Titans By the Numbers: #0-#1

Here's the first part of a weekly series that I'll be doing concerning the history of our proud organization. The idea is pretty simply; find the best player to ever wear a certain number for the Titans or Oilers. 

Some will be hot points of debate, others will be players you've never heard of, and as far as I know, this is the only such list in existence, we're making history here people. 

So without further ado, may I present to you the first man on our list, Ken Burrough.

Collegiate Awards: SWAC Hall of Fame

Career Awards: Pro Bowl: 1975, 1977

Kenneth Othell Burrough is one of the few players in NFL history to rock the double-zero and is certainly one of the best. According to Kenny,"Coach said it was double somethin’ or double nothing," so he went with double nothing. The 6'4" receiver out of little-known HBCU Texas Southern University with fast feet and great hands was drafted in 1970, going tenth overall to the Saints. Shortly after the end of his rookie year, Kenny was traded to the Houston Oilers. He played in 12 NFL seasons (11 with the Oilers) dating from 1970 to 1981.

The double-zero was originally a point of controversy when Burrough made his Oiler debut. Head Coach, Bill Peterson, told Burrough that if he wanted to see the field, he'd need to wear a normal number. However, always the meddling owner, Bud Adams came to the rescue and overruled the decision. He remains to this day as the only NFL player to ever wear 00 in every single regular season game of his career and, because of the abolishment of the number in 1973, his title will forever go unchallenged.

Burrough's best season came in 1975 when he led all NFL pass catchers with 1,063 yard and 75.9 yards per game, ranked 7th in the NFL with 53 catches, third with 20.1 yards per reception, and sixth with 8 TDs. He ranks 40th all time on the career touchdowns list and is remembered as a home-run hitting receiver who had four touchdowns of 75 yards or more. Sadly, Burrough has sort of faded into distant memory recently, but he was a really good player in his day and is probably one of the top three or four receivers in team history.

Burrough is also the mastermind behind the questionably titled, but also charming in that way that only the 70's could be, "Super Bowl Itch"song written during the unforgettable 1978 season which is awesome, I guess. I think it's safe to say that if a greater song has ever been put to paper, the world just simply isn't ready for it. He currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida where he sells moisture-wicking polo shirts...so yeah, the guy kind of does everything and generally just wins at life. So congrats Kenny, YOU are the first member of this distinguished list.

 

Year

Team

G

Rec

Yds

Y/R

TD

Lng

Y/G

R/G

1970

NOR

12

13

196

15.1

2

35

16.3

1.1

1971

HOU

13

25

370

14.8

1

62

28.5

1.9

1972

HOU

14

26

521

20.0

4

80

37.2

1.9

1973

HOU

14

43

577

13.4

2

49

41.2

3.1

1974

HOU

11

36

492

13.7

2

51

44.7

3.3

1975

HOU

14

53

1063

20.1

8

77

75.9

3.8

1976

HOU

14

51

932

18.3

7

69

66.6

3.6

1977

HOU

14

43

816

19.0

8

85

58.3

3.1

1978

HOU

16

47

624

13.3

2

44

39.0

2.9

1979

HOU

16

40

752

18.8

6

55

47.0

2.5

1980

HOU

2

4

91

22.8

0

54

45.5

2.0

1981

HOU

16

40

668

16.7

7

71

41.8

2.5

 

The next member was probably the easiest decision I'll make all week. Honestly, who else but Warren Moon could have done the number one justice?

Collegiate Awards: 1978 Rose Bowl MVP

Career Awards: Pro Bowl: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993,1994, 1995, 1997. All-Pro: 1988, 1995, 1997. NFL MVP: 1990. Offensive Player of the Year: 1990. Walter Payton Man of the Year: 1989. Pro Bowl MVP: 1998.

One of only two members of both the NFL and CFL Hall of Fame, Warren Moon also became the first African-American quarterback enshrined in Canton when he was voted into Canton in 2006.

Warren's life began in 1956 in Los Angeles, California. He was brought up by just his mother after the age of seven when his father died of liver disease. Because he was left with the burden of taking care of his younger siblings, Warren decided to play just football in high school. This was the best decision Moon ever made.

After a number of colleges passed on him as a quarterback and tried to convert him to wide receiver, Moon enrolled at West Los Angeles College in 1974. After setting records there, he transferred to the University of Washington but only because he was promised by offensive coordinator Dick Scesniak that he would be allowed to play quarterback.

On the eve of the 1978 draft, many scouts advised Moon to switch to tight end, in part because he was black and that was a perfectly logical reason as to why he wouldn't succeed as a quarterback in the NFL. So Warren was all like "eff that, I'm going to Canada." And go to Canada he did, where he lead the Edmonton Eskimos (no, seriously, this team exists) to an unprecedented five straight Grey Cups. 

After dominating every Canadian in the league, Moon decided that he would play for the Houston Oilers in 1984 and the legend was born. That move worked out okay for Houston as Moon went on to throw for nearly 50,000 yards in his career which, until 2006, was more than anyone else in history. Oh yeah, and he didn't even play in the league until age 28.

Other career highlights include the entire 1990 season in which he lead the league with 4,689 passing yards, 33 touchdowns, 362 completions, andr a record-tying nine 300 yard games. The next year, he basically went ahead and did it all over again, smashing his old career high record of 362 with 404 completions (also a league record) and, in the process, he joined Dan Fouts as the only QB's in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards in back-to-back seasons.

Perhaps the only knock I have on Moon is the fact that he wasn't a very successful playoff QB in terms of wins and losses. His record as a starter with the Oilers is 3-6. However, this is just me nitpicking. I'm still a firm believer that it can't just all be dumped on the quarterback when things go wrong in the playoffs.

Moon was traded to Minnesota in 1994, but he will always be an Oiler first and is definitely the best quarterback, if not overall player, in franchise history.

Year

G

Cmp

Att

Cmp%

Yds

TD

INT

Y/A

Y/G

Rate

Lng

1984

16

259

450

57.6

3338

12

14

7.4

208.6

76.9

76

1985

14

200

377

53.1

2709

15

19

7.2

193.5

68.5

80

1986

15

256

488

52.5

3489

13

26

7.1

232.6

62.3

81

1987

12

184

368

50.0

2806

21

18

7.6

233.8

74.2

83

1988

11

160

294

54.4

2327

17

8

7.9

211.5

88.4

57

1989

16

280

464

60.3

3631

23

14

7.8

226.9

88.9

55

1990

15

362

584

62.0

4689

33

13

8.0

312.6

96.8

87

1991

16

404

655

61.7

4690

23

21

7.2

293.1

81.7

61

1992

11

224

346

64.7

2521

18

12

7.3

229.2

89.3

72

1993

15

303

520

58.3

3485

21

21

6.7

232.3

75.2

80

1994

15

371

601

61.7

4264

18

19

7.1

284.3

79.9

65

1995

16

377

606

62.2

4228

33

14

7.0

264.3

91.5

85

1996

8

134

247

54..3

1610

7

9

6.5

201.3

68.7

54

1997

15

313

528

59.3

3678

25

16

7.0

245.2

83.7

60

1998

10

145

258

56.2

1632

11

8

6.3

163.2

76.6

45

1999

1

1

3

33.3

20

0

0

6.7

20.0

57.6

20

2000

2

15

34

44.1

208

1

1

6.1

104.0

61.9

41

And so concludes the first part of our list. Be on the lookout for part two next week where I'll be revealing #2 and #3.

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