EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. _ For the last eight of his 10 years with the Tennessee Titans, Keith Bulluck was the heart and soul of the team's defense, starting 127 consecutive games at outside linebacker.
He departed in the off-season after a torn ACL in his left knee last December, and eventually landed with his hometown New York Giants after a decade in Tennessee.
On Sunday, it still seemed strange to see Bulluck donning the royal blue of the New York Giants, rather than with the Titans.
Bulluck's former Titans teammates and coaches admitted as such, even though they were glad to see him back and playing so soon after his injury.
“I loved it,” tight end Bo Scaife said of facing Bulluck. “I feel bad for him that he had to be on the losing side, but better him than me. He had a couple of opportunities to make some plays out there, but he was just on the losing end today.”
Quarterback Vince Young said he regards Bulluck like a “big brother,” saying “Me and him were clowning at the line of scrimmage and during TV timeouts. … He said if he knee wasn't hurt he would have caught CJ on the sideline.”
Bulluck nearly caught Johnson on his longest run of the day, a 42-yarder in the fourth quarter.
“He was one of my closest friends when he was on the team,” Johnson said. “Looking over there and seeing him was kind of crazy, but it's fun playing against him.”