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I see Stingily as the backup swing tackle. And I expect the Titans to sign a free agent as the new starter in place of Stewart at right tackle. If Williams isn't back (and it is unlikely he is going to be offered much in the open market), the 4th receiver could be Preston, with some combination of Mariani, another free agent veteran or two and a draft pick fighting for the 5th and 6th receiver spots.
I think inside linebacker is a huge hole on this team. While they might make due with some combination of McCarthy, Fokou, Brown and Gooden, none of them is an true inside backer in a 3-4 defense. That's why I think C.J. Mosley is a potential pick for the Titans at 11. I also believe that the Titans have to find someone to play nose tackle in this new defensive scheme. Hill, Martin and Johnson are not nose tackles. The two starting DEs in the front 3 seem to be set - Casey and Pitoitua - but the team is missing the space eater in the middle.
10 hours, 42 minutes ago on The holes on the Titans' depth chart heading into free agency
I am less concerned than you about the Titans' prowess at the guard position. Levitre will certainly be better in his second year with the Titans. His health and the fact that he won't have to play beside the incompetent Rob Turner will automatically result in improved play. As for Warmack, very few rookie guards play above average in their first year in the league. Warmack was hampered as well because he was saddled with playing beside both Turner and Stewart, two players that shouldn't have started for any team in the NFL last year. With a competent centre in Swenke and a new RT, I believe Warmack will become a very good guard this coming season.
2 weeks, 6 days ago on 2014 Tennessee Titans offseason positional analysis: G
I agree. I doubt CJ is back. He lacks the quick-twitch ability to avoid tacklers, he rarely broke a tackle and he was consistently stopped at the point that he first made contact with a defender. He is not worth 8 million.
I think the Titans bring in a low-cost veteran through free agency to compete for a roster spot (and take Battle's spot), but I also think that they use the 2nd or 4th round pick in the draft on a quick-twitch running back like Tre Mason to pair with Greene and have running back committee next year.
1 month ago on 2014 Tennessee Titans offseason positional analysis: RB
I am pretty happy with the coaching staff Whisenhunt is assembling. I was a little surprised that he kept Kaczor as Special Teams coordinator, but almost every other decision has been stellar. And I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on Kaczor.
I guess this is what happens when you hire a Head Coach that has developed relationships and connections throughout the league. The only coaches Munchak could seem to attract were old friends from the Oilers/Titans days or has-beens that no one else would think to hire (and those two groups weren't mutually exclusive).
The Horton and Spanos hires are absolutely outstanding and should result in a vastly superior defensive system next year.
I am really looking forward to free agency and the draft now just see who the Titans pick up to fit the new defence.
1 month, 2 weeks ago on Titans hire Jason Michael as offensive coordinator
I think this is a very good hire for the Titans. I have a few concerns about his last two years in Arizona, but I think he probably learned from that QB debacle after Warner retired and I believe he will be a better head coach for it.
A few things stand-out for me with respect to the Whisenhunt hire. First, he has had enormous success with most of QBs he's coached. He turned Roethlisberger into a Super Bowl champ. He resurrected the career of Kurt Warren at a time when almost everyone thought he was finished as a starting QB in the league. He also had to do that while fighting off the urge to play the first round pick Matt Leinhart, which is something I assume management for the Cardinals was trying to jam down his throat. And he restored Rivers to prominence, after two consecutive seasons where it looked like he had lost his mojo. His ability to get the most out of these three QBs is impressive and makes me think that he will be able to find success in Tennessee. Second, I don't think the Titans could wait until after the Super Bowl to hire a HC. A decision to wait and hire Quinn would have delayed everything for Tennessee and would have limited the Titans options with respect to the Offensive Coordinator hire. Third, Whisenhunt knows a lot of football people and, for that reason, he likely has the ability to attract some great people to work on his staff.
All that said, I am optimistic about the decision to hire Whisenhunt.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Titans hire Ken Whisenhunt as new head coach
I might have gone with Hunter, if only because he was a difference-maker in a couple of games (San Diego and Oakland come to mind). I know he only had 18 catches on 42 targets, but most of the year he was stuck playing catch with an erratic and inaccurate QB. I suspect that most of those incompletions were Fitz's fault, not Hunter's.
1 month, 4 weeks ago on Picking a Tennessee Titans rookie of the year
That is the right decision. It was time to move on from the Fisher era. A clean sweep needs to be made and a completely new coaching staff needs to be implemented. This should have been the approach the Titans adopted 3 years ago.
Tom, if you are a betting man, who do you think becomes the new HC?
2 months ago on Titans fire Mike Munchak
And let's not forget that the Jets traded up to the fifth spot in the 2009 NFL draft to select Mark Sanchez. The Jets ability to accurately assess QBs coming out of college is therefore questionable at best. In my view, Locker has more upside than Sanchez, and yet the Jets took Sanchez at 5 (and paid a huge ransom to do so), while the Titans picked Locker at 8 in 2011 without paying a huge ransom.
