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Pro Football Hall of Fame

Arguably one of the best offensive linemen to ever play the game, Bruce Matthews became the first Tennessee Titan to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. At the time of his retirement, Matthews played in more NFL games (296) than any non-kicker in the league’s history. Longevity and durability were his hallmarks, but that coupled with his unparalleled play, earning a league record 14 consecutive Pro Bowl (9 at guard and 6 at center) selections (tied with Merlin Olsen) and seven times named AP All-Pro, made him one of the all-time greats. He rose to the challenges presented to him in starting at every position on the offensive line during his NFL career (87 C, 99 LG, 67 RG, 22 RT, 17 LT). He becomes the first Hall of Fame offensive lineman to play significant time at all five offensive line positions. A constant for the Oilers/Titans franchise, Matthews started in a team record 229 consecutive games (streak started at Indianapolis, Nov. 29, 1987) and never missed a game because of injury. His 19 seasons also are a team record and he ranks second in NFL history for years with one team behind Jackie Slater, who spent 20 seasons with the Rams. Matthews and G Randall McDaniel (Vikings) were the only two NFL players to play in every game during the decade of the 90’s. Matthews was a part of nearly one-half of the franchise’s first 42-years of history and helped the team win 146 games, make the playoffs nine times, earn the only three AFC Central titles in team history, earn an AFC Championship and the franchise’s only Super Bowl appearance. He blocked for 15 quarterbacks and 27 running backs, including five different 1,000-yard rushers (Earl Campbell, Mike Rozier, Lorenzo White, Gary Brown and Eddie George). During his career, he played in offenses that produced nine 1,000-yard rushing seasons and eight 3,000-yard passers. Additionally, he played in 42 different stadiums during his NFL career. During his career, Matthews blocked on a line that helped produce 65 100-yard rushing performances and 48 300-yard passing performances. Originally drafted by the Houston Oilers in the first round (ninth overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Matthews earned All-America honors at the University of Southern California. Matthews and his brother, Clay, each played 19 NFL seasons and the duo set an NFL record for games played by a pair of brothers with 574 games. Clay Matthews played in 278 games during his NFL career. Matthews had his number 74 jersey retired by the team and was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame during a December, 2002 ceremony. Matthews joined a 2007 Hall of Fame class that included Dallas Cowboys WR Michael Irvin, Buffalo Bills RB Thurman Thomas, Detroit Lions TE Charlie Sanders, Cleveland Browns G Gene Hickerson, and St. Louis CB Roger Wehrli.

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