Yes, the team has talent. But there is no amount of blind fan support that is going to make this team into a contender this year. Why? Because of the many reasons I give below.
#1 - The lockout. Thank the owners for especially screwing over this team. Many teams need a QB, yes, but only the Titans lack both a QB (Rusty "I get shut out by a historically bad pass defense" Smith doesn't count) and have a whole new coaching staff - new HC, new OC, new everything (that matters). The longer this lasts, the less time whoever is thrown in as a QB gets to learn the system. So the offense is screwed - we'll witness some of the most basic vanilla offense ever - and poor CJ is going to have a poor year since opposing Ds will key in on him.
And we know the D isn't going to be good. It wasn't good last year in the 2nd year under Cecil. Now there's a new DC. It's going to take a while to learn his style. But again... LOCKOUT. The owners aren't allowing any contact with the players.
#2 - The QB. The Titans don't have one. Draft = rookie and rookies can't win w/o a good defense (which we lack, too). FA? It's possible, but the above reason is kinda killin' that, too. When the Titans jettisoned Billy Volek and threw FA Kerry Collins into the fray without much training camp, he stunk up the joint. Combining a long lockout with a FA will most likely yield the same results. And no, Rusty Smith is not the answer. He blows.
#3 - The defense. The defense wasn't very good last year. Yes, we had some signs of young talent coming into their own (ATV, some sparks on the DL) - but the LB corps has not proved to be worth anything. Also, the Titans have new coaches on that side of the ball, too, and the longer the lockout = less production. Drafting a high quality player or two can make a bigger impact here, though... But they still have to learn the system.
#4 - Division. Colts, Jags and Texans all have veteran QBs and have retained their coaches. What does this mean? They don't have to learn much more! And the players can potentially get together and run drills on their own! (Manning already does this with rookie WRs.) So yeah, a weakness for our team is HUGE strength to the others. Chalk up 6 losses right there.
#5 - Schedule. Ravens, Steelers, Bucs, Saints, and Falcons. 5 more nearly guaranteed losses right there. That leaves the Browns, Bengals, Panthers, and Bills as "maybes." The Browns showed some life down the stretch and McCoy looks to be a leader for them. If Palmer leaves Cincy, they could be in a similar situation we are - minus the coaching overhaul. The Bills aren't great but have stability. The Panthers? Eh. That's our best chance not to go 0-16. (But pray they take a QB 1st overall and even if they do suck more than we do, they won't draft a QB 1st overall two years in a row; [which then creates the crappy situation of them trading their pick to the highest bidder and we lose out on the Luck sweepstakes while still living through a hellish season]).
To recap, the Titans aren't going to the playoffs this year. The biggest part of my argument is the lockout. The longer the owners prevent the players and coaches from meeting, the higher the team's chance of getting a top 5 pick in 2012. If the lockout ends within the next month, then the outlook isn't as bleak (still not great, though). How long can the lockout last? Well, reports indicate that the schedule was crafted to allow the 1st 3 weeks to be missed and then made up during Bye weeks and after the season (the league already has reserved the hotels in Indy for the week after the SuperBowl, too for such a situation of pushing everything back).
So if we end up with Andrew Luck - thank Bud! ;)