I would also point out that the 2011 NFL draft was different from every other draft before or after. The draft was held before free agency, so a number of teams (including the Titans) didn't have the opportunity to shore up their QB depth chart before the draft. That certainly contributed to some teams' decisions to draft a QB early.
2 months ago on The Jets on Locker and Ayers
I remember the struggle you had last year and I remember disagreeing with you about your choice for offensive MVP. This year, though, I agree with you. Wright stood out this year for his consistency, his YAC and his ability to get open on third down. I believe that he was a vital contributor to the Titans' limited success this year on offence. I also agree that Washington had a great year and should be in the conversation for offensive MVP. But the one guy you didn't mention and who I think should also be in that conversation is Delanie Walker. I was initially very critical of the Titans decision to sign him and install him as the starting TE, but his 60 catches and 6 TDs greatly exceeded my expectations, and the leadership role he assumed on this team was impressive as well. He proved me wrong.
All that said, Wright is deserving of your MVP vote.
2 months ago on 2013 Tennessee Titans Offensive MVP: Kendall Wright
The refereeing was horrific again, with a few ridiculous calls against Pollard and Verner (and others). The Titans likely would have lost anyways but it would have been a closer game. And the defence might have even made the odd stop if the refs weren't seeing things. I was shocked by the absence of a pass rush. There were times when Peyton had 5 or 6 seconds to find a receiver. I don't understand it. Peyton has been hit and sacked by almost every opponent he faced this year. But not the Titans. I don't understand that.
3 months ago on Titans routed by Broncos, 51-28
Just a quick comment on the Locker decision that has to be made this off-season. I don't think the Titans can rely on him as being the guy next year. He is (very likely) still going to be on the team, but there is no way that the Titans or any other NFL team can assume that he can play all or even most of a 16 game season. He has been injury-prone throughout his 3-year NFL career. It isn't like he has had a few minor injuries and missed the odd game here or there. Nor has he only had one injury. He has had three major injuries in the NFL. This isn't a new thing for Locker either. He was injured often in college. He was carted off the field in a game in 2007 because of a neck injury. He missed 8 games in 2008. And I think he missed a game in 2010 with a broken rib. He isn't like Brees, Rodgers or Luck in this respect. None of those guys have demonstrated a consistent ability to get injured.
Regardless of whether its Munchak (and I doubt that will be the case) or a new coach, the Titans need to have, at least, a new Plan B when training camp starts in 2014. The Fitz experiment has been a colossal failure. And if there is a new coach, he will certainly find his own quarterback ( a new Plan A), and Locker will be relegated to next year's Plan B.
3 months, 2 weeks ago on The 2013 Titans are the 2013 Titans
I knew it was a long shot, but I was hoping to wake up this morning and read that Tommy Smith had fired Munchak and replaced him, on an interim basis, with Greg Williams. It didn't happen.
After the home loss to the Jags, the Titans had to win this home game against the Colts. The team couldn't afford to fall to 4 and 6. It was a "must-win" game. So much for that. With six games left, including trips to Denver and Indy, there is no chance of this team winning 5 of its last 6 games (to get to 9-7), which might not even be enough wins to get that last wildcard spot. At this point, I will be shocked if the Titans can better their record from last year. A 3 and 3 record in these last 6 games would be a major feat for this team.
All that said, what's the point of keeping Munchak as Head Coach for the remainder of the season? He has demonstrated in the last 2 years that he lacks the ability to win games against division opponents, as well any of the higher quality NFL teams on the schedule. Perhaps, if he is released today, it would light a fire under the coaches and players, who should fear that they too will be unemployed if things are not turned around. How could things get any worse under a Williams' led team? I don't think they could. I think Tommy Smith should pull the trigger and let Munchak go.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Titans start fast, fizzle, fall to Colts 30-27
I think pathetic is the right word. And sad really. It was going to be tough for the Titans to get enough wins this year to make the playoffs, and the two games against a seriously inferior team like the Jaguars were "must wins". With yesterday's loss, the best this team will do this year is 8-8. They are certainly not beating the Colts twice or the Broncos, and with Fitz in there they will be in tough against the Jaguars when they face them again in 6 weeks.
There is something wrong with the coaching staff on this team. Even a moderately capable staff finds a way to win these kinds of games against the worst teams in the league. The Titans haven't been able to do that. It is time for the Head Coach and most of his coaching staff to be let go. Perhaps, if the team is blown out by the Colts on Thursday, Tommy Smith will make that decision sooner rather than later.
As for the QB of the future, I guess come next May's draft, the Titans will have to see if they can find a franchise quarterback. Locker looks like he is made of glass. Even if the Titans were confident that he had the skill-set to succeed (and that's a big "if"), they simply cannot put the future of the franchise on the shoulders of a guy who has had 3 major injuries in the past year and a half.
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Titans give Jaguars their first win, 29-27
I watched the game live on TV. I was just hoping to be able to see that he wouldn't be any worse than Turner. And I think he proved that beyond any doubt. It was his first game as a rookie and he had to face a very good defence like the 49ers. I think the O-line and Schwenke improve going forward.
