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Titans tallest and shortest in franchise history
According to some sites, Steve Baumgartner was the tallest to ever play for the franchise. He was a six-foot-seven-inch defensive end. He played four years plus with the New Orleans Saints and two years plus with the Houston Oilers. Baumgartner was traded to the Oilers in 1977.He played in the first game at the Superdome in Louisiana. Here is a video of him on the Saints website.
My research shows Ropati Pitoitua as being the tallest. He was a six-foot-eight-inch defensive lineman that played for the Titans in 2015.
Baumgartner was an extremely tall player in an era where that was less common. Recently retired offensive lineman Michael Roos was also 6-7. The common error probably has to do with perception relative to his peers. Ed Jones also played in the 70s and was nicknamed “Too tall” by his peers.
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Mike Archie was not the smallest to ever play for the franchise at five-foot-eight-inches tall or at 5-7″. Archie was a seventh-round draft pick of the 1996 Houston Oilers. He was a running back from Penn State. He played three seasons for the Oilers as a return specialist.
The smallest was Charley Tolar. Tolar was a fullback (when fullbacks were the main ball carriers) with the Oilers during the 60s. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 27th round of the 1959 NFL draft. Tolar played seven seasons for the Oilers in the old AFL. He ran for 3277 yards and was one of the top players in the league. Tolar had a glorious nickname. He was known as “the human bowling ball.”
Here is a snip from a NY Times article:
”Charlie could do just about anything,” Bud Adams, the founder of the Oilers and owner of their successors, the Tennessee Titans, told The Houston Chronicle.
Tolar was fearless but he also had an advantage being so small, Adams recalled.
As Adams told it, ”The defensive players couldn’t see him about half the time because he ran so low to the ground.”
Bob Talamini, an all-league guard and another of the original Oilers, told The Chronicle, ”The only thing Charlie didn’t have was breakaway speed, but he’d run through a brick wall to get 1 yard.”
It may be no big deal to some, that some sites list this incorrect info. It bugged me, so I figured I’d do a bit of research at Doug Drinen’s PFR website. Charlie or Charley(commonly spelled differently) is a fun little anecdote to know- shortest player was a human bowling ball.