Who have been the Titans' best defensive ends?

Monday, September 13, 2010 at 11:45pm

1. Kyle Vanden Bosch (2006-09)
Teammates initially considered him an oddity because of his work ethic and high motor. Eventually, they endeavored to live up to his standard. In five seasons, he missed just four games and earned three Pro Bowl invitations. He also forced multiple fumbles in four of those five years. He was effective against both the run and the pass.

2. Jevon Kearse (1999-03, 08-09)
Without a doubt, his rookie year, which included an NFL rookie record 14.5 sacks, was the most dynamic by any defensive lineman since the franchise became the Titans. He was the exact type of talent and personality the team needed at that time. His sack totals decreased every year thereafter, and when he returned to the organization in 2008, he was a shell of his former self.

3. Kevin Carter (2001-04)
It likely will be a long time before the team sees another player with his combination of size and athleticism. While he was productive and always healthy enough to play, he lacked the passion of Vanden Bosch and Kearse. Eventually he was moved to defensive tackle to make way for more explosive players on the outside.

4. Kenny Holmes (1997-2000)
A first-round draft pick ultimately overshadowed by Kearse, he had respectable sack numbers as a rookie (seven) and again three years later, in his final season with the Titans (eight). He even had a couple of interceptions and a knack for making a big play at a key moment.

5. Antwan Odom (2004-07)
It took three years before he finally began to realize his potential, which he finally did with 44 tackles and eight sacks in 2007. Following that season, he signed a free agent contract with Cincinnati, where he became an anchor along the defensive front.

6. Travis LaBoy (2004-07)
Nagging injuries kept him from ever flourishing with the Titans — he missed time every year but never more than three games. He still averaged just shy of four sacks per season, which was evidence of his value as a third-down specialist.

7. Carlos Hall (2002-04)
An undersized overachiever, he had eight sacks as a rookie after being drafted in the seventh round. He didn’t get that many in the remaining three years of his career, as durability issues set him back.