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Releasing Chris Johnson was the right thing to do, both for the
Titans and for him, but your use of a single photo from one play is ridiculous. Dwight Freeney was unblocked on his left,
so what would you expect him to do other than move to the right, where
Amano was supposedly blocking Conner? The fact that Conner brushed Amano aside like a piece of wet tissue paper was hardly Johnson's fault. I agree with much of your analysis, but this is just lazy.
6 months, 4 weeks ago on Conversation @ http://totaltitans.com/2014-articles/titans-release-chris-johnson.html
It is hard to get excited about this season for this very reason. I really like Jake Locker and I would love it if he is able to surprise everyone this year, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. They don't always get it right, but when expert after expert said that he didn't have the reliability and accuracy to succeed in the NFL, you have to wonder what possessed the Titans to draft him so high. It is disappointing because the Titans look like they are putting a strong roster together for the first time in years, but to succeed they will need to have good, consistent QB play. I really, really hope I am wrong, but I fear that this time next year the Titans will have a new HC and a new starting QB.
1 year, 3 months ago on 2013 Tennessee Titans preseason positional analysis: QB
It's perhaps too easy to put too much weight on one play, but the quarterback sneak on 1st and 10 summed up much of the Titans' play this season: clueless.
It's a little early to make judgements about Locker, but like Scott and Drakal I am starting to seriously doubt that he will ever be anything other than inconsistent - flashes of brilliance followed by dreadful decisions and throws. I hope I'm wrong, but yesterday I found myself wishing that Hasselbeck was playing in much the same way that a few years ago I used to wish that Collins was playing in place of Young.
1 year, 10 months ago on Titans fail to hold halftime lead, lose to Colts 27-23
Mariani is probably on the bubble, but assuming that the Titans retain 6 WRs (and given Britt's fragility it might be foolish not to) his position is reasonably safe, at least for another season. He doesn't set the pulse racing as a punt returner, but he is steady, reliable and consistent, which is pretty much what you'd be looking for. His value on kick-off returns has obviously been diminished though. I'd have thought that if he doesn't make the roster then it will be because one of the un-drafted rookies or someone like Kirkendoll plays too well in pre-season to be cut. However, the 6th WR isn't going to be getting much playing time (one hopes) so it may as well be someone who can make a contribution on special teams.
2 years, 5 months ago on Which Titans veterans are most affected by the 2012 draft? | May
Andrew, I think what all this teaches us that the Titans front office and coaching staff don't see the offensive line and center as being much of a problem. I suspect that their confidence, or complacency, depending on your point of view, is based on the assumption that the Titans are going the throw the ball more than run (and this o-line is very good at pass protection) and that Johnson will recover his form well enough to make up for any failings in run blocking. Also I suspect that they are hoping that a full off-season will help improve execution.
In terms of centre, it's a little hard not to suspect that Matthews is being groomed to start. I didn't think he played that badly in 2010 (or at least, no worse than one would expect from anyone of their debut) and with some 18+ months under his belt since then, he may turn out to be the answer. But it also looks like the Titans will be equally happy for Amano to start again - and perhaps fully recovered from injury and with better schemes he might improve too.
So, I think you are right that the Titans aren't serious about upgrading the position, but I think the point is that rightly or wrongly, they don't think that they need to. As Titans fans I think all we can do is trust that they know what they're doing.
2 years, 5 months ago on Are the Titans really serious about upgrading at center? | May
Seems a little high maybe, but I guess other teams might have had him on their radar. Mike Mayock really liked the pick, which is a good sign, and it sounds like he will be able to contribute to STs immediately.
2 years, 6 months ago on Total Titans Rounds 4-7 2012 NFL Draft open thread | April
I am baffled by the response of some Titans fans to Zach Brown (check out the rabid comments on the official "12th Titan Fan Forum"). Having an OLB who's good in coverage has been a glaring need since Bulluck left - and let's list a few TEs: Gronkowski, Hernandez, Gates, Pettigrew, Daniels, Shiancoe ... and that's just the first five games this year. The Titans look as if they're building to be a team that throws the ball and stops the pass, which is exactly what they need to do to be a contender.
