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The 2000-2002 Titans : A Reason to Hope in 2010


Has anyone noticed the similarity between the seasons of 2000-2001 Titans and the 2008-2009 Titans?

In 2000, the Titans, coming of the Superbowl year, named Mike Heimerdinger as OC and was expected to contend again that year and they did. Finishing 13-3 and winning the AFC Central Division, led by their suffocating defense which ended second in the league in points allowed and 1st overall. The Titans' Superbowl aspirations though abruptly ended when they lost at home to the Ravens.

The next year, 2001, saw again a change in the coaching staff when DC Greg Williams was hired by the Bills as Head Coach prompting the Titans to promote linebackers coach Jim Schwartz to DC. The Titans was considered a playoff team at the start of the season but surprisingly ended at 7-9, third in AFC Central, and the defense sucked the whole season ending 25th in points allowed.

Similarly...

In 2008, the Titans brought back Mike Heimerdinger as OC. Like the 2000 season, the Titans finished at 13-3, first in the AFC, and winning the AFC South Division, led by their suffocating defense which ended second in the league in points allowed. Also, like in 2000 though, the Titans' Superbowl aspirations abruptly ended when they lost at home to the Ravens.

The next year, 2009, saw again a change in the coaching staff when DC Jim Schwartz was hired by the Lions as Head Coach prompting the Titans to promote secondary coach Chuck Cecil to DC. The Titans was considered a playoff team at the start of the season but surprisingly ended at 8-8, third in AFC South, and the defense sucked the whole season ending 28th in points allowed.

When I saw those similarities, it got me to think, are the Titans in a sort of a cycle here? Will the 2010 Titans have the same fate as the 2002 Titans? Most probably not but it still made me look back at what happened in 2002.

In 2002, the Tennessee Titans bounced back from a disappointing 2001 season, finishing 11-5 and winning the AFC South Division. The defense also improved by ending 11th in the league in points allowed. The Titans reached the AFC Championship but lost in Oakland 41-24.

I also checked the Defensive Starters from 2000 to 2001, to see if we can find a possible blueprint here on how to improve the defense thru free agency and the draft. Please see below...

 

Starters
Glossary · ProBowl(*), 1st-team All-Pro(+), · CSV · PRE · Hide Non-primary Starters
2000     2001     2002    
Pos Yrs Pos Yrs Pos Yrs
  Defensive Starters     Defensive Starters     Defensive Starters  
LDE Jevon Kearse* 1 LDE Kevin Carter 6 LDE Kevin Carter* 7
LDT John Thornton 1 LDT Josh Evans 6 LDT John Thornton 3
RDT Jason Fisk 5 RDT Jason Fisk 6 RDT Henry Ford 8
RDE Kenny Holmes 3 RDE Jevon Kearse* 2 RDE Carlos Hall Rook
LLB Greg Favors 2 LLB Greg Favors 3 LLB Peter Sirmon 2
MLB Randall Godfrey 4 MLB Randall Godfrey 5 MLB Randall Godfrey 6
RLB Eddie Robinson 8 RLB Eddie Robinson 9 RLB Keith Bulluck 2
LCB Denard Walker 3 LCB Andre Dyson Rook LCB Andre Dyson 1
RCB Samari Rolle*+ 2 LCB DeRon Jenkins 5 CB Donald Mitchell 3
SS Blaine Bishop* 7 RCB Samari Rolle 3 RCB Samari Rolle 4
FS Marcus Robertson 9 SS Aric Morris 1 SS Tank Williams Rook
      FS Perry Phenix 3 FS Lance Schulters 4
Record 13-3 Record 7-9 Record 11-5
13th Offense, 2nd Defense 12th Offense, 25th Defense 13th Offense, 11th Defense
Won AFC Central Division Finished 3rd AFC Central Division Won AFC South Division
Lost to Ravens (Divisional Playoffs) Lost to Raiders (AFC Championship)

 

Can the Titans learn from their history and comeback in 2010 just like in 2002? We will find out next year.

But what I do know is that we can hope. It has happened before and, as such, possible to happen again. But this time, I hope, we reach the Superbowl and win it. GO TITANS!!!

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