Tag:Tennessee Titans
Posted on: August 24, 2011 4:56 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 9:34 am

Backs just not worth it

Chris Johnson is everything I want in a running back. He is explosive. He rips off big runs. You don't need grind-it-out drives with a back who has his speed. The Tennessee Titans can scare defenses with his ability to go 75 in an instant.

But having said all that, I wouldn't make him close to being the highest-paid offensive player in the NFL.

I get that he's underpaid. But he's a back. The game has changed. Backs don't decide winners anymore.

They used to be the stars. Now they're just part of the show -- which is headlined by the passing game.

Doubt me? The top five running backs in the NFL are arguably Johnson, Adrian Peterson, Arian Foster, Maurice Jones-Drew and Jamaal Charles. How many playoff games did they win between them last season?

None. Zippo. Zilch.

As we ready for the 2011 season, which one of those backs plays on a team favored to win its division?

None. Zippo. Zilch.

Backs are role players now. The rules mandate that. The Titans were 17th in rushing last season with him. They were 27th in total offense. How much worse can they be without him?

So Johnson might want to get realistic.  Get a new deal. Get a big raise. Get a lot of guaranteed money. He was in Nashville to talk with the Titans, but progress wasn't made toward a new deal. He reamins a holdout.

He needs to get into camp and get it done. There's no reason to wait. They just might realize what I already have: Backs aren't as valuable as you think.

Category: NFL
Posted on: February 15, 2011 2:46 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2011 2:47 pm

Titans coordinators both good hires

The big concern when the Tennessee Titans hired Mike Munchak to be the head coach was who his coordinators would be.

Munchak has never been a coordinator himself, so the two hires were crucial for him.

Consider it a job well done.

First, Munchak hired Jerry Gray to coach the defense. Gray is a well-respected former player who should help improve a defense that wasn't very good last season.

The second hire came Tuesday when Chris Palmer was announced as the new offensive coordinator. Palmer is good offensive coordinator who understands the passing game, something the Titans badly need to improve on. He coached in the UFL last season, but he has a lot of NFL experience, including being the head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

The word is that Miami Dolphins coach Tony Sparano wanted to hire Palmer when he became head coach three years ago, but Bill Parcells, then in a power position with the Dolphins, pushed Sparano to hire Parcells' buddy, Dan Henning. That proved to be a disaster as Henning came under major scrutiny in Miami.

Palmer would have been a much better choice. He would have helped developed Chad Henne faster.

I've watched Palmer work with quarterbacks and he's got a nice touch handling them. He's also a good play-caller.

It's anybody's guess who the quarterback will be in Tennessee, but it's likely a young player, maybe even a rookie. That will test the coordinator, which is why Palmer is a good hire.

Category: NFL
Posted on: January 5, 2011 7:50 pm

Adams nails it

Maybe Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams isn't as off as some might think.

There was a lot of speculation that Adams would pick quarterback Vince Young over coach Jeff Fisher in the one-has-to-go war. But Adams has decided the Titans will either trade or release Young.

Fisher stays, which means he will be in his 17th season with the team.

Normally I would side with a quarterback over a coach. I'd take Tom Brady over Bill Belichick, even though I think the latter might be the best coach of all time. This is a quarterback's league.

In this case, it should have been an easy choice. Young isn't that good. Fisher can coach.

If Adams had picked Young, much to the disapproval of his top men in Nashville in Mike Reinfeldt and Steve Underwood, it would have been a bad blow to the organizational structure.

As it turned out, those two must have convinced Adams how wrong he was about Young.
As for trading him, good luck. Anybody have a meatball sub they want to give up? That's about what the Titans can expect to get in exchange for Young.

The Titans also have to draft a quarterback this spring. Young has been flop, so it's time to try it again.

Adams did the right thing here. He might like Young a lot, but Young was never going to get his team to a Super Bowl. Fisher has and can again.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 2, 2009 7:51 pm
Edited on: March 2, 2009 7:52 pm

Titans sign replacements

You have to love the way the Tennessee Titans are always prepared.

