Keith Bulluck didn't mince words when asked about his exit from the Tennessee Titans.
Though he said he holds no ill will toward the team, Bulluck reiterated what Kyle Vanden Bosch and Kevin Mawae said before him that the Titans made virtually no efforts whatsoever to reach out to them about a return in the off-season.
Bulluck gets the chance to face the team he spent 10 years with on Sunday, as the Titans travel to face the New York Giants.
Bulluck indicated that he did his rehab work with the goal of being ready by training camp and with the anticipation that the Titans would give him a call.
According to Bulluck, no call ever came, and he said as much in a conference call with Nashville reporters on Wednesday.
“You know what? Honestly that's bull-[expletive]. I was in Arizona. I rehabbed with the Titans for the first months,” said Bulluck, who tore his ACL in December. “I was in New York for the next two, and I was in Arizona until my agent said the Giants wanted me to come there for a workout.
“The last time I saw [Titans team physician] Burton Elrod was in the beginning of May, and he told me I would be ready, definitely by camp. That was just with Burton. That had nothing to do with the Tennessee Titans. No one knew what was going on with me until I worked out with the Giants. And once everyone heard I had a great workout with the Giants and that I'm healthy and everything, I think that's when everything started.”
What started it, said Bulluck, was the Titans' stance that Bulluck wanted to leave Tennessee – something he said was not the case at all.
“The only thing that bothered me was the whole after I signed with New York. Honestly and truthfully before that, there was no communication with anyone. Like everything that took place after that kind of bothered me and [expletive] me off a little bit. I know the hard work I put in to put myself in position to get on the team,” Bulluck said. “Of course, I would have liked to have been with the team I was with for the past decade, and that wasn't able to happen. They never reached out to me, so I did what I had to do, and the aftermath of that, we all know. So that kind of annoyed me a little bit. Other than that, it's just business, and you move on and you go.”
Titans coach Jeff Fisher was in no mood to discuss anything to do with Bulluck's contract offer or lack thereof.
“I'm not gonna rehash that. We've discussed it before. Again, I'm happy for Keith. I'm really happy for Keith. He had 10 great years here and went through the ups and downs here and was a tremendous player,” Fisher said. “I'm not going to get into what was said and what was not. The bottom line is that Keith made the decision to leave.”
Tight end Bo Scaife said it would be unusual to see Bulluck in a Giants uniform, and that he wished him well, as long as the Titans win. As for the exit, Scaife, admitted, "He has every right to feel that way."
Bulluck's story sounded remarkably similar to Vanden Bosch and Mawae both saying they never received any contact from Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt or the front office during the off-season.
“I haven't spoken to Kyle Vanden Bosch or Kevin Mawae since last year, and do you find it odd that we're saying the same thing?” Bulluck said.
Vanden Bosch wound up signing with Detroit, while Mawae retired earlier this month.
Bulluck said he even asked Reinfeldt point blank while rehabbing in the weight room one day about his future with the Titans.
“I don't want it to seem that I have any ill feelings toward the organization or anyone in it. But at the same time, I feel that I worked there for 10 years, and I did everything that was asked of me and then some,” Bulluck said. “For that to be the final situation to my career there, saying that I wanted to get out of Tennessee, and I was looking elsewhere already. My whole thing is I was laid up in the training room and I actually asked Mike Reinfeldt what was up, and the answer that he gave me was somewhat of a joke.”
Asked what kind of relationship he had with the Titans general manager, Bulluck said, “I don't talk to him. I don't know. I don't have a relationship with Mike Reinfeldt.”
Bulluck during the call even weighed in on the Vince Young benching, asking out loud why Young was removed so quickly after Kerry Collins stayed the starter in last year's 0-6 start, with owner Bud Adams stepping in to force a change.
“Week two? What are they? They're 1-1, right,” Bulluck said. “We were 0-6 last year and getting our [expletive] kicked in New England [59-0] and the quarterback didn't get benched. I wouldn't say I'm surprised. That's just how they do things down there, man.”
Bulluck now says he is doing his best to move forward as a member of the Giants, though it is evident the treatment he received in Tennessee at the end still stings.
“Those people know me. I was working there for 10 years. I had a house there still. Those people know my number. If they were really trying to get in touch with me, trying to stick beside me and do all that stuff, I'm sure my phone would have rang, my agent's phone,” Bulluck said. “I even know for a fact that we sent out footage of me training off-season, and I asked him several times, if the Titans had given him a shout, and that didn't happen. It's over. That's in the past. It's my story, their story. It's all a story. At this point, I don't really care. I'm a New York Giant and I have been since July 24.”