Jeff Diamond was the president of the Titans from 1999-2004 and currently appears on The Thom Abraham Show in addition to his work as a sports consultant with The Ingram Group. I had the chance last week to ask him a few questions about the current Titans and about the 1999 Titans.
MCM- Are you concerned about the play of Vince Young in the preseason?
Jeff Diamond- I don't overly concern myself with the preseason. Dinger will do a great job with Vince. Vince will be more apt to be the multi-faceted guy that we shaw his rookie year. I think they will be just fine. He will look a lot better once they start actually scheming for the other team.
MCM- Do you think they have surrounded VY with the weapons he needs to succeed?
JD- They are very good at running back with LenDale White and Chris Johnson, but they do lack the #1 receiver such as Steve McNair had with Derrick Mason at their peaks. The guys they have are pretty good, they just need to play better, and they can't drop balls. They are going to have to be able to make the tough catches since they aren't going to get a lot of separation. We went to the Super Bowl in 1999 with a group similar to these guys. You can go a long way without a premier receiver.
MCM- What do you think about Chris Johnson so far?
JD- He is really exciting. He has great speed and quickness. He also has really good feet and vision. I am really excited to see what he can do when they start drawing up a gameplan for him.
MCM- Talk about the addition of Jevon Kearse. How much do you think he will be able to give them?
JD- They are going to have to be judicious in how they use him to not wear him down. I think he can probably still play about 60% of the snaps in a game. He still has good burst and speed, but you just worry about his health. He is still a good player, not what he was when he was here before but not far from it either. He will benefit from having Kyle Vanden Bosch and Albert Haynesworth on the other side so that he won't face many double teams. He and I came to Nashville in 1999. A lot of people tried to give me a lot of credit for that year, but I always told them Jevon helped a lot more than I did.
MCM- People are predicting this team to win anywhere from 4 to 10 games. How many games do you think they will win?
JD- I think they will end up 10-6 just like last season. There is still a gap between the Titans and New England, Indianapolis, San Diego and maybe even Pittsburgh, but they have a really tough schedule. 10 wins will be good enough to make it into the playoffs. Then they will just need Vince to step his game up and make plays. He can close make the difference for them.
MCM- There is a lot of talk about cutting down the preseason and adding games to the regular season. Do you think that is a good idea? Does adding extra games to the regular season put the players at more risk of getting injured?
JD- I thnk it is a great idea to cut the preseason down. The preseason drove me nuts when I was an executive because I was scared one of our stars was going to get hurt. I don't think it adds to much injury risk for the players.
MCM- How was Bud Adams to work for?
JD- Bud was great. He has a low ego which is good for an NFL owner. There aren't a lot of those. We got along great. I left for financial reasons.
MCM- What is your favorite memory from the 1999 run to the Super Bowl?
JD- There are so memories from that season. Being down on the field in Jacksonville getting the AFC Championship trophy is probably my favorite memory. Having 40,000 fans at Adelphia Coliseum when we got home was pretty special. The Music City Miracle is a close second.
MCM- Finally, you talk a lot about playing golf on your show. What are some of your favorite courses to play in Tennessee?
JD- I play the Legends a lot. I also like The Golf Club of TN. My favorite course in the state is The Honors Course in Chattanooga.
A big thanks to Mr. Diamond for taking the time to do this.