2 years, 6 months ago on Tennessee Titans select OLB Zach Brown in 2nd round | April
I see this pick as more a reflection on the state of the NFL than the state of the Titans. I was surprised by it, even though a number of mock drafts had the Titans taking a WR in the 1st round. The reality is though that the best teams (and the Titans are meeting a fair few of those in 2012) are going to be putting up 30-40+ points per game as a matter of course and the only way to compete with them is to do the same. With a WR corp of Britt/Wright/Washington together with Cook and Johnson, the Titans have the potential to do just that.
2 years, 6 months ago on Titans morning after: More perspective on Kendall Wright | April
I always feel a little sorry for Tyrone Calico. OK, he didn't exactly set the world alight in his rookie season but four TDs wasn't too shabby. We'll never know what sort of stats he might have put up sans Roy Williams. I would have said that Joey Kent was a worst 2nd round pick, particularly given the Oiler's 4th round pick that year.
2 years, 6 months ago on The best and worst picks of Tennessee's first ten drafts | April
It's was always pretty unlikely that this Titans team would make a serious play-off bid and given the way the teams in the north and east are playing the chances of more than one time coming out of the AFC South is extremely remote. I don't think the Texans are going to slip up so badly that they let the Titans through, sadly. I am not sure what dismays me more at the moment - the complete lack of pass rush or the anaemic offense. The final 2-minute drill was painful to watch but then so was the sight of two rookies shredding the defense in the second half. There's some glaring holes on both sides of the ball and half-way in, it's hard to say that the coaching is significantly better than last year (it is better just not by that much really). Still, that said, at least the first half was fun to watch!
2 years, 11 months ago on Second-half swoon: Titans lose to Bengals 24-17 | November
I have to pay quite a lot of money to watch the Titans live over here in England and it is that that kept me watching to the end. This was actually an even worse experience than the loss to the Patriots in 2009 - at least then I took some masochistic pleasure in wondering how many points would be scored. It is hard to understand why a team that looked so good against the Ravens could look so dreadful but they clearly weren't prepared physically or mentally for the game yesterday. The commentators on CBS made some comments about a lot of teams playing badly this year after coming off an early bye, but that isn't much of an excuse. On the other hand, I don't think many us expected the Titans to do better than 8-8 this year and they're bang on target for that!
3 years ago on The Titans loss to the Texans was unacceptable | October
I think a 3rd round pick would be OK but he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, which makes it a bit of a risk. However, the Titans are in a position where they can compete for the AFCS so they need to be thinking about this year rather than the future. That then begs the question about how quickly he could learn the offense and contribute. I'd have thought Carolina would be the more likely destination, but the Panthers don't have a 3rd round pick to trade and there is speculation that the Titans might receive a 3rd round compensatory pick for Babin.
3 years ago on WR Brandon Lloyd's available: Should the Tennessee Titans be interested? | October
Oh my, yes!
Is anyone else getting a sense of déjà vu about this? A couple of years ago, we'd have been talking about Brandon Jones and Roydell Williams as the men on the spot (though admittedly without an injured #1 receiver to replace). I haven't seen anything from Hawkins or, sadly, Williams to suggest that they will ever amount to more than journeymen nor that their careers will follow a trajectory much different to the aforementioned gentlemen. A fit and pre-injury Donnie Avery would easily be the best receiver currently on the roster, but then I guess a fit Donnie Avery wouldn't have been available when Britt went down.
3 years ago on Damian Williams and Lavelle Hawkins, Men on the Spot | October
It's going to be interesting, but I think we need to look to the Broncos game as a model for how the Titans will play for the rest of the season (though hopefully with a more effective running game). The Titans have said that they are looking to replace Britt by committee so we should expect each of the receivers, RBs and TEs to step up rather than Williams or Hawkins to become the guy. I'm also intrigued to see what Avery can do - I thought he looked pretty good in the pre-season game and if he has recovered from the injury could well take over the #1 slot by the end of the year.
