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Kerry Collins

Collins during the Titans' 2008 season.
No. 5     Tennessee Titans
Personal information
Date of birth: December 30, 1972 (1972-12-30) (age 37)
Place of birth: Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) Weight: 248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
College: Penn State
NFL Draft: 1995 / Round: 1 / Pick: 5
Debuted in 1995 for the Carolina Panthers
Career history
 As player:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 12, 2009
TD-INT     191-187
Passing yards     38,464
QB Rating     73.4
Stats at

Kerry Michael Collins (born December 30, 1972 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania) is an American football quarterback for the Tennessee Titans of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Carolina Panthers with the fifth overall pick of the 1995 NFL Draft (first draft choice in franchise history). Kerry Collins is now a back up to Vince Young after the Titans accumulated an 0-6 record to start the season which included a 59-0 loss to the New England Patriots.


Playing career

Penn State

Collins played college football at The Pennsylvania State University, where he earned many awards in football. As quarterback, he was named All-American in 1994 by the Associated Press, United Press International, The Football News, Football Writers Association of America, Walter Camp and The Sporting News. Collins also captured two of college football’s major postseason prizes — the Maxwell Award, presented to the nation’s outstanding player, and the Davey O'Brien Award, which goes to the nation’s top quarterback. Collins finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year. In addition, he was chosen UPI Back-of-the-Year and garnered Player-of-the-Year honors from ABC-TV/Chevrolet and the Big Ten Conference. Collins made a serious run at the NCAA season passing efficiency record, falling just four points short (172.8), the fourth-highest figure in NCAA annals. He broke Penn State season records for total offense (2,660), completions (176), passing yardage (2,679), completion percentage (66.7), yards per attempt (10.15) and passing efficiency (172.86). He had 14 consecutive completions at Minnesota, another Penn State record. Collins was the linchpin of an explosive offense that shattered 14 school records and led the nation in scoring (47.8 ppg.) and total offense (520.2 ypg.). With 5,304 career passing yards, Collins ranks third in Penn State annals and is one of only three quarterbacks to top 5,000 yards through the air. With Collins at quarterback, the 1994 Nittany Lions completed an undefeated season, the fifth under coach Joe Paterno, capped by a Rose Bowl win over Pac-10 Champion Oregon. His team was voted #1 by the by the New York Times, although they were voted #2 behind undefeated Nebraska in the traditional polls (AP Poll and Coaches' Poll) used to determine Division 1-A champions prior to the BCS era.

Season Comp Att Percent Yards TD INT W L
<centher> 370

Carolina Panthers

Collins was selected as the Carolina Panthers' first round pick (fifth overall) in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was the first player ever chosen by the Panthers in the annual college draft, though other players—some free agents, as well as players from the expansion draft—had previously signed with the team. In his three seasons with the Panthers, he threw for 7,295 yards, 39 touchdowns and 49 interceptions. His completion percentage was 52.6% and his quarterback rating was 65.6. In his second season, he led the Panthers to the NFC Championship Game.

Collins threw 21 interceptions during the 1997 season and the Panthers finished 7–9, just one season after advancing to the NFC Championship.

Carolina started the 1998 season with Collins as its starting quarterback. After an 0-4 start, Collins walked into head coach Dom Capers' office and, as Collins later put it, "told Coach Capers my heart's not in it, I'm not happy, and I don't feel like I can play right now."[1] He asked to be traded, but was instead placed on waivers by Carolina during the 1998 season and subsequently signed by the New Orleans Saints.

Collins would later say that he did not intend to quit the team, only to sit out for a few weeks. However, Capers interpreted his request as quitting on the team and he was released. He later admitted that much of his erratic behavior was due to his struggles with alcoholism. After being arrested for drunk driving later that year, he was ordered by the NFL to seek treatment for alcohol abuse.[2]

His Band

When Collins was in high school he played for an extreme metal band called the Philthy Dogs. They were known for their city-wide vandalism. He also had a horrible drug problem and alcholism. This led to further problems in this NFL career.

Battles with alcoholism

Before the 1997 season got underway, Collins' private battle with alcoholism started to make public headlines. In a highly publicized incident, on the last night of Carolina Panthers training camp in 1997, Collins used the offensive racial slur "nigger" in reference to black teammate Muhsin Muhammad while in a drunken state at a bar in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[citation needed] Supposedly, Collins also inadvertently slurred offensive lineman Norberto Garrido, who is of Hispanic descent. It was widely rumored that Garrido punched Collins in the eye as a result, although this was later proven false.[3] Collins had stated that, in his intoxicated state, he thought the use of the racial epithet would help him and his teammates bond.

On November 2, 1998, Collins was arrested for drunk driving in Charlotte, North Carolina. He finished the 1998 season in New Orleans and signed with the New York Giants as a free agent on February 19, 1999. Not long after signing with New York, Collins decided to seek treatment for his alcoholism. He entered a rehabilitation clinic in Topeka, Kansas.

While a member of the New York Giants, Collins remained in therapy for four years. As a member of the Tennessee Titans, he readdressed the 1997 racial slur incident, explaining that "The guys were talking to each other that way, and I was trying to be funny and thought I could do it, too. I was so upset by it. It was bad judgment. I could have been labeled a racist for the rest of my career. I had to live with the way I used that word with a teammate. Extremely poor judgment. I was naïve to think I could use that word in any context."[4]

New York Giants

Collins started the 1999 season as the Giants' second-string quarterback, but soon claimed the starting job. In the 2000 season Collins led the Giants to Super Bowl XXXV, where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens. During the 2001 season, Collins set a single-season NFL record with 23 fumbles[5] (Collins' record was tied in 2002 by then-Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper). After five seasons, sixty-eight starts and 16,875 yards in New York, Collins was released by the Giants in 2004. The team had already signed former league MVP Kurt Warner and traded for 2004's #1 draft pick, Eli Manning. After his release, Collins signed a three-year, $16.82 million contract with the Oakland Raiders.

Oakland Raiders

Collins began the 2004 season as the team's backup to Rich Gannon, but took over the starting role when Gannon suffered a neck injury in the third week of the regular season. Collins was the team's starting quarterback for the 2005 season, subsequent to Gannon's retirement.[6]

The 2005 Raiders season started off well for Collins, but he was benched after a Week 13 loss to the San Diego Chargers. However, he regained his starting job two weeks later against the Cleveland Browns (a 9–7 loss at home). After two seasons and a 7–21 record with the Raiders, Collins was cut on March 10, 2006 in what was at least partially a move designed to free space with the salary cap.

Tennessee Titans

On August 28, 2006, Collins agreed in principle to a deal of unknown length and money with the Tennessee Titans. After three games, all losses for the Titans, Collins had completed fewer than half his passes, and had thrown one touchdown and six interceptions. Vince Young, who played extensively as a substitute in the second game, started the fourth through sixth games while Collins saw no playing time in any of them. On March 5, 2007 he re-signed with the Titans.

After Titans quarterback Vince Young was injured against Jacksonville on September 7, 2008, Collins finished the game and was named the Titans starting quarterback for the rest of 2008 later that week. On September 21, 2008, Collins became just the 15th player in NFL history to pass for more than 35,000 yards. Coming into the game against the Houston Texans, Collins needed only 90 yards to eclipse the mark. On his ninth completion of 13 attempts, Collins completed a 17-yard pass to Justin McCareins to give him 107 yards on the day and 35,007 yards for his career.

The Titans finished the regular season with a record of 13–3, top seed in the playoffs, and a first round bye. In the divisional round they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 13-10. A last minute field goal by Matt Stover won the game for the Ravens. Collins indicated after the season that he would like to play next year, but only as a starter.[7] Collins replaced Jets quarterback Brett Favre in the 2009 Pro Bowl, after first alternate Philip Rivers pulled out. He re-signed with the Titans on February 27, 2009. His new contract is worth $15 million, with $8.5 million guaranteed over two years.[8]

Collins returned as the team's starting quarterback for the beginning of the 2009 season, but after the Titans got an abysmal 0-6 record on the season, coach Jeff Fisher replaced Collins as starting quarterback with Vince Young, three days before the November 1, 2009 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fisher has said that he is against this decision, saying that the problems with the team are unrelated to quarterback play, but he made the substitution after being urged by Titans owner Bud Adams to do so. [9]. The Titans won 5 straight games with Young as quarterback, and later finished the season .500 [10].


Career statistics

Regular season

    Passing   Rushing
Season Team League GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
1995 Carolina NFL 15 214 432 49.5 2717 14 19 42 74 3
1996 Carolina NFL 13 204 364 56.0 2454 14 9 32 38 0
1997 Carolina NFL 13 200 381 52.5 2124 11 21 26 65 1
1998 Carolina NFL 4 76 162 46.9 1011 8 5 7 40 0
1998 New Orleans NFL 7 94 191 49.2 1202 4 10 23 113 1
1999 NYG NFL 10 191 332 57.5 2316 8 11 19 36 2
2000 NYG NFL 16 311 529 58.8 3610 22 13 41 65 1
2001 NYG NFL 16 327 568 57.6 3764 19 16 39 73 0
2002 NYG NFL 16 335 545 61.5 4073 19 14 44 -3 0
2003 NYG NFL 13 284 500 56.8 3110 13 16 17 49 0
2004 Oakland NFL 14 289 513 56.3 3495 21 20 16 36 0
2005 Oakland NFL 15 302 565 53.5 3759 20 12 17 39 1
2006 Tennessee NFL 4 42 90 46.7 549 1 6 0 0 0
2007 Tennessee NFL 6 50 82 61.0 531 0 0 3 -3 0
2008 Tennessee NFL 16 242 415 58.3 2676 12 7 25 49 0
Regular season totals 178 3160 5669 55.7 37393 186 179 351 671 9


    Passing   Rushing
Season Team League GP Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Att Yds TD
1996 Carolina NFL 2 31 59 52.5 315 3 3 7 4 0
2000 NYG NFL 3 56 98 57.1 622 5 6 14 26 0
2002 NYG NFL 1 29 43 67.4 342 4 1 0 0 0
2008 TN NFL 1 29 42 61.9 281 0 1 1 0 0
Playoff totals 8 145 242 59.7 1560 12 11 22 30 0


Throughout his career, Collins has been one of the NFL's most charitable players. Immediately upon signing his rookie contract with the Carolina Panthers, he donated $250,000 to the Penn State athletic department to permanently endow the quarterback position. He has donated over two million dollars to charities such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Harlem Boys Choir. In 2001, Collins donated $120,000 to Manhattan's Ladder 5/Engine 24 Family Relief following the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center.

Through the KC for Kids Fund of the Kerry Collins Foundation, Collins has donated more than $500,000 for the renovation of the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, a children's unit within the NYU Medical Center. Previously Collins donated $100,000 to the Institute, to establish the Kerry M. Collins Computer Center and Classroom, with specially modified equipment for disabled children.

During the 2005 season, Collins pledged $1,000 for every touchdown he threw and every game the Raiders won to the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina relief fund. On March 24, 2006, Collins was honored by The Second Mile Foundation in recognition of his commitment to others.


Collins and his wife, Brooke, have a daughter named Riley. The family splits time between Nashville, Tennessee and Asheboro, North Carolina.[11]



External links

Preceded by
Charlie Ward
Maxwell Award Winner
Succeeded by
Eddie George
Preceded by
Charlie Ward
Davey O'Brien Award Winner
Succeeded by
Danny Wuerffel
Preceded by
John Sacca
Penn State Starting Quarterback
Succeeded by
Wally Richardson
Preceded by
Frank Reich
Carolina Panthers Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Steve Beuerlein
Preceded by
Heath Shuler
New Orleans Saints Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Billy Joe Tolliver
Preceded by
Danny Kanell
New York Giants Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Kurt Warner
Preceded by
Rich Gannon
Oakland Raiders Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Aaron Brooks
Preceded by
Steve McNair
Tennessee Titans Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Vince Young
Preceded by
Vince Young
Tennessee Titans Starting Quarterbacks
Succeeded by
Vince Young

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