as she looked out from the stage, Broadway packed with Titans fans, underneath the city's skyline. "I am just blown away by this."
"Nashville knows how to throw a party," added Titans head coach Mike Vrabel after he took the stage.
The Titans unveiled three primary uniform color combinations that consist of: Navy blue jersey (home), White jersey (away), Titans blue jersey (light blue, Color Rush).
The helmet, formerly white with two navy blue stripes, is now the Titans' primary navy blue with one two-toned silver stripe, which mimics the sword from the team's logo. It includes a metallic silver face mask, and the logo decal now has a silver outline. The sword-inspired center stripe starts at the back of the helmet and comes to a point at the top front.
"Fierce," is how Titans general manager Jon Robinson described the new uniforms. Later in the night, Robinson took the stage with Vrabel, cold beers in hand, and performed with Florida Georgia Line. "And I think that is the type of football team we want to be. We talk about being tough, we talk about being dependable. We talk about having that team first mindset. But the fierceness within a player … is what we want to be."
Quarterback Marcus Mariota, safety Kevin Byard, defensive lineman Jurrell Casey, linebacker Brian Orakpo, tight end Delanie Walker and tackle Taylor Lewan took the stage in the new uniforms to roars from the crowd.
Earlier, former Titans running back Eddie George, tight end Frank Wycheck, punter Craig Hentrich and Bishop took the stage in the old uniforms.
Afterward, players said they were fired up about the new look, and the crowd. Orakpo said it seemed like the "whole city of Nashville" was downtown.
"These jerseys are going to represent what the Titans are all about," said Byard, who took the stage in the navy blue uniform. "It's powerful. I think it's what the Titans are all about. They wanted to go back to Greek mythology and things like that."
"I love them," said Orakpo, decked out in the white uniforms. "They look great. This is that fierce, tough Titans look that we all wanted. I was kind of skeptical at first with the whole new uniform change and things like that, because you got so accustomed to the old ones, but we are going to love them.
"It kind of symbolizes the Tennessee Titans – the city, the team, everything all in one. … Look good, play good, man. That's the new motto."
Lewan was fired up as well.
"I think that are awesome," said Lewan, who wore the white jersey with light blue pants. "I'm a big fan. I love the fact that it is not a dramatic change, but the new things will definitely inspire the young republic. I think it will bring a little facelift to the team, and I am fired up about that."
The number fonts are dramatically different – the custom, angular number fonts were designed with Greek or Roman lettering in mind. Every number on each jersey is shaped in a way that exemplifies the Northeast corner of Tennessee as the state appears on a map, a subtle ode to fans in the state.
The contrast insert on the under-arm of the jersey is a new addition to the uniform, and the two-tone silver stripe on the uniform pant signifies the sword in the team logo. The sword-sheath inspired design on the stripe of the pants is angled much like a sheath would hang. There's a fireball logo on the left and right hip.
The color palette navy, Titan blue, red, silver and white remains unchanged. A second silver/gray has been added to give dimension to the sword as a more prominent design element. The Nike swooshes add red into the overall design to make the color palette pop.
Dozens more current and former Titans also turned out for the event, including former stars like Jevon Kearse, Kevin Dyson and Keith Bulluck. Young Titans like receiver Corey Davis, Jayon Brown and Tajae Sharpe were on hand as well.
George, one of the franchise's biggest stars who was on that Super Bowl team in 1999, smiled when thinking back to his playing days. He was a part of the uniform unveil back in '99. He's proud to be a part of the team's past, and excited to see what's ahead. He reminded this year's Super Bowl is in Atlanta, where the Titans played in Super Bowl XXXIV.
"A lot of things go through my mind – No.1, how fast 20 years flies by," George said with a smile. "No.2, is how the old uniform now is officially a throwback – that is also eye-opening.
"But I am really excited. … Hopefully the signs are all leading to the Titans having a great year, and ending in Atlanta with us crossing over the one-yard line for a Super Bowl win."
Activity built up in downtown Nashville as the Titans got set to unveil their new uniforms. (Photos: Donn Jones, Kayla Schoen, Gary Glenn)
The Titans unveiled their new uniforms Wednesday night in downtown Nashville. (Photos: Donn Jones, Kayla Schoen)