CANTON, Ohio, --** Some players had video cameras, others snapped photos. It was a special day, a unique moment in time as the Tennessee Titans experienced the rich NFL history that the Pro Football Hall of Fame has to offer.
Wearing a throwback Walter Payton jersey, linebacker Keith Bulluck was in awe as he entered the facility. Team owner K.S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. was there to greet the team, shaking each player's hand and wishing them luck for Sunday's preseason opener vs. Buffalo.
"It was neat having Mr. Adams there," Bulluck said. "I'm sure it meant a lot to him being that he is one of the founders of the AFL. His team is still going and it's one of the strongest teams in the NFL."
The NFL's amazing, rich history was apparent to each player, rookie or veteran.
"As soon as you walk in, they hit you with tradition – old and new. It was cool when I walked in and saw all the busts up there," Bulluck said. "There's so much information here about the game that we've been blessed to play because of the people that came before us. It was definitely very interesting and a cool experience."
Adams wanted to be here for his team as part of the 50th celebration of his franchise and founding of the American Football League. Early on, he was taking in an exhibit that featured two trophies from the Houston Oilers' pair of championships from 1960 and 1961.
"It means a whole lot because of this being the 50th anniversary of the original American Football League," Adams said, glancing at the showcase. "This case represents all of the years back then. We've had a lot of good teams over the years. We were in the playoffs 21 out of the 50 years. We also lost some close games. The original league – the AFL – deserves a lot of recognition. That's what we're celebrating here this weekend."
Adams, originally part of eight-person group called "The Foolish Club" that founded the AFL, was on hand to also honor Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who was enshrined into the Hall of Fame Saturday afternoon.
"Of the original eight owners of the Foolish Club, there are only two us left, Ralph Wilson and myself. He's 92 and I'm 86," Adams said. "It's good that we're playing this game to recognize the 50th anniversary. We've had some close games with them. I'll never forget the one game we had in Buffalo when we were ahead 34-3 in the third quarter and ended up losing. I couldn't get out of my seat afterwards. I was so worn out thinking, "It can't be, it can't be.' It was a terrible loss for us, but then years later we had the 'Music City Miracle' play in Nashville and won it back that time."
While Adams later made his way in the room featuring all of the enshrined members, his players continued taking in all of the rich history, including Oilers and Titans exhibits.
"I was looking at my man (Mike) Munchak, Warren Moon, and Earl Campbell. There's a lot of history with the Oilers. I used to watch the guys a lot, so being a part of the team and seeing a part of that history is great to see."
Young said witnessing the Hall of Fame makes him want to work even harder to one day be mentioned among the all-time greats.
"It's somewhere I want to end up being at, hopefully one day," Young said. "All I can do is pray about it, keep playing hard and take care of my responsibilities."
It marked the first trip for veteran center Kevin Mawae, who passed on the opportunity to come years ago while playing with the Seattle Seahawks.
"Looking back on it, I wouldn't change anything. I think I appreciate it more now that I'm older," Mawae said. "This place is pretty cool. It's like the chapel of football. It's a reverent place to be around those who spent their entire career doing this.
"I've seen more guys that I've played against that are enshrined. In fact, I saw four guys that I played against and there are four guys I was in the league with that are getting enshrined today, so that's pretty special."
Mawae took photos of all the centers that have been enshrined. Former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach was Mawae's hero growing up. As a college player, he always looked up to former Bengals offensive lineman Anthony Munoz.
As Mawae wrapped up his tour, he couldn't help but feel in awe as he acknowledged all of the NFL greats that have made their way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I just hope one day that I can leave my mark like those guys did," he said.
Titans Agree To Terms With Veteran TE Luke Stocker in a Flurry of Roster Moves
A 10-year veteran who played at the University of Tennessee, Stocker has played with the Buccaneers (2011-2017), Titans (2017-2018) and Falcons (2019-2020) in his career. He's caught 83 passes for 693 yards and five touchdowns.
Titans TE Anthony Firkser Earned a Parking Spot Next to Titans HC Mike Vrabel's Truck, But is That Really a Good Thing?
Firkser was awarded for his work during the offseason by being named one of the team's top performers by head coach Mike Vrabel. It came with a prime parking spot in the new parking garage at Saint Thomas Sports Park - next to Vrabel's Nissan Titan truck.
Fans Invited to Attend Titans Open Practice Monday, August 16 at Nissan Stadium
The open practice will feature interactive games and giveaways, entertainment and interviews with players and coaches. While the event is free, fans will be required to RSVP and show a digital ticket when they arrive.
Observations from Day 3 at Titans Camp
The Titans took the field for the third day of training camp on Friday. Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt takes a look at what stood out.
Titans Add Centers Spencer Pulley, Patrick Morris to Roster
Pulley, who played collegiately at Vanderbilt, has played in 49 games, with 26 starts, in his NFL career with the Chargers and Giants.
Heading Into Year 6, Titans RB Derrick Henry Motivated to Keep on Trucking
After the 2020 season, when he rushed for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns, he has a tough act to follow. Henry, of course, followed up his 2019 season pretty well. He's now led the league in rushing two years in a row, and he's looking to keep things going this fall.
Corey Davis Look-A-Like Brian Hill Aims to Make a Name for Himself With the Titans
A fifth-round draft pick of the Falcons in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Wyoming, Hill has played in 45 games in his NFL career. In those games, Hill has racked up 982 yards and three touchdowns on 209 carries while catching 38 passes for 313 yards and a score.
Observations From Day 2 at Titans Camp
The Titans took the field for the second day of training camp on Thursday. Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt takes a look at what stood out.
Titans QB Ryan Tannehill Excited About His Receivers, and the Offense's Potential in 2021
Tannehill, heading into his 10th NFL season, threw for 3,819 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2020, with seven interceptions. On Wednesday, as he spoke to reporters for the first time since June, Tannehill said he wants to do his part to lead the team to wins in 2021.
Edge Rusher John Simon Wants to Prove the Titans Made a Good Choice By Signing Him
An eight-year veteran who has spent time with the Patriots, Colts, Texans and Ravens in his NFL career, Simon signed with the Titans just three day ago. Simon was on the field for the first day of training camp on Wednesday, working up a sweat,
Observations From Day 1 at Titans Camp
The Titans took the field for the first day of training camp on Wednesday. Senior Writer and Editor Jim Wyatt shares his thoughts on what stood out.