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@Joshua C Locker hasn't been very good in his return from injury. The Titans spent this entire offseason building their offense around a way that minimizes the QB, and that's the way they wanted to play. Against the Jaguars, they thought playing like that would be good enough to win. It wasn't with the mistakes they made. Do they abandon what they've tried to do, and spent a lot of money preparing to do, and is the strategy they think is best? That can be a hard bridge for some people to cross, especially when you have the opportunity to show what you believed was right after all. Thus, a loss.
Also, who cares if somebody played a position when it comes to coaching? I don't, and plenty of good position coaches, coordinators, and head coaches never played the game after college, let alone professionally at a high level. Can he teach technique and the skills needed for the position? I don't think we've seen anything from Bruce Matthews (to pick him) that says he's particularly good at that.
1 month ago on Titans give Jaguars their first win, 29-27
@Joshua C Coaching is a tough thing to talk about from the outside, at least in terms of things like playcalls. I would never hire a position coach without greater experience as a head coach, so I'm predisposed not to think of Munchak favorably. I just don't think he has the experience managing large groups of people or overseeing all the aspects of a team to be a good NFL head coach.
I think the Titans' plan on offense this year is failing. Chris Johnson is not a sustaining runner, and they're trying to win with a sustaining run game. The offensive line they spent so much money on hasn't been what they thought it would be, or even met my lesser expectations in terms of letting them run the ball and control the line of scrimmage. Locker's been better than I thought, mostly in a controlled environment. I see people talking about how good he was today, and I wonder if they watched the same game I saw, one where the Titans didn't run a play beyond the 45 until almost three quarters were gone in the game. Spasms of life, no more than that.
As I discussed in my podcast with Paul Kuharsky this week, before today the defense had been up to their expectations, which were higher than mine. They've shown a distinct weakness lately, though, against quarterback runs and couldn't get off the field on third downs today. And without a good defensive performance, the bad offense makes things go phhhhhffffffffffffft.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Titans rolled by 49ers, 31-17
@Scott P Thanks for the comment. I'd be more optimistic about the Titans being good on offense if they'd actually done anything good. I don't believe any of your ifs has ever been true, so I'm skeptical. Of course, this may just be my "glass mostly empty" side showing through.
2 months, 3 weeks ago on Notes from the all-22 of the Titans offense against the Texans
@dragak1981 No question Thompson is a quality blocker on the move. I need to see more of him on offense, but early signs are catching is improved. Will he actually get thrown the ball, though?
3 months, 1 week ago on Tennessee Titans roster cutdown open thread
@Scott P The Titans did not have an elegant solution with Mariani. If his shoulder injury heals quickly, they could get him off IR with an injury settlement and re-sign him six weeks later if they still want. Given the injuries, I doubt they want. If his shoulder injury lingers, well, he'll be on IR all season.
I cover the Spencer over Velasco call in my latest post. If you think about them just as guards, it makes sense.
@prowatcher Interesting link. Thanks for the pointer.
I spend a great deal of time watching the Titans, a great deal watching any team I have to write extensively about, and a more modest but somewhat variable amount of time watching the rest of the league. My impressions of Griffin are based on spending hundreds of hours watching and re-watching the Titans over the course of his career. I watched Pollard very extensively in Houston in 2010 and less intensively in Baltimore the last couple years. Lynch, I watched every San Diego game last year and probably a dozen or so Tampa Bay games over the previous two seasons, though not to focus on him (or anybody else) specifically. I'd like to watch more, if I could, but need to win the lottery before I can regularly do so 60 or 80 hours a week.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on 2013 Tennessee Titans preseason positional analysis: S
@prowatcher As with any player I haven't studied extensively, I could be off on my evaluation of Lynch. My evaluation of him comes from what I saw in San Diego last year and in Tampa the couple seasons before that; I wouldn't evaluate him off the 17 snaps against Cincinnati (a game I haven't even re-watched him in yet) any more than I evaluated Markelle Martin off the 12 he played the previous game. I rate him as likely currently behind Afalava and unlikely to make the final roster. Perhaps I'm underrating him. Perhaps the Titans like him more than I do. Both are quite possible, and if he plays well going forward, I'll write that.
I'm not a big fan of box score scouting, particularly for safeties, so if you want to highlight particular plays where Lynch demonstrates, say, great range as a single-high safety, I'll be happy to take a look at them.
Thanks for the comment.
Yes, the Enderle prediction is up there with the worst I've made. I thought I was going out on a bit of a limb, but it ended up being a very thin branch instead. Oh well.
The other names? Well, we'll see. I try to get as many names right as I can, but as their continuing affection for Quinn Johnson shows, I don't always follow why they do what they do.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Thoughts on the 53-man roster as training camp opens
@dragak1981 Yes. Computer issue when I saved the post last night and didn't get a chance to delay posting. Fixed.
5 months ago on How the Titans fared in the red zone in 2012: Run offense
@BrianFlanagan Minutes come from somewhere, so longer drives typically mean fewer total drives in a game. It's not unusual for teams to do great in time of possession, hold the ball a lot, and not have many plays. Seattle last year was a great example-5th in time of possession, fourth-fewest plays in the league, and only 259 completions. I don't expect the Titans to be quite that extreme, but that's my expectation.
