December 15, 2008

Former Eagle Michael Roos Close to Perfect

Dec. 13, 2008

NOTE: Including 35 starts to end his EWU career, Michael Roos enters Tennessee's pivotal home game versus the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 21 having made 114 consecutive starts as an offensive tackle. His last 79 starts has come as a Titan (one AFC playoff game, 62 regular season games and 16 pre-season contests).


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Associated Press) -- So what if STATS counts former Eastern Washington University All-American Michael Roos as the only left tackle in the NFL who has started every game without allowing at least a half sack? He disagrees because the Titans' own bookkeeping credits him with allowing a sack to Cincinnati end Antwan Odom in their 24-7 win on Sept. 14.

"By our counts, yes, that's definitely a sack I gave up," Roos said.

Not that it matters to Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who simply sees the four-year veteran as one of the NFL's best left tackles. The 14-year veteran Kerry Collins, who has been sacked only seven times thanks to the Tennessee line, has his own high opinion of Roos.

"He's smart. He's intelligent. He understands the offense. He understands protection schemes and really uses his head in conjunction with the talent that he has, so he's probably the best I've ever played with," Collins said.

The Tennessee Titans knew what they were getting out of the 6-foot-7, 315-pound Roos when they drafted him in the second round in 2005 out of Eastern Washington. He has started every game since entering the NFL, and the Titans quietly signed him in April to a six-year, $43 million extension with $15 million guaranteed.

STATS has Roos ahead of Denver left tackle Ryan Clady and right tackle Ryan Harris with the Broncos having allowed a half sack each through 13 starts. Tennessee (12-1) and Denver (8-5) are tied for fewest sacks allowed in the NFL this season with eight apiece.

"I think as a whole offense we've been playing well," Roos said. "Everybody's helping everybody else. It's a matter of each guy helping the other guy out when they need to and playing well."

One knock against Roos has been that he's a better pass blocker than driving defenders back for the run even though the Titans also feature the NFL's third-best rushing offense, averaging 146.1 yards per game. Roos said he uses hand placement as he works to increase his strength, but Fisher said he chuckled when he heard such talk.

"I don't know where that came from. Sure, he stands to improve a little bit, but he's played some pretty good pass rushers all year," Fisher said.

"He's very even-keeled ... technique oriented. He studies. He finishes. He's just gotten better. He's as good as there is in the league now."

With the Titans' success combined with his own, Roos is a strong candidate to be voted to his first Pro Bowl. Rookie Jake Long of Miami led AFC tackles in fan voting totals released recently.

"If he doesn't make the Pro Bowl, it'll be a shame because he's a heck of a player really," Collins said. "He goes up against some of the best pass rushers in the league week in and week out. In our division, we've got two great ones in (Dwight) Freeney and Mario (Williams), and (he) always comes to play, always prepared and plays at a high level."

Roos, who has been to Hawaii on his own, said it would be a great honor. He's waiting to see.

"All I can control is what we do each week and playing hard. Everything else will take care of itself," he said.

 

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