5-11 in 2004
4-12 in 2005
These were our first 2 years of rebuilding after being one of the AFC powerhouses for a number of years. We had to purge our roster of most of our vets that led us to the super bowl a few years prior.
Those 2 bad years gave us the #6 and #3 picks overall, respectively. With the picks we take Pacman Jones to anchor the defense and Vince Young to anchor the offense.
Then to start the 2006 season we go 0-5...
The experts chime in that the Titans are still in rebuilding mode while waiting on Vince Young to mature and there is rampant speculation about getting the #1 overall pick in the draft.
But then something magical happens...
The titans finish the season on a 8-3 run, coming 1 win away from making the playoffs...And Vince and Pacman clearly led the way in that amazing run of victories.
And suddenly, rebuilding is over. The Titans become the darkhorse super bowl candidate for 2007 (i counted at least 3 'experts' mention us for the 2007 super bowl champs).
The titans have 30 million some in extra cash to spend on free agency. Players all over the league want to play with Vince, who went to his the Pro-Bowl and showed why he is the best young QB in the league. Pacman Jones became the 2nd best CB in the league and maybe the most explosive return man in the league. The titans have the #19 overall pick to add another quality young player.
Thing are looking great. Young team. Money to spend. Rebuilding is over!!!!!! Playoffs here we come...
Now Pacman gets in trouble. Then gets in more trouble. And then gets in more trouble.
Now it looks inevitable that he will be cut or suspended or kicked out of the NFL...either way, he will not be playing for the Titans in 2007.
And then it looks like Henry might not restructure his contract and re-sign with the Titans.
Now we have holes to fill at WR, DE, DT, CB, S, and maybe even RB. And at CB, we need 2 quality players.
And most of the good free agents got franchised by their teams.
So, the question I ask you, is rebuilding really over?
Has the inevitable loss of Pacman set us back another year? Losing a 6th overall pick that was clearly the 2nd best player on the team, 2nd best CB in the league, 1st or 2nd best return man in the league, and almost single handedly responsible for at least 1 win last year going to be replaced when we already were looking at replacing the other CB?
How are we ever going to fill all of these holes?
Why is Fisher not wanting to upgrade at Safety? If we lose out on Clements, is our secondary going to be Hope-Thompson-Hill-Finnegan? If so, that sure looks like a still-in-rebuilding type of secondary to me.
It is pretty clear that DE and WR are our 2 biggest needs in the 1st round. Which one do we take? And after we take one and fail to fill the other in FA, does that still mean we are in rebuilding mode?
Maybe I'm over-reacting to the future loss of Pacman, but I think losing him opens up another hole so big that there is no way to fill all the holes this offseason, thus possibly making next year another rebuilding year.
But I do know this. In Vince I trust.
And the huge growth he showed last year is going to have to be doubled or tripled this year for the Titans to have a chance to make the playoffs without Pacman on the field and/or some spectacular draft and FA magic.