Only Titans can decide if this King lives on in Tennessee?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 at 3:18am
Mitch King

Normal 0 false false false st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } The following analysis was part of a pre-draft evaluation by on a player currently on the Tennessee Titans roster:


Good athlete... Great timed speed... Was very productive... Relentless with a non-stop motor... Does a nice job of getting off blocks... Is versatile... Good strength... Extremely aggressive... Plays with a nasty demeanor... Intense and competitive... Has a lot of experience against top competition… A hard worker and team leader with elite intangibles.


Need another hint? This player hails from the state of Iowa.


Sure, it sounds exactly like the report that would have come out on star defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who hails from the small town of Larchwood in the far northwestern corner of the state. Instead, it is the pre-draft analysis of rookie defensive tackle Mitch King.


The is Mitch King from Burlington, in the extreme southeast corner of Iowa.


The undrafted Mitch King. The Big Ten defensive lineman of the year Mitch King. And now, the ‘recently signed with the Titans’ Mitch King.


At 6-2, 280 pounds, the undrafted free agent has a long way to go before drawing any further comparisons to Vanden Bosch. But as the reigning ‘lineman of the year,’ perhaps King has a chance to buck the odds and get himself noticed even on a crowded Titans defensive line.


For one thing, King certainly sounds like a Jim Washburn type of player — and that is one reason he said he decided to pass up pursuers like Indianapolis, Seattle and Philadelphia (along with perhaps more money as well) to take his chances in Tennessee.


Initially, about 20 teams professed at least some interest, according to King, right after the draft.


“I feel that Coach Washburn and the staff here gave me the best opportunity to come in and showcase my abilities. I just love the feel,” King said. “I love the idea of Nashville and the coaching ability and the philosophy of Coach Washburn. His and my mindsets match pretty well.


“It all came down to a couple of thousand here or there, and that doesn’t match the opportunity to come in and compete for a spot on a defense like this.”


Titans coach Jeff Fisher acknowledged that Washburn’s presence helped sway King — regarded as one of the best prospects to go undrafted last month — toward Tennessee.


“He had a number of opportunities, and I think he was comfortable with our program and I think Coach Washburn had some influence on his decision,” Fisher said.


King’s hometown of Burlington is the same hometown of Arizona Cardinals star quarterback Kurt Warner. In some ways, King faces the same sort of uphill climb to the NFL that Warner did early in his career.


King probably won’t have to work in a grocery store, like Warner did. Nevertheless, the Titans’ shelves at defensive tackle are well stocked, even with Albert Haynesworth departing. Tony Brown, Jason Jones, Jovan Haye, rookie Sen’Derrick Marks and Kevin Vickerson all figure to start out ahead of King on the depth chart.


King remains undeterred by the long odds that face him, and said he believes he is the type of player who fits what Washburn and the Titans want to do defensively.


“That’s one of the reasons I’m here. I feel like my style of play and his philosophy mesh pretty well together,” King said. “Right now, I feel like if I come in and play at the ability I know I can, I’ll have the opportunity and a chance to play here.”


During the Friday of his rookie orientation, King got his first chance to meet fellow Iowa native Vanden Bosch, who stepped into the defensive line meeting room long enough to introduce himself.


King knows full well of Vanden Bosch’s accomplishments and now holds out the hope of following in his footsteps, now that the two are teammates.


“I don’t know if you couldn’t [not notice Kyle],” King said. “His way of playing down here is unprecedented. You look up to a guy like that and just hope and pray you can play like that.”



3 Comments on this post:

By: house_of_pain on 5/5/09 at 5:59

Good luck, Mitch. It sounds like you've got the right attitude.

By: TitansFan035 on 5/5/09 at 6:17

Sounds like Jim Washburn,likes this guy and that is good! Good luck Mitch welcome to the TITANS!!

By: EquinsuOcha on 5/5/09 at 6:54

how does the big 10 d lineman of the year not get drafted?