4 months, 1 week ago on UFR: Brian Schwenke against the 49ers
You are preaching to the converted with respect to CJ. When I look at him and compare him to Charles, I see two guys that are roughly the same size, have similar speed and have the same experience. That's where the similarities end. With each passing season, Charles has gotten better - a more elusive, stronger and more effective RB and a better receiver. CJ, if he hasn't regressed, hasn't taken those next steps. Everyone seems to have figured out how he likes to run and have developed a formula to stop him. I am not suggesting that the OLine and coaching are blameless. I just thing more blame should be heaped on CJ. I too want Greene to get back in the lineup to see whether he has more success running behind this OLine.
The OLine has issues of its own. My theory is that the play of Rob Turner has been so poor that it is affecting Warmack and Levitre. They are trying too hard to compensate for his shortcomings. I know that doesn't explain everything, but it certainly doesn't help to know that the guy playing right beside you is consistently being overpowered and outplayed by the Tackle in front of him.
As for Fitzpatrick, I don't think anybody seriously thought he would be much of an upgrade over Hasselbeck. But I do think he has the ability to win a game or two (or not lose one as he proved in the Jets game). And he has less wear on his tires, which should mean that he can be a steadying influence on Locker for a couple of more years.
4 months, 4 weeks ago on Notes from a trip to Nashville
That was a pretty fine defensive effort. And the offence scored touchdowns on all of the Jets' turnovers. This team wouldn't have been able to do that last year. The Locker injury puts a huge sting into this victory. Just as he seemed to be hitting his stride another injury derails him. Let's hope its is more bruise than break or tear.
At this point, there is no doubt that this team is vastly improved in almost every facet of the game... except one. What can be done about the run game? The line has been overhauled, yet CJ is still unable to get many yards. Can we still blame the line? At this point, I am hoping that Shonn Greene comes back soon and takes carries away from CJ. He s a capable back. Maybe that way if the yards per attempt average proves, the Titans can determine that the problem with the running game doesn't rest with the O-line.
5 months, 1 week ago on Titans blow out Jets, but Jake Locker injured
@ThomasGower @Scott P If you are right about this Tom, then this is on the coaching staff and everyone should be fired during the bye week. All of the "ifs" I mentioned are all fixable things and should be addressed by a competent coaching staff.
5 months, 2 weeks ago on Notes from the all-22 of the Titans offense against the Texans
I agree with all of these criticisms of the Titans offense, yet I can't get over the fact that if Locker and Britt connect on that one pass or if Hopkins doesn't make that incredible touchdown catch in OT, we could be talking about the Titans being 2 and 0. I know the defense has been the reason the Titans have been in these games, but if only one or two things change on offense, the Titans could start putting up some points. Maybe I am being too optimistic. Maybe it is too much to expect Locker not to falter in the face of phantom pressure. Maybe CJ can't just run through the narrow crevices that the O-line is creating for him (like LeSean McCoy seems to be able to do). But maybe neither of those things matter. I think the O-line can be better. Turner can, at a minimum, stop taking stupid penalties. Warmack can play up to his draft position. And the wide receivers can play better (both in terms of pass catching and blocking), particularly if Britt gets his head on straight on game day or is replaced at some point by Hunter (or even Williams). And if any of those three things happen - and I think there is a very good chance more than one of them will - the offense will start scoring enough points to win some games.
I am feeling a bit optimistic about the Titans for the first time in years. I am still not sold on Locker and I am certainly not a fan of CJ's running style, but I think that the rest of the pieces on offense will be able to help both of those guys do enough to win some games this year.
The release of Shaw and Velasco surprised me. I have been a Velasco fan since I watched him play in his senior year at Georgia. I can't believe that the team opted to go with Spencer just to save a little over a million dollars. If Spencer has to play this year, the Titans will regret this decision. I hope he ends up in Denver and gets a shot at the playoffs this year. Shaw was a great special teamer - better than Bailey. Was this decisio based on money too?
I was shocked to see what happened to Mariani. Putting him on IR and paying him almost 600 million (when he will be health in a couple of weeks) is just stupid. It punishes him and probably sets back his development as a football player. It will be difficult for him to sit out two full years and be able to come back as the same player he was in 2011. It also does nothing for the Titans. He is not going to re-sign with the Titans next year. He will go elsewhere after being prematurely shutdown this year. If this decision was just to spite Fisher and the Rams, Munchak needs to go into therapy. But I can't see any other reason for doing it.
6 months, 1 week ago on Tennessee Titans roster cutdown open thread
I agree with you on Quinn Johnson. My hope early on was that the Titans wouldn't use a fullback this year, and would instead carry 4 TEs and rely more on Stevens or Walker to be the lead blocker for CJ. I don't know if that was ever part of the plan, but even if it was being considered, the Walker injury probably killed it. I find myself rooting for Mooney to win the battle for FB in part because he isn't as one-dimensional as QJ, but it is likely that the Titans like QJ's blocking ability more. And as you note, if they keep Battle on the roster, it is less likely that Mooney's other abilities will be needed.
6 months, 1 week ago on Tennessee Titans third preseason game review: Offense