The Tennessee Titans play in the NFL’s American Football Conference (AFC) as part of the South Division. The team, which was originally located in Houston, Texas, was established in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL). While in Texas, the team was known as the Oilers. The franchise was awarded to Houston oil tycoon Bud Adams.
The Oilers called Texas him from their inception through 1996. In 1997, they re-established themselves in Memphis, Tennessee, as the Tennessee Oilers. After two years in Memphis, the club moved to Nashville, changing their name to the Tennessee Titans. The team mascot is a raccoon named T-Rac. The raccoon is the official animal of the state of Tennessee.
The team has won eight division championships, one AFC title and two AFL crowns. As the Houston Oilers, the franchise won six Division Championships (1960, 1961, 1962, 1967 AFL East and 1991, 1993 AFC Central). The club’s AFL titles came in 1960 and 1961. As the Tennessee Titans, they’ve won two Division Championships (2000 AFC Central and 2002 AFC South). In 1999, after winning their only NFC title, the team played the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV. The Rams beat the Titans 23-16.
Seven former Oilers/Titans have been induced into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. They include quarterback Warren Moon (1978-1983 Edmonton Eskimos, CFL; 1984-1993 Oilers; 1994-1996 Minnesota Vikings; 1997-1998 Seattle Seahawks and 1999-2000 Kansas City Chiefs), running back Earl Campbell (1978-1984 Oilers and 1984-1985 New Orleans Saints) and offensive lineman Bruce Matthews (1983-2001 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Tennessee Titans).
QB Moon, who first played in the Canadian Football League (six years), joined the Oilers in 1984. Moon, who was the first African-American quarterback to be elected to the Hall of Fame, finished his career with an 80.9 rating, passing for a total of 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns. He was a nine-time Pro Bowler and a three-time All-Pro.
Campbell was a prototypical slashing, powerhouse running back. Averaging 4.3 yards per rush, he ran for 74 touchdowns and a total of 9,407 yards. He was three-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year and the 1979 NFL MVP. Campbell was selected to the Pro Bowl five times and was an All-Pro four.
Bruce Matthews, who is considered to have been one of the best offensive linemen in the history of the NFL, is the only Hall of Famer to have played for the team as an Oiler and Titan. The former first-round 1983 NFL Draft pick played his college ball at USC. With the Oilers/Titans, Matthews started in 292 games and played in 296, recovering 10 fumbles.
The franchise has played in six venues. As the Houston Oilers, they occupied Jeppesen Stadium (1960-1964), Rice Stadium (1995-1967) and the Houston Astrodome (1968-1996). In Memphis, the Tennessee Oilers played in the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (1997) and Vanderbilt Stadium (1998). Since 1999, they have called LP Field home. The field, which is located in Nashville, holds just over 69,000. Nicknamed “The Album,” the field’s naming rights are owned by Louisiana-Pacific (LP Building Products). Prior to bearing the LP name, the venue was known as Adelphia Coliseum (1999-2002) and The Coliseum (2002-2006).
The franchise is still owned by Bud Adams. Mike Reinfeldt, a former NFL safety, serves as the club’s general manager. He was selected as the GM in February 2007. Prior to being named the Titans general manager, Reinfeldt was the Vice President for Football Administration for the Seattle Seahawks. Jeff Fisher, who served from 1984-1994 as a defensive coach for various NFL teams, became the Oilers head coach in 1994. As the Oilers/Titans coach his record is 115-99-0.
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