The Tennessee Titans hosted a “Tuxedos and Tailgate” event for season ticketholders at the Music City Center Wednesday night as a way of giving fans a review of 2016 and a preview of 2017.
The biggest moment of the evening was the revealing of the “Most Inspirational Titan” of 2016, an honor bestowed upon former Titans linebacker Tim Shaw, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2014.
Last year in training camp, the Titans allowed Shaw to address the team and also re-signed him back to their roster as a ceremonial gesture. But Shaw inspired the Titans when he addressed the team and stayed on with the team in a role where he did some film work and scouting of opponents.
“Tim Shaw changed a lot of lives and not just in football,” Titans coach Mike Mularkey told the audience Wednesday night.
Shaw took the stage with center Ben Jones to read the name of the Titans Most Inspirational Player, only to open the envelope and see his own name on the paper. Titans players at the even, Mularkey, GM Jon Robinson and controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk then joined Shaw and Jones on stage to celebrate the contribution of the stricken linebacker, who has continued battle the disease, and even has a new book out.
In addition to honoring Shaw, the Titans brought back some older players to announce the winner in the season ticketholders’ vote for Play of the Year, as well as Offensive Play of the Year and Defensive Play of the Year.
Ryan Succup’s 53-yard field goal as time expired to beat Kansas City was chosen and Play of the Year, and was presented to Succop, holder Brett Kern and snapper Beau Brinkley by Music City Miracle participants, Frank Wycheck, Kevin Dyson and Lorenzo Neal.
The Offensive Play of the Year was DeMarco Murray’s halfback pass touchdown throw to Delanie Walker against Green Bay, and was presented by former Titans left tackle Brad Hopkins.
The Defensive Play of the Year, presented by Blaine Bishop and Keith Bulluck, was the defense’s goal line stand in Kansas City. Pro Bowlers Brian Orakpo and Jurrell Casey were on hand to represent the Titans defense.
In addition to the awards, Mularkey and Robinson took a few questions from fans and addressed the injury rehab of quarterback Marcus Mariota, who is in Oregon working his way back from surgery on his broken right fibula.
Mularkey reiterated what he said last week that Mariota is “on pace” in his rehab work.
Robinson said that the “most important thing is that Marcus is back for the opener in September.”
Mariota addressed the audience briefly through a video message.