Titans' 20th season in Tennessee features new-look uniforms, helmets

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It felt like much of Nashville was behind the Tennessee Titans on Wednesday night as several players -- past and present -- led by quarterback Marcus Mariota unveiled the team's new uniforms. Mariota rocked the all-navy blue jersey.

Several thousand fans stood shoulder to shoulder down Broadway, a long street of honky-tonks. Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., estimated that the crowd numbered somewhere between 15,000 and 20,000.

Music blasted from an onstage DJ, a live Titans band and a performance by country music act Florida Georgia Line to close out the festivities. It was about as Nashville as you could get.

"Nashville knows how to throw a party," Titans coach Mike Vrabel yelled before the unveiling.

The Titans' new uniforms, which they have branded as "tradition evolved," arrive as the team celebrates its 20th season in Tennessee. It signals the Titans taking another step toward making themselves a brand separate from their predecessors, the Houston Oilers.

The uniforms consist of three primary color combinations: navy blue (home), white (away) and a light blue called Titans blue (color rush).

The most drastic shift comes in the look of the helmet, which is now navy blue with one, two-toned silver stripe, a feature that resembles a Titan sword. The uniform pants have this same feature. The Titans' previous helmet was white with two navy blue stripes.

The new uniforms have multiple instances of Tennessee state pride and Titans pride, such as the three red stars from the state flag featured on the inside neckline of the jersey.

The number on each jersey is shaped similarly to the northeast corner of the state and is inspired by Greek lettering, playing off the team's name.

Titans controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk figured the numbers would get the most widespread reaction from the fan base because the edges are pointed and far different from numbers on other NFL uniforms. But the Titans wanted Tennessee state pride to be a big part of the uniform design, and they were open to a modern look.

"This team is not rebuilding. It's just reloading. And these uniforms symbolize that," said Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo, who wore the white road jersey. "Look good, play good."

Titans general manager Jon Robinson, a Tennessee native, teared up when he talked about what this team has meant to him. He called the new uniforms "fierce."

Nike said the new uniform is 29 percent lighter than the previous uniform, with a focus on it being more comfortable and cooler for the players.

"When I first saw them, I really liked them," Titans all-time leading rusher Eddie George said. "I was really jealous. They have so many options."

The team has noticeably embraced change in the months leading up to the unveiling, such as when Robinson in January introduced Vrabel as the fifth head coach in Titans history, instead of the 18th coach in franchise history.

Dozens of Titans players attended the event.