NASHVILLE – The Titans fell short of the ultimate prize in 2021.
Just over a week removed from the team's season-ending playoff loss to the Bengals, the memory is still a painful one for players, coaches, and Titans fans alike.
But as the weeks go by, and as the focus shifts to what's next, some positives from the year should serve as a reminder that some building blocks are in place on the team.
One of them is at cornerback, in Kristian Fulton.
A second-round pick of the Titans in the 2020 NFL Draft, Fulton emerged as a solid and dependable defensive back for the Titans in 2021.
A year after starting just two games as a rookie, Fulton started 13 games for the Titans in 2021, when he led the team with 14 passes defensed. Fulton led or tied for the team lead in passes defensed eight times in 2021, despite missing four games.
He proved to be solid in coverage, and as a tackler.
"I feel like I had a pretty decent year," Fulton said at season's end. "There's a lot I can learn from. I felt like I kind of got the 'staying healthy' part in the NFL, but there's still more work to do from that side.
"But just going back and watching the film on what I can get better at is something I plan to do. From the mental standpoint, I feel like that will help me more moving forward."
Along the way, Fulton said he hopes he showed the coaching staff he can be counted on.
"I always knew I could do it," Fulton said. "It was just a matter of being out there and proving to myself mentally that I could stay on the field, and I could lock in on things each week.
"They wanted to see consistency out of me, and I kind of feel like I put that out there when I had the chance to."
Fulton, who finished the season with 40 tackles and two interceptions, said he wants to make more plays in the future. Fulton registered 16 tackles, an interception and a sack in his rookie season.
Getting his hand on the football more, and getting more interceptions, will be among his priorities in Year 3 and beyond.
Fulton said he wants to make more of an impact on the game in 2022.
"Definitely," Fulton said. "I just want to make an impact on the game, that is my big takeaway from this past season and however I can do that next season, moving forward, it's what I want to do. Just being better mentally in certain situations in the game, I feel that will help me make those plays, too. Being a person who can make an impact on the game (is important).
"I need to make at least three or four impact plays (a game), and however we can do that, I have to (do it)."