Countdown to Kickoff: 74 Days

David Boclair

The countdown to kickoff continues.

The Tennessee Titans will open the 2020 regular season Sept. 14 at Denver. That is 74 days away. So, today we look at one way the number 74 figures into the team’s recent history.

Kyle Vanden Bosch was damaged goods. At least that is what the prevailing thought was when the Tennessee Titans signed him as a free agent in 2005.

Over the next five years, the defensive end played 74 games for Tennessee and raised the franchise’s standard for hard work.

Knee injuries cost Vanden Bosch one full season and most of another during his four years with the Arizona Cardinals, which took him in the second round of the 2001 NFL Draft. So, when the Titans signed him to a one-year deal with a $540,000 base salary (the league’s veteran minimum at the time) it seemed even that was a bit of a risk.

He finished fourth in the NFL with 12 1/2 sacks in 2005 and made the first of his three Pro Bowl appearances. That led to a four-year, $21 million extension ($15 million guaranteed).

In the five seasons he ultimately spent with the Titans, he appeared in all but six games, led the team in sacks three times, racked up 38 1/2 sacks in all and forced 14 fumbles. Over the rest of his career, which concluded with three years at Detroit), he appeared in 78 games, managed 19 1/2 sacks and forced six fumbles.

Even more than his production, it was his work ethic that defined his time with the Titans. Teammates initially scoffed at the speed and intensity with which he performed during workouts but eventually most did their best to match (or at least approach) it.

"Kyle is like that 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Jim Schwartz, who coached Vanden Bosch in Tennessee and Detroit, said in 2010. "By the end of the first day of minicamp, I think everyone knew that he was for real. He just doesn't know any other way to go."