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.