The Titans may agree with you on Washington's value as a locker room presence. Also, if Britt is a knucklehead off the field, doesn't work the way he should, or gets hurt again, then I think they'll keep Washington.
5 months ago on Projecting Titans catches for 2013
@deberryw Ah, no big deal. Transcripts are always tough, especially when you aren't doing things absolutely verbatim. I should have made it clearer in the post.
5 months ago on Greg Cosell on the Titans' rookies
@BrianFlanagan We'll see about Edwards. I don't think I've read anything really negative on him yet, so why'd he end up in the fifth round? Just because he was the backup to two guys who went higher? Maybe.
I think right now they're hoping somebody can emerge at strong safety between Martin, Stafford, Tracy Wilson, anybody. Pollard and Wilson gives them enough for 2013, but they may be shopping for another starter-type next offseason with Wilson around probably as a "I hope we don't have to play him too much" stopgap.
@deberryw The Hunter quotes are actually notes straight from listening to Cosell. I didn't use precise quotes, since I didn't transcribe everything he said, but "the most purely explosive wideout in the draft" and "length, fluidity, speed, and explosion" were both ways Cosell described him.
@BrianFlanagan My guess is TOP/winning would have more effect on the number of rushing attempts. They had lots of TOP in 2002 and 2003, ranking in the top 3 in the league, and only had 306 and 315 completions with peak Steve McNair, who was a very good passer.
If they wanted a high-volume receiver, there's no doubt they'd pick Washington. If they're instead looking for somebody who's probably going to play 10-25 snaps a game, can play on the outside or in the slot, and can help them in the run game, then I think Walter has the better skillset. I could be wrong on this, but I'm sticking to what I think.
@dragak1981 I don't know how they're going to play this year. I think their biggest need was a standout player, and I don't think they got one. Hill may be an upgrade on Marks, but I'm not sure yet if he's a significant one-I need to watch him more. In terms of pass rush, they'll be relying on coverage, internal improvement, and maybe better scheming. We'll see.
5 months, 1 week ago on How the Titans sacked the passer in 2012: Conclusions
@Mongo75 I can't get over Reynaud playing 9 snaps on offense in the last 5 games. Maybe that changes in the new offense. The Titans already have too many bodies to play at WR, so I can't see Reynaud there either. They could easily disagree with me on either or both counts, but that's my take.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on A first crack at the Titans' 53-man roster
@Scott P Scott, as always thanks for commenting. I'm not going to predict Quinn Johnson gets cut until he actually gets cut, but after I wrote this post Loggains at a media session talked about him as the fullback like there wasn't even a competition. The three TEs mean he won't play that much, but he'll play some-Loggains indicated probably 12-15 snaps some weeks, less in others.
Johnson's injury was part of why they tried out AV. He should be ready for training camp. Markelle Martin has to actually be healthy before I predict him to do anything. Because of his injury status, it didn't really cost the Titans anything to keep him last year. He's such an unknown quantity as a player, especially since he hasn't played football in 18 months at this point, that it's hard to see him sticking.
@BrianFlanagan Thanks for reading, and for commenting.
It's interesting, because the Titans started the season with a new left guard, a center who was forced to step in during training camp, and a right guard who'd never played the position before and missed a lot of time in the offseason due to injury, and Locker was very good. It was the sheer magnitude of the split that got to me. If Locker had been roughly average the first half of his season and then been awful the final five weeks, I don't raise an eyebrow. It was just the transition from great to awful that got to me, and I'd say the OL injuries explain about half of it.
And I concur with you on it being possible for very good quarterbacks to take way more sacks than you'd like-Aaron Rodgers is probably the currently poster child for this, as even when he was awesome in 2011 he was sacked at an above-average rate. This is the type of quarterback I think Locker ends up being, which is why I found his first half split was so noticeable.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Jake Locker was sacked hardly at all and very frequently in 2012, which means what for 2013?
@dragak1981 Yeah, the quotes, while interesting enough I wanted to post them, were not comprehensive analyses of Locker. Lack of anticipation and mediocre pocket presence weren't mentioned either. We'll see how things go and how successful the run-heavy offense they've made it clear they'll be implementing will work.
6 months, 3 weeks ago on The Jake Locker Dilemma
@Super_Horn Yeah, I'm not questioning that Hunter's a good athlete. He has some special qualities, like the 40 and the broad jump, though his short shuttle time wasn't very good. If you include 6'3" guys who were not more than 210 (my query, since that's about where Hunter may project), you also get with sub-4.4.5 Louis Murphy, Devin Aromashodu, Javon Walker, Marcus Easley, Todd Watkins, and Gerald Williams.
The draft position argument was aimed at people who argued Chance Warmack was a good pick because first-round guards normally pan out well. At the end of the day, we're dealing with individual prospects with their own strengths and weaknesses and, well, we'll see.
7 months, 1 week ago on More on Justin Hunter