They lose Albert Haynesworth last Friday, but bounce back on Monday to sign Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Jovan Haye, a player I like a lot. They got him for a signiificantly cheaper price at four years for $16 million. That doesn't come close to the Haynesworth deal that included $42 million in guaranteed money.

The Titans also lost receiver Brandon Jones to the 49ers, but replaced him with Steelers receiver Nate Washington, who was rated higher on most team's boards. d

Good teams with good front offices find quality replacements. And sometimes they're cheaper.

By no means am I saying that Haye is in the Haynesworth class, but he can help fill the void.




Category: NFL
Posted on: January 12, 2009 8:10 pm

Monday Musings

The lesson the Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers need to take from their losses this past weekend is a simple one.

It's time to loosen up those offenses.

The Titans under Jeff Fisher have always been a run-first team that plays good defense. The team is built that way, which is why they have no real threat down the field in the passing game.

That showed up against the Ravens. Quarterback Kerry Collins had a nice day, but they didn't get any big plays down the field. That leads to long drives. That leads to possible mistakes, which happened twice inside the 10.

Once running back Chris Johnson went out with an ankle injury, the Titans had quite possibly the slowest offense I've ever seen from a team playing in the divisional round of the playoffs.

Fisher, who has now lost twice as the top seed with the Titans, needs to address that style.

You can't just run it all the time. They need a big-play threat outside.

The Panthers came into this season with the idea that they would be a power team again. That's fine. Except when it didn't work against the Cardinals, and they fell behind, they didn't have the passing game to overcome the mistakes.

Jake Delhomme was terrible. Steve Smith was doubled and there was nowhere else to go.
It's about style.

You must throw it to win. Not always, but the big play has to be there in the passing game.

The Steelers aren't a passing team, but they had big plays against the Chargers. Ben Roethlsiberger to Hines Ward and others. The Ravens had two of them against the Titans.

Run, run and short passes doesn't work anymore.

That's why the Titans and the Panthers are home.

Quick hits


----It can be hard for a rookie quarterback to assimilate into a locker room loaded with veterans. But Ravens sources say Joe Flacco has done a great job. He arrives at the facility early and can often be seen eating breakfast with a variety of teammates. That's a smart thing on a team with Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

---Is Josh McDaniels a good hire by the Denver Broncos? Does anybody know? I've been impressed with the way McDaniels calls plays, but how much of that is because of Bill Belichick? We know Belichick is a defensive wizard, but he's also very much involved on the offensive side. When Charlie Weis went to Notre Dame, Belichick became iheavily involved in the offense. I do like the idea of an innovative offensive coach getting a chance. I think McDaniels is that. The Broncos better hope he isn't another Weis.

---The more I watch the Ravens play, the more I'm convinced that center Jason Brown is about to become a rich man. He's an unrestricted free agent and he's one of the biggest centers in the league. He has two pretty good games against Albert Haynesworth on his resume. At 330 pounds, Brown can handle the bigger inside players. The Ravens are almost resigned to the fact he won't be back next year. They will move guard Chris Chester inside to center.

----One of the biggest changes in the Eagles defense this season is the improved play of b both defensive tackles. Broderick Bunkley and Mike Patterson have really stepped up their games. Did you see Patterson blow up Chris Snee on that fourth-and-inches quarterback sneak Sunday against the Giants? That's a Pro Bowl guard he dominated.

---Even though the Ravens are playing in the AFC title game this week, it's clear where they need to go in next year's draft. They need a speed receiver and a corner. Those two positions are lacking, even when Chris McAlister returns.

---It takes LenDale White too long to get to the line of scrimmage. The Titans need to get him to lose some weight.

---Don't be surprised if Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio decides he will serve as the team's defensive coordiantor next season. Del Rio came to the Jaguars after being the defensive coordinator in Carolina.


Category: NFL
Posted on: January 12, 2009 8:10 pm
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