Random Thoughts on a Tuesday Morning

Textbook. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
  • This quarterback issue has become interesting in the polarizing effect it's had on this fan base. Seems to me that the root of Hasselbeck's issues lately have stemmed from injuries. Can't this coaching staff "stick to the plan" and start Jake Locker this week? Of course, all this is predicated on Hasselbeck still being injured. I'm just leery of a coaching staff that's dogmatic about things when the situation has clearly changed. It's one of the things that frustrated me about Fisher. This staff needs to understand that they can go with Locker these final weeks without committing themselves to him as the outright starter in week 1 of 2012. Alternatively, if Hasselbeck's back to normal, I don't really take issue with starting him for the remainder of the season.
  • With the quarterback situation being such a hot button issue, Chris Johnson's performance has not been discussed much. It probably should. One could argue that his performance had as much, if not more, impact on the final result against the Colts as did Hasselbeck's. Come on through the jump for a play that's a microcosm of what was happening all day on Sunday.

Screen_shot_2011-12-20_at_9

Here CJ is "readin' his reads". I'll give MCM one guess where his read takes him.

Screen_shot_2011-12-20_at_9

This happened more times than I'd prefer to count on Sunday. The Titans call a zone run and CJ inevitably stretches the play out. You want the big play CJ? Look at the middle of the field in that first screen shot. If you can navigate that first set of defenders, this has potential to be an explosive play. Instead, the play is predictably strung out for no gain.

  • More to that point, we've looked at success rates for running backs a number of times on this site. "Success" on first down is characterized as getting 40% of the yardage needed. Chris Johnson had 1 success on 8 first down attempts. Not only was Hass up against his leg injury, but he was also hamstrung by a running back was performing well below an NFL level. The way he ran on Sunday would not be productive at a collegiate level, let alone the NFL; albeit against an sub par opponent.
  • Michael Griffin had a tough day at he office. He's got to get his head around and make a play on the ball on that corner route to Wayne. And, on the big run by Brown, he takes an awful angle. If he keeps contain, this is a moderate gain at best.
  • I can't really put my finger on it, but there was a lack of aggression and enthusiasm on Sunday. The team, and gameplan seemed more concerned with "not losing" as opposed to taking shots against a poor defense. Maybe this is on Hasselbeck. Seemed more like a plan dictated by Palmer. Whatever the case, they got the worst of both worlds. Game plan built around risk management + 3 turnovers = Loss 90% of the time.
  • Silver lining? Rumor is that this win may keep Caldwell around for next season.
  • Looking forward you'll at least be able to take comfort in the fact that we didn't get stuck with arguably the biggest bust of the draft. Gabbert will make that much very clear this weekend. So, while things may be seem bad today, take a deep breath and be glad that you're not a Jags fan.
  • I cannot wait to see Locker get on the field at the same time as Kenny Britt next year. /swoons
  • The Titans need to find a solid second running back. Given Johnson's struggles, I'd prefer a platoon system with a traditional every down back on the majority of first downs. CJ still has utility, and I think he can bounce back. Still, he's not nearly consistent enough to be relied on. I think the way they used the backs in Kansas City is a good blueprint for what to look for moving forward. I don't think the size of salary should mandate reps at the running back position, which would be the only reason to keep using him as a feature back (read: 80+% of carries) moving forward.
  • I haven't watched tape on all the WR's in the draft, which is something I'm certain I'll do when the season comes to an end. For now, I can say that if Blackmon drops out of the top 5, it'd be worth parting with some draft picks to go get him. He's legit. I'm cautious about marrying myself to a position without evaluating the picks, but I can say that this offense would be helped out dramatically if we had a solid number 2 opposite Britt. Unfortunately, I'm not sure that Williams is the answer.
  • Sticking with the draft, I think that since we've gotten our "QB of the future" on the roster that we can use a modified best player available strategy. That would be modified to include C, G, WR, DT, DE, FS, and SS. I'd be happy with selecting any of those positions in the early rounds.
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