1997 Tennessee Oilers season

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1997 Tennessee Oilers season
Head coachJeff Fisher
General managerFloyd Reese
OwnerBud Adams
Home fieldLiberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
Results
Record8–8
Division place3rd AFC Central
Playoff finishdid not qualify

The 1997 Tennessee Oilers season was their 38th season overall and their 28th in the National Football League (The NFL). The Oilers finished the season with 8 wins and 8 losses, and did not qualify for the playoffs. The head coach was Jeff Fisher, and the team played their home games at the Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. The 1997 season was the first season that the team was known as the Tennessee Oilers, following their move from Houston. In their first game in their new city, they defeated the Oakland Raiders 24-21. However, after the win, the Oilers would struggle, as they lost their next 4 games and could not recover.

Offseason[edit]

NFL Draft[edit]

1997 Tennessee Oilers draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 18 Kenny Holmes  Defensive end Miami (FL)
2 46 Joey Kent  Wide receiver Tennessee
3 75 Denard Walker  Defensive back LSU
3 81 Scott Sanderson  Offensive tackle Washington State
4 98 Derrick Mason *  Wide receiver Michigan State
4 107 Pratt Lyons  Defensive end Troy
5 143 George McCullough  Defensive back Baylor
6 181 Dennis Stallings  Linebacker Illinois
7 216 Armon Williams  Defensive back Arizona
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1997 Tennessee Oilers staff
Front office
  • Owner/Chairman of the Board/President – Bud Adams
  • Executive Vice President/General Manager – Floyd Reese
  • Director of Player Personnel – Rich Snead
  • Director of College Scouting – Glenn Cumbee
  • Director of Regional Scouting – Mike Holovak

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength and Conditioning – Steve Watterson

Roster[edit]

1997 Tennessee Oilers roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

{{{reserve_lists}}}


Rookies in italics

[2]

Schedule[edit]

Preseason[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record
1 August 2, 1997 New Orleans Saints L 12–21 0-1
2 August 9, 1997 Washington Redskins L 12-18 0-2
3 August 16, 1997 San Diego Chargers L 7–21 0-3
4 August 22, 1997 at Dallas Cowboys L 10–34 0–4

Regular season[edit]

Tennessee Oilers inaugural season logo

The Oilers' new stadium would not be ready until 1999, however, and the largest stadium in Nashville at the time, Vanderbilt Stadium on the campus of Vanderbilt University, seated only 41,000. At first, Bud Adams rejected Vanderbilt Stadium even as a temporary facility and announced that the renamed Tennessee Oilers would play the next two seasons at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis. The team would be based in Nashville, commuting to Memphis only for games—in effect, consigning the Oilers to 32 road games for the next two years. Even though this arrangement was acceptable to the NFL and the Oilers at the time, few people in either Memphis or Nashville were pleased by it. Memphis had made numerous attempts to get an NFL team (including the Memphis Hound Dogs and the Memphis Grizzlies court case), and many people in the area wanted nothing to do with a team that would be lost in only two years—especially to longtime rival Nashville. Conversely, Nashvillians showed little inclination to drive over 200 miles (300 km) to see "their" team. As a result, attendance at the Liberty Bowl was disastrous: on at least two occasions, fewer than 18,000 fans came to the stadium to see the Oilers, a number smaller than the attendance figures the team was getting in Houston after they had announced the move, and smaller than the fan bases the USFL's Memphis Showboats and XFL's Memphis Maniax would draw to the same stadium. If not for the attendance of fans supporting the Oilers' opponents, attendance would likely have even been smaller than it was for the CFL's Memphis Mad Dogs. Even in weeks when the Oilers drew over 30,000 fans (which only happened twice), many of the attendees were fans of the opposing team, padding the attendance totals.

Schedule[edit]

Week Date Opponent Result Record Location Attendance
1 August 31, 1997 Oakland Raiders W 24–21 1–0 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
30,171
2 September 7, 1997 at Miami Dolphins L 16–13 1–1 Pro Player Stadium
64,439
3 Bye
4 September 21, 1997 Baltimore Ravens L 36–10 1–2 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
17,737
5 September 28, 1997 at Pittsburgh Steelers L 37–24 1–3 Three Rivers Stadium
57,507
6 October 5, 1997 at Seattle Seahawks L 16–13 1–4 Kingdome
49,897
7 October 12, 1997 Cincinnati Bengals W 30–7 2–4 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
17,071
8 October 19, 1997 Washington Redskins W 28–14 3–4 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
31,042
9 October 26, 1997 at Arizona Cardinals W 41–14 4–4 Sun Devil Stadium
44,030
10 November 2, 1997 Jacksonville Jaguars L 30–24 4–5 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
27,208
11 November 9, 1997 New York Giants W 10–6 5–5 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
26,744
12 November 16, 1997 at Jacksonville Jaguars L 17–9 5–6 Alltel Stadium
70,070
13 November 23, 1997 Buffalo Bills W 31–14 6–6 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
23,571
14 November 27, 1997 at Dallas Cowboys W 27–14 7–6 Texas Stadium
63,421
15 December 4, 1997 at Cincinnati Bengals L 41–14 7–7 Cinergy Field
49,086
16 December 14, 1997 at Baltimore Ravens L 21–19 7–8 Memorial Stadium
60,558
17 December 21, 1997 Pittsburgh Steelers W 16–6 8–8 Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium
50,677

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT PF PA STK
(2) Pittsburgh Steelers 11 5 0 .688 372 307 L1
(5) Jacksonville Jaguars 11 5 0 .688 394 318 W2
Tennessee Oilers 8 8 0 .500 333 310 W1
Cincinnati Bengals 7 9 0 .438 355 405 W3
Baltimore Ravens 6 9 1 .406 326 345 L1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1997 Tennessee Oilers draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved January 11, 2014.
  2. ^ "1997 Tennessee Oilers starters, roster, and players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 28, 2014.

External links[edit]