Talk about a different perspective.
Veteran defensive end Raheem Brock joined the Tennessee Titans on Thursday with one goal – make that one Bowl – in mind, and it wasn’t the Super Bowl.
“I wanted to get a chance where I could come somewhere and get the opportunity to make the Pro Bowl,” he said. “I’ve done everything else – I have a Super Bowl ring, been to a couple Super Bowls – I want to make a Pro Bowl. That’s where my mind is right now.”
After eight years with the Indianapolis Colts, where he shared playing time with Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis – two Pro Bowlers in their own right – he asked for his release. The Colts, who lost in the Super Bowl last season and won it three years earlier, obliged in March and he had been a free agent ever since.
Nearly two weeks into training camp the Titans found themselves running short on defensive linemen, particularly defensive ends.
First-round draft pick Derrick Morgan has taken part in less than one full practice because of protracted negotiations on his contract and then a calf injury sustained shortly after he finally signed. Tuesday, projected starter William Hayes sustained a knee strain, which was expected to keep him out a month and then Marcus Howard, also a defensive end, sustained a triceps injury, which required season-ending surgery.
Brock, as well as Chris Harrington, consequently were signed. Both are expected to play in Saturday’s preseason opener at Seattle. Harrington was a sixth-round draft pick by Arizona in 2008 and spent last season with Jacksonville.
Howard and wide receiver Phillip Morris both were waived to make room for Brock and Harrington.
“We are unfortunate because of the nicks and injuries but fortunate that two of these guys were available,” coach Jeff Fisher said. “We’re light at the defensive end position right now and it’s unfair to go into a game with three or four defensive ends right now.”
Brock officially was a starter for most of his time in Indianapolis. In fact, he started 90 of 91 contests through 2003 through 2008 but only half of the 16 games in 2009,
He averaged more than 25 tackles and 3.5 sacks per season.
“I wanted to be released because I was looking for a better opportunity,” he said. “As hard as I worked during camp or practice, I still was not going to be given the opportunity that (Freeney) or (Mathis) is. That’s why I did it. Those are two Pro Bowl players.
“Before I made the decision I knew the chance I was taking. I chose to take that chance. Now I’m being given an opportunity and I’m going to try to take advantage of it.”
In the eight seasons Brock has been in the league, the Titans have sent a defensive end to the Pro Bowl four times. Kyle Vanden Bosch did it on three occasions (2005, 2007 and 2009) and Kevin Carter did it once (2002).
Before that, Jevon Kearse went three years in a row (1999-2001).
None of Tennessee’s current defensive ends have earned an invitation, and none of them have been in the league as long as Brock.
“I think I’m in a good place right now,” he said. “We’ve got a good team. It’s a tough division, but it’s going to be fun to play against my old team twice a year. It should be fun.
“It’s a little weird right now. But at the end of the day it’s still football and I’ve got a job to do. I’m going to go out there and try to do it.”
He also has someplace he wants to go, and he's going to try to get there.