What Direction Are The Titans Going?

Now that the Tennessee Titans seem to be back on the losing path, how can you classify them? Is this the "still playing hard" team? Is this the "we have a lot of talent" team? Is this the "we are almost there" team? Is this the "playing to see what we have for next season" team? I'm not fully sure, but what I can fully say is that the Titans are not the "we find a way to win" team, or the "we don't beat ourselves with mental mistakes" team.

This team continues to get inopportune penalties and cannot find a way to overcome mistakes. So many times this team has a mental mistake that ends a drive or breathes life into the other team. I haven't been able to fully put my finger on exactly what it would take to get this team to win (other than better talent). So, let's start at the top.


Until recently I would have told you that this is the primary reason the team hasn't found a way to win is the lack of leadership from the top. However, there has been some movement here and there by this group. I'm not sure they aren't still a huge problem, but at least it is not as bad as I once thought.

General Manager/Front Office

I'm still convinced that GM Ruston Webster is going to lose his job in the off season. He has had so many crucial misses on drafts and hasn't made much of a splash in free agency. If he doesn't lose his job in the off season, then the previous statements about the ownership group will be changed to apathy not lack of leadership. His misses on drafts are well documented, buy his misses in free agency need to be addressed too. He has had a hit this season with Orakpo, but everyone else have only had a good game here and there. Fasano, Cox, Searcy, and Douglas have not lifted this team as high as expected. Also, with huge misses (talent and money) like Andy Levitre and Ryan Fitzpatrick on his resume, that speaks volumes in the way he attains talent. He has had a huge hit with Delanie Walker, but it seems like for every good signing, he signs 7 or 8 misses. I'm not sure if he doesn't understand what the coaches need or doesn't buy into the plan.


I fully believe in what Dick LeBeau and Ray Horton are doing on the defense, and the Titans are playing well enough to win on that side of the ball. However, I don't believe that Mike Mularkey or the other offensive coaches have real direction in what they want to accomplish. It is like a rudderless ship. So there are quite a bit of issues here. Oh, I think the offense knows what they want to do, but no idea how to accomplish it. If this team really wants to win, then this offensive scheme needs to be gutted completely.


We have players that have great potential. It cannot be said enough how Marcus Mariota is the QB of the future for the Titans, but he cannot do this on his own. We absolutely need to give him some offensive weapons to help him. Delanie Walker will continue to be a big part too. The offensive line needs to revamped completely and I cannot say that any of these players are locks. I want to say that about Lewan, but lately he is making mental error after mental error. We also have so many "experiments" on this offense, how can this team expect to excel. 


This team is truly the question people ask when there is a task that seems overwhelming, "How do you eat an elephant?... One bite at a time." The elephant size problem for this team is they aren't finding a way to win. Each bite (or change) will take some time and concerted effort, but there MUST be someone directing this seemingly impossible feat (and feast) if the Titans ever hope to get back on track.


Thursday Night Is A MUST Win!

Thursday the Titans travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. This is not only a conference game and a divisional game, but this is a must win if the Titans are to have any hope of salvaging this season. The Titans are coming off a disappointing performance against the Panthers, and the Jaguars are coming off a miracle win against the Ravens. The Jags are much improved over last season, but so are the Titans. The last 6 years between the two teams has been a split (6 games each). So this history and the current two teams tells me this is going to be a very close game.


The Titans definitely have the edge here. Although Mariota is still very green and the Jaguars have an up and coming QB in Bortles. I believe Mariota has the edge. Stats: Mariota - 224 att 147 comp 1795 yds 13 TDs 6 INT 98.3 QB Rating; Bortles - 356 att 197 comp 2381 yds 19 TDs 11 INT 81.0 QB Rating

Running Backs 

Here is where the Jags have the edge. Rookie RB TJ Yeldon as successful as the Titans top 2 RBs combined. The one unknown link we have is the Titans rookie that has just been activated, David Cobb. He is currently listed as the #4 RB on the depth chart, but expect him to get some carries in this game.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

Here is another area where the Jags have the edge. With the injuries to the Titans receiving corp and the struggling DGB, the Titans have to rely on the tight ends to make up the gap. However, the Jags have capable TEs in Mercedes Lewis and Julius Thomas. Even with the recent signings the Titans are still behind.


Here is where the Titans has true definitive edge. The Titans are the 5th overall defense and the Jaguars are 19th. In reviewing the numbers it appears that this game is entirely on the shoulders on how Marcus Mariota can get the passing game in gear against this weaker Jags pass defense.


I think the Titans can shock the Jags with the combined run/pass of Mariota. I think the Titans run-option and quick passing can keep the Jags defense on their heals.

Score: Titans 27 Jags 17


Titans Lose 2 Starters

The Tennessee Titans one starter on offense and one on defense.

The Titans announced that WR Justin Hunter broke his ankle during the game against Panthers, and today placed him on season ending IR. Justin Hunter, quite possibly, was finally coming around to play at the level everyone expected. Although his numbers were pedestrian at best (22 rec - 264 yds - 1 TD). He was actually starting to be used more in the offense, and at least for the time being, stopped dropping passes.

With loss of Hunter (and the continued injury to Kendall Wright) that means that Harry Douglas, DGB and now Rico Richardson will need to step up. My bet is this is the time that the Titans offense will begin to use these tight ends in some unusual packages.

The Titans also announced that CB Jason McCourty was put on IR after having a second surgery on his injured groin. McCourty was the Titans #1 CB, and the secondary has suffered this season with his absence. He only had 15 total tackles and 1 pass defensed in just 4 games.

The Titans defense has already been substituting for the injured McCourty (and Perrish Cox). So, don't expect much different. They will be platooning Wreh-Wilson, Sensabaugh, Riggs and Webb in the secondary. If Cox is healthy, he will be the starter. With all that being said, the secondary should be our primary need this offseason.


Episode 275


More Changes...

Things continue to change in subtle (and not so subtle) ways, but the Titans seem to be heading in the right direction. Interim Coach Mularkey is putting his stamp on the team, and the latest changes seem to be purging some of the Whisenhunt agenda.

The first move this week that scraped off some of the stench of Whisenhunt, was to waive "Clipboard Jesus" himself, Charlie Whitehurst. He was cut to make room for RB David Cobb returning from sort-term IR. Although we are completely unsure what the addition of Cobb will mean for this running game, if he is anything close what we saw in the pre-season then he is our best option at running back. The release of Whitehurst, some say, is not permanent, but the writing is on the wall that he will not be a part of the future here in Tennessee.

The second move this week was to remove Taylor Lewan as captain and replace him with Dexter McCluster. Mularkey stated that Lewan had not spent an entire season on the field yet, and that McCluster was deserving of the move. He also stated that Lewan completely understood and was very professional about the change. I think Lewan is strong enough to handle the change, but I think it is important he work to earn the position the next time.

I'm not sure what future moves are in store in the Mularkey regime, but if I had to guess it would be distancing this team further away from any stamp that Whisenhunt left behind.