This lockout is wearing my patience thin. I'm a contributor here, but first and foremost, I'm a commenter. It's embarrassing how many times I find my self refreshing the front page of MCM. Scrolling to see if there are any new comments in threads. Trolling the comments for things to discuss or disagree. The lockout is killing this for me, though. No personnel moves. No camp. Nothing. Phil from Groundhog Day sums it up best:
I'll give you a [lockout] prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you the rest of your life.
Or, at least it feels that way to me. But, I'm done being apathetic. I'm taking this into my own hands. So, without further ado, I've got some inflammatory comments that are solely intended in elicit a response.
- This next season, it's going to be an absolute train wreck. I fully expect this to be the worst season in Titans history, and I will be absolutely shocked if we don't have a top 5 pick in the NFL draft. Not only do we have a completely new coaching staff from the top down, the lockout has made it virtually impossible for this coaching staff to efficiently install their new systems. Combine that with the instability at the QB position, and suddenly we may just be lucky to win 4 games next year. Think that's extreme? Here's all 554 pages of Chris Palmer's offensive playbook from his days with the Browns. You tell me, can our offensive personnel (namely Jake Locker) learn all the verbage and assignments in this playbook before an NFL season without any guidance from the offensive coordinator?
- The Titans should just go ahead and start the full blown switch to the 3-4. Do it now while expectations are low and it's a certainty that we aren't Super Bowl contenders. NFL Minds Blog recently looked at the first year teams switched to the 3-4 from the 4-3. Since 1999, 16 teams made the switch, and here's what they found:
So, 16 Teams - 11 Improvements (68.8%), 3 Declines (18.8%), and 2 No Changes (12.5%)
That means that 81.3% of the time, teams that switched to a 3-4 were at least as good in the first season they made the transition as they were the year before . The whole reason for putting off the switch is the notion that there is some cataclysmic decline or growing pains initially, which appears to, at a minimum, be overstated. As the passing game evolves, speed will increasingly become more valuable, and the 3-4 allows teams to not only put faster players on the field, but also presents more opportunities for deception. I see no reason that they shouldn't make the transition immediately.
- The projection of success for Jake Locker from college to the NFL predicated on a relative increase in supporting personnel bothers me. Based on PFF's latest rankings, we have one of the worst offensive lines in football. And, our receivers? That's not much to write home about either, at least not to begin the season. Odds are that Kenny Britt will be suspended a minimum of 3 games, maybe more. Goodell doesn't take kindly to repeat offenders. So, Locker, if he's thrown to the wolves, will be working with a sub par receiving core, and below average offensive line, all of which have never run an offensive play under the guidance of the new coaching staff.
- I'm beginning to reconsider my position on re-signing Chris Johnson for an "exorbitant" price tag. Give him a $50 MM deal with $30 MM guaranteed. Speculation is that the new salary cap for 2011 would be ~$120 MM, possibly higher. There will also be a new salary floor, and many insiders believe that floor could be close to 95% of the cap. Under the new CBA, the minimum the Titans can spend is $114 MM. If all this comes to fruition, I believe that a monster contract of $50 MM won't be nearly as eye popping as it would have just one year ago. They're going to need to make up that gap somewhere, and you must also consider that KC ($7.5 MM), VY ($7.5MM) and Moss ($6.4MM) are all no longer available to eat up cap space.
- Remember how fans suggested that comparisons to Carr in regards to starting early weren't justified because of our superior offensive line? It might time to rethink that theory. Starting Locker too early could have irreparable consequences. I believe that the problems from starting Locker from Day 1, Year 1 would be pronounced, dramatic, and have long term side effects. Specifically, I think that starting Locker in an unstable situation could create negative tendencies that might plague him for the rest of his career. Maybe this situation should be revisited at midseason given the state of the franchise, but throwing a rookie QB into the mix when the no one on offense knows WTF is going on is a bad idea in my book.
- Maybe the Titans should target Michael Huff. Jimmy brought this up to me yesterday, and I think it may have some merit. I don't think it can get worse than last year, and it's clear to me that Hope is showing signs of wear on the tires. Among free agents, he's the best available, and Griffin and Huff have a history together; they both played opposite each other on the 2005 National Championship Team.
That's all I've got for now. My hope is that you'll find one or all of these comments particularly abrasive or interesting enough to create some good discussion among MCM'ers.