Lance Schulters Recalls Days of "Tyrants" with Titans

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HOUSTON – Lance Schulters still has the same big smile, and laugh.

The former Titans safety, an assistant defensive backs coach with the Atlanta Falcons, remains the outgoing guy he's always been. But he's admittedly toned it down since his playing days. Back in the day, Schulters could trash-talk with the best of them, and he usually backed it up.

"The environment Q has here, it is so positive,'' Schulters said of Falcons coach Dan Quinn. "It is about coaching the guys and making guys better. There is no need for all that other crazy stuff from me. So, yeah, I guess I've toned it down a little bit."

Schulters works with the cornerbacks and safeties with the Falcons.

One of his pupils, former Titans defensive back Blidi Wreh-Wilson, said Schulters has hardly gone soft, however.

"Lance taught me the defense when I got here,'' Wreh-Wilson said. "To have a DB coaches, Marquand Manuel and Lance, they do a great job teaching the defense and making sure you are on the details.

"But he still gets hyped up. In pre-game, Lance gets hyped."

Schulters, who played 11 NFL seasons with the 49ers, Titans and Dolphins, is thrilled to be here, on the verge of getting a ring. He'll get one if the Falcons can beat the Patriots on Sunday in Super Bowl LI. Last weekend, he received congratulatory texts from some of his former teammates with the Titans, running back Eddie George, linebacker Keith Bulluck and safety Tank Williams.

Schulters, who played from 2002-04 in Tennessee, thought they might get one together in Nashville.

But the 2002 team lost in the AFC Championship Game at Oakland, a game that turned the wrong way as a result of some special teams miscues.

"Oh man,'' Schulters said of the loss to the Raiders. "That one hurt."

A year later, the Titans lost in the divisional round to the Patriots, 17-14 in the cold.

"Oh man, oh man,'' Schulters said. "Both of those teams were Super-Bowl caliber teams. And we were right there, man. It's the closest I've ever been. That's why you have to tell the guys: Cherish the moment. I got close on teams I thought would get there, but didn't. You have to cherish the moment and realize, it doesn't come around often.

"To be here, this is fun. I missed this experience my time in Tennessee. I couldn't get there, man. So to get here, shoot, 10-plus years later, it is awesome man."

Schulters, who worked previously as a coaching intern with the Lions, Rams and Buccaneers in the NFL, said he has fond memories of his days with the Titans.

Schulters signed with the team as a free agent after playing his first four seasons with the 49ers. He intercepted six passes in his first year with the Titans.

"That's where I grew up,'' Schulters said. "Playing with those guys, there was so much brotherhood. Those guys were my boys. They took me in when I came in, and being around there was so much love. We played so hard for one another."

Schulters lit up when recalling the moniker given to that group by "either me or Keith" – the Tennessee Tyrants.

That group was anything but toned down. He remembers those days well.

"What's a Tyrant? A Tennessee Tyrant just didn't care,'' Schulters said. "He would go hit you, bang you, talk trash, and back it up -- that was us. Keith, Samari (Rolle), Tank, Jevon (Kearse), those are my guys. And the No.1 Tyrant of them all was Albert Haynesworth, because he's a tyrant for real.

"Man, I love that group. On the field we were nasty, and we had a whole lot of fun. There ain't nothing but love, man."

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