Got the Titan's blues, do you find yourself leaving the game in mid-third quarter? Do you turn off the T.V. or to another game on Sunday's after halftime? Do you look more at your fantasy stats then your own team because they don't have any stars to pay attention too? I'm not surprised.
Titan fans have seen much better seasons since the inception of Tennessee Oilers playing their inaugural game in Memphis. Right now loyalty is being tested amongst Titans fans. A lot are asking themselves, how did this happen, why can't we get players/coaches like *insert team here*, why is RB/WR/QB/DEF playing so poorly? It's really a combination of problems.
1. Injuries: Lets start with the obvious here, 4 out of 5, O-linemen are on injured reserve. The game is won in the trenches, look around the league and the best teams have a strong offensive line (Denver, Houston, New England) they have chemistry and can protect their QB along with creating holes for the RB's. Cook is now on IR and it couldn't have come at a worse time. Right now when an offense that finally suits him is starting to take shape. S Robert Johnson has been put on IR, he hasn't been that spectacular, but he needs play-time for his maturation process. Our "Mike" LB Colin McCarthy (the heart and soul of the defense) has been injured the entire season and has missed a fair amount of games this year. Britt took longer to be completely 100% than initially anticipated, and he still isn't mentally 100% sure to push it too hard. The list for injuries is long and growing, you can't expect a team that looks like the walking wounded to win many games.
2. Inept Coaching: Jerry Gray is almost 100% guaranteed to be out the door at the end of the season unless his defense becomes the '85 Bears over night. The secondary has been burned a lot, they are not playing physical football, and there isn't a consistent pass rush. One week the D will have 6 sacks, then the next two they won't have a single sack.
Chris Palmer leaving town should've come as no surprise to anyone. His play calling bordered on predictable to outright dumb. One series of calls would be CJ on 1st, 2nd, and then on 3rd a long screen pass. Next series it would be shotgun formation pass 1st, pass 2nd, then on 3rd and long draw. Plus don't get me started on not giving the ball to CJ on 3rd and 1 at least one time during the game. You can't be fooling defenses in the NFL with that sort of play calling, and keeping playmakers like Cook on the sideline and out of the game plan. Not real smart Chris. Munchak could also be on his way out if the Titans lose their last 3 games, especially if they embaress themselves on national TV this coming Monday. He has had some lapses in judgement this season that has costed the Titans a couple of close games.
3. Poor Playing: Dropped passes, penalty killing drives, fumbles near the goal-line, interception that have been turned for six, you name it the Titans have done it. I can encompass two plays that signify the Titans season. In week 3 at Minnesota, 4th and 6, The Titans try a fake punt and convert the six yards for a first down around midfield. The next play is 1st and 10, what happens? CJ fumbles on the handoff and the Vikings go and route the Titans. That one play encompasses Titans fan base this season. Optimism and hope at the beginning of the season, turning into a nightmare that just won't stop.
4. Draft Picks and Free Agents Not Panning Out: Jake is still a work in progress and what sucks for him is the changing of the OC's. That can really stunt a QB's mental growth, just look up Vince Young as reference if you fans forgot. Kendall Wright and Zach Brown have looked well but name me anyone else we drafted this year playing up to their potential. Same goes for the past 2 drafts. Morgan hasn't panned out and Verner and McCourty are both being exposed. Steve Hutchinson was going to be a Kevin Mawea-ish pickup, but his injury has now sidelined him. Wimberly has done well at times, but he hasn't turned into the premier pass rusher we had hoped for. GM Ruston Webster and Team President Mike Reinfeld have got to do a better job at equipping the team for the future. They need to have another set of offseason signings like in '07, they gotta open up that checkbook.
5. An uneasiness amongst the organization itself. Bud Adams is turning into a dark cloud of sorts. Of course he owns the team and should be able to say what he wants to motivate his players. We do not need a Jerry Jones, Al Davis or Ralph Wilson situation in Nashville. Those teams have a much bigger problem with owners trying to make personnel decisions and we don't need that from Bud right now. The all-in approach to get Peyton, made you miss out on some other big free agency names (Asante Samuel and Mario Williams come to mind). Those teams look much more dysfunctional than the Titans, but it could easily turn into that with an unstable clueless owner. I wanna win a Super Bowl Bud, and I know you don't have much time left. Help ensure that your team will be competitