April 29, 2009
Former Eastern Washington University All-American and current Tennessee Titans All-Pro offensive tackle Michael Roos will have his jersey retired this fall, Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves announced Saturday (April 25) evening at the Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction. Roos was on hand for the event, which took place in partnership with the Michael Roos Foundation.
"Having my jersey retired is obviously a huge thrill for me," said Roos. "It's something you never think is going to happen, so when I was told about it, I was definitely ecstatic. It's an honor that not many players achieve at any level, so I feel extremely honored that Eastern has decided to retire mine."
Roos, who played in this past February's Pro Bowl after earning the first All-Pro honor of his four-year NFL career, will return for EWU's Homecoming game on Oct. 24 versus Montana State (the Titans have a bye in their schedule that weekend). Although several jerseys have been honored/retired previously in school history, only the No. 84 jersey worn by Bob Picard (Eastern wide receiver in 1968-69-71-72) is no longer being used at Eastern.
"We are thrilled to be able to honor Michael," Chaves said. "He was a tremendous student-athlete at Eastern and his career thus far in the NFL has been nothing short of remarkable."
Roos has started every game in four seasons as a Titan after earning NCAA Football Championship Subdivision All-America honors and Lineman of the Year accolades as an Eagle senior in 2004. A second-round draft choice out of Eastern in 2005, Roos has started 64 consecutive regular season games at tackle for the Titans.
The 6-foot-7, 315-pound Roos is quick to credit his former coaches at Eastern -- offensive line coach Aaron Best and head coach Paul Wulff -- for his accomplishments along the way. Best is currently offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at EWU, while Wulff has since moved on to become head coach at Washington State University.
"I was very lucky to have the best offensive line coach possible in Aaron Best," praised Roos. "He taught all of us the meaning of hard work and perseverance. Also, I was fortunate that Paul Wulff took a chance on me out of high school and gave me the opportunity.
"Most importantly, I owe the most to my wife Katherine," he added. "She has put her life on hold since the day the NFL was a faint possibility, and she has supported me 100 percent every step of the way."
Including 35 starts to end his EWU career, Roos enters the 2009 season having made 117 consecutive starts as an offensive tackle. His last 82 starts have come as a Titan (two AFC playoff games, 64 regular season games and 16 pre-season contests). He was even a starter in his first-ever Pro Bowl on Feb. 8.
Roos, who graduated from Mountain View High School in Vancouver, Wash. in 2000, started the Michael Roos Foundation shortly after his NFL career began. It was established to support local non-profit organizations, including EWU, Special Olympics in Washington and Boys and Girls Clubs of Spokane County.
Senior Chris Thomas, who also plays offensive tackle, currently wears No. 71 for the Eagles and will presumably be the last to wear that number. Thomas is a pre-med major from Sumner, Wash. (Sumner HS '05), and earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors this past fall. A 3.77 student, he was also selected to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VIII football team and was named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team for the third-straight year.
Michael Roos -
Offensive Tackle - Letter Winner at EWU 2001-02-03-04
Drafted in the 2nd round (41st pick overall) by Tennessee in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Tennessee Titans: Since becoming a Tennessee Titan, Roos has started 64-consecutive regular season games for Tennessee. In addition to two AFC Playoff games (one each following the 2007 and 2008 seasons), 16 preseason games and 35 starts to end his EWU career, he has a current streak of 117-straight starts heading into the 2009 season. He was even a starter in his first-ever Pro Bowl on Feb. 8, 2009.
The 2008 season was a season of firsts for Roos. On Jan. 1, Associated Press selected him as one of two offensive tackles on its 2008 All-Pro team. He was one of just two NFL offensive tackles selected to the first team (the other was Jordan Gross of Carolina). In addition, on Dec. 16, he earned his first Pro Bowl invitation. In November 2008, Roos was selected to the mid-season NFL All-Pro team selected by Sports Illustrated and writer Paul Zimmerman.
Among the many former Eagles who have played in the NFL, none have ever been invited to the Pro Bowl, let alone win All-Pro honors. However, Kurt Schulz (Buffalo Bills) was an alternate in 2001 and both he and Ed Simmons (Washington Redskins) earned all-division accolades during their 10- and 11-year NFL careers, respectively.
Roos allowed just one sack in 16 regular season games in the 2008 season, and was part of an offensive line that allowed a NFL-low and franchise-record 12 sacks in 2008. He played a key role in opening holes for the league's seventh-ranked rushing attack that featured Pro Bowler Chris Johnson (1,228 yards, nine TDs) and LenDale White (773 yards, 15 TDs to rank third in the NFL). Tennessee rushed for a franchise-record 332 rushing yards in Week 7 at Kansas City.
Besides being a stellar season for Roos, it was also a season of continued improvement for the Titans. Roos helped the Titans go from a 4-12 record as a rookie in 2005 to an 8-8 mark in 2006 as the Titans just missed the playoffs. In 2007, the Titans finished 10-6 and advanced to the NFL Playoffs for the first time since 2003. In 2008, the Titans won the AFC South Division title with a 13-3 record -- the best record in the NFL during the regular season. Tennessee then received a first-round bye in the playoffs before their season came to an end with a 13-10 loss to Baltimore.
In May 2008, Roos signed a six-year, $43 million contract extension with the Titans. Tennessee won its final three regular season games in 2007, including a 16-10 victory over defending Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis on the final day of the regular season. Roos started his 96th-consecutive game when the Titans lost in the first round to San Diego on Jan. 6, 2008. Earlier in the season, Roos helped the Titans rush for a club-record 282 yards in a 13-10 win over Jacksonville.
Drafted in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft (41st pick overall), Roos started all 16 games as a rookie at right tackle for the Titans. The following season, Roos moved to left tackle when 13 year-veteran Brad Hopkins retired in the off-season. Roos started all 16 games at left tackle as he helped the Tennessee rushing attack rank third in the AFC and fifth in the NFL with 2,214 rushing yards, while posting a franchise record 4.7-average yards per carry for the season. Roos also helped pave the way for running back Travis Henry to rush for 1,211 yards and Vince Young to become the first rookie quarterback in NFL history to exceed 500 rushing yards.
Said Titans General Manager Floyd Reese at the end of the 2005 season: "He showed the versatility to play both left or right, and very seldom are you going to find a lot of guys like that. That is quite a bill to fill."
Michael Roos Foundation: Roos returned to the Cheney area on March 10, 2007, to host the Michael Roos Foundation Dinner, Sports Auction and Poker Tournament at Northern Quest Casino. The second-annual event took place on March 1, 2008, and in 2009, the event merged with the Orland Killin Dinner, Dance and Auction. During its existence, the Foundation has benefited Eastern Athletics, Special Olympics in Washington and Boys and Girls Clubs of Spokane County.
2005 NFL Draft: Roos became the highest draft choice in school history when Tennessee selected him in the second round of the 2005 NFL Draft. He was the 41st selection overall, the third offensive tackle selected and the first FCS player taken. In addition, he was the first Big Sky Conference player selected and the highest since 1989.
At the time he was drafted, Roos had played just six seasons of football, starting as a senior at Mountain View High School in fall 1999. He moved to the United States from Estonia in 1992. He came to Eastern as a tight end, played one season on the defensive line and then started 35-straight Eagle games at left offensive tackle.
As a senior in 2004, he earned five different All-America honors and was the I-AA.Org Lineman of the Year after helping Eastern to a 9-4 record and the quarterfinals of the FCS Playoffs. Roos played in a pair of prestigious college all-star games - the East-West Shrine Game and Senior Bowl - and was also invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.
EWU in 2004: Was selected by I-AA.org as its first-ever Lineman of the Year. Earned first team All-America honors by both the American Football Coaches Association and The Sports Network, and was a second team All-America pick by Associated Press. He was selected to play in both the Senior Bowl (Jan. 29) and East West Shrine Game (Jan. 15), and was invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Ind. He was a unanimous choice for first team All-Big Sky Conference honors as selected by the league's head coaches. He started all 13 games at left offensive tackle, bringing his total number of consecutive starts to 35 at that position. He helped Eastern average 475.5 yards of offense per game to rank fourth in I-AA, as well as an average of 37.5 points per game to rank sixth. The Eagles averaged 291.1 yards per game through the air to rank eighth nationally, and Eastern was third in I-AA in passing efficiency (162.37) and 33rd in rushing offense (184.4). Most importantly, Eastern won nine of its last 11 games to finish 9-4 and advance to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs. He entered his senior season having already completed requirements toward his bachelor's degree, and coincidentally, he was the first EWU graduate to be introduced and receive a diploma at the commencement ceremony in June 2004 at the Spokane Arena.
EWU in 2003: Earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors as an offensive tackle. Started all 11 games at left tackle for the second-straight season. He is one of three starters returning in 2004 from an offensive line that helped the Eagles rank 29th in I-AA and fourth in the Big Sky with an average of 31.27 points per game in 2003. Eastern's offense finished 47th nationally and third in the conference with an average of 380.0 yards per game, and was 21st in I-AA and third in the conference in passing offense with an average of 247.3 yards per game.
EWU in 2002: Earned honorable mention All-Big Sky Conference honors as an offensive tackle. Named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. Started all 11 games at left tackle along an offensive line that used eight different starters during the season.
EWU in 2001: Named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team. Started versus Weber State (9/22/01) at right defensive end and Northern Arizona (11/3/01) at right defensive tackle. He had a big day -- particularly in the fourth quarter -- for the Eagles in their 63-35 win over Cal State Northridge (10/27/01). He had seven tackles, including a fourth-quarter sack that resulted in a fumble recovered by teammate Luke Vincent at the Matador 25-yard line. Later in the quarter, Roos recovered a fumble at the Eagle 48 that was forced by Brandon Moore on another sack, and those two players combined on yet another sack shortly thereafter. Roos, who was selected as the team's Defensive Player of the Week, also saw action as a tight end. He started the day's scoring barrage with a 2-yard touchdown catch -- his only catch of the season -- in the first quarter. He finished the season with 17 tackles, including 1 1/2 sacks and three total tackles for losses (19 yards). He also forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.
EWU in 2000: Redshirted. Was selected as the team's offensive scout team player of the week once.
High School: Graduated from Mountain View HS in 2000. He played football for the first time when he was a high school senior. Selected to the second team All-Greater St. Helens League squad as a tight end. Caught 18 passes for 306 yards and three touchdowns, with a long of 66 yards. On defense he had 40 tackles, six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and two sacks. He was also an All-Greater St. Helens League selection as a basketball player. Earned scholar-athlete honors three times in basketball, twice in track and once in football. He was an outstanding student in high school as well.
Personal: Born 10/5/82 in Tallinn, Estonia. He has lived in the United States since 1992 when his mother moved his family from Estonia to Vancouver, Wash. Roos and his wife Katherine, who also attended Eastern, returned to Estonia in July 2007 as part of a vacation that took them through England, Scotland and Germany. Roos was a double major at EWU in finance and economics.