3 years, 1 month ago on Life without Kenny Britt: How will the Tennessee Titans passing attack survive? | September
@Scott P I like Curran too but I suspect the next snap he plays in the NFL won't be in Titans' colours. I posted last week that I expected Hawkins to be cut, but that was on the assumption that Curtis proved to be healthy and I guess Hawkins just about did enough against the Saints to deserve to be retained. I suspect that the Titans won't sign a veteran receiver now unless someone gets hurts and, dare I say it, they might even look to re-sign Gage if that happens. That said, Donnie Avery is still available (or at least he is while I'm typing this) and they ought to at least take a look at him.
3 years, 1 month ago on Tennessee Titans form 2011 practice squad | September
I don't think that's being cynical at all - rather it's realistic. It looks like they've kept a PS slot open for when Johnson rejoins the 53 and the only likely candidates are Matthews, Stingily, Clayton, Hawkins (C) or Campbell. Either of the latter two would need to be replaced though and given the current injury issues they're much more likely to reduce the OL compliment than the DL. I wouldn't be that surprised though if Matthews stays in the 53 and Stingily is moved to the PS as interior depth looks fairly weak.
It's funny how at the end of last season and during the lock-out, a lot of Titans fans (myself included) thought of the WR corp as a position of strength. The pre-season has given us a rude awakening. Britt and (to a much lesser extent) Washington aside, there is not a lot here to get excited about. For all that he's a fan favourite, it looks like its time for the Titans to let Hawkins go and Williams will be in the same position next year unless he makes a drastic improvement. Both are starting to look like failed experiments left over from the old regime (that's probably being a little hard on Williams but the clock is starting to tick on him).
Unless there are injury issues I think Curtis is a virtual lock to make the team as the slot receiver. Gage will probably be retained as back-up for Britt and Washington - but that depends in part on what cuts are made to accommodate Johnson. If Gage is cut then Williams will have to be the back-up. Mariani hasn't really shown that he is anything other than a STs' player (albeit an important one). Williams can back him up as a returner though a case could also be made for Figurs.
I'd see the ones that make the squad as: Britt, Washington, Curtis, Gage, Williams & Mariani. If Gage is cut then I think that Figurs makes the squad (unless they stick at five receivers).
3 years, 2 months ago on Titans preseason positional analysis: WR | August
Hi Andrew - what's your impression of the RBs so far? I've seen some camp reports that suggest that Stafon Johnson is out-performing Ringer and Harper at the moment. That would be something of a shock, though perhaps not totally unexpected as he looked pretty good in pre-season before getting injured last year. How would you rank them based on what you've seen (as opposed to pecking-order due to draft pick etc.)?
3 years, 2 months ago on Conversation @ http://totaltitans.com/2011-articles/august/titans-training-camp-report-8-08.html
By the sounds of things, Palmer is going to use Cook almost exclusively as a hybrid tight end in much the same way as the 49ers use Vernon Davis. Graham will rotate with Stevens and I suspect we will see a lot of two tight end sets in the new offense. I think the addition of Graham will do wonders for the Titans' running game as he is almost a like-for-like replacement for Crumpler.
3 years, 3 months ago on Tennessee Titans sign TE Daniel Graham | July
Thanks for the post Andrew. Like pretty much every Titans' fan I was sorry to see Washburn leave but I am excited to see how Rocker's scheme works in action. Washburn is a very, very good DL coach but his abilities were boosted to an almost mythical status by some Titans' fans. Under his tutelage the Titans' DL had some great moments but also some horrible ones and the scheme could be very predictable at times. He could get the best out of some players, but others he misused horribly. I think a lot of us were worried over the last couple of years about how small the interior was getting and it's good to see that that at least has been addressed.
3 years, 3 months ago on Titans training camp report, 7-31 | July