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Hutchinson on Bulluck: “One of the Smartest Players I’ve Ever Competed Against”

Posted by Gary Glenn on August 3, 2012 – 7:31 pm

Steve Hutchinson knows a thing or two about enjoying a long, successful NFL career. That’s why he showed a high level of respect when asked about the career of linebacker Keith Bulluck following Friday’s training camp practice at Baptist Sports Park.

Hutchinson, entering his 12th NFL season, said he played against Bulluck “a number of times” and described the former Titan as one of the smartest players he has ever competed against. Hutchinson began his NFL career in 2001 with the Seattle Seahawks, a year after the Titans made Bulluck their top pick in the 2000 draft.

“He was a very good player, an excellent player,” Hutchinson said. “It seemed like half the time he knew what we were running. You could definitely tell that he was a guy that studied game film and knew tendencies.”

Those are strong words coming from one of the NFL’s most respected offensive lineman — a five-time All-Pro who earned seven consecutive Pro Bowls from 2003-09.

“Keith was a hard-nosed linebacker, a guy that was going to go in there and scrum around with the offensive linemen, but also the defensive leader on the field that put everybody in their place,” Hutchinson said.

Bulluck played 11 seasons in the NFL, including his first 10 with the Titans from 2000-09 before finishing his career with the New York Giants – his hometown team – in 2010. Bulluck concluded his career as the third all-time leading tackler in Titans/Oilers history. He appeared in 135 consecutive games from Nov. 12, 2001 to Dec. 20, 2009.

That’s an accomplishment even Hutchinson admires.

“Anytime you can play 10-plus years in this league, you’ve done something,” Hutchinson said. “He definitely deserves the day he had today to retire. And to be able to play in one spot for such a long time in a consecutive set of years is pretty special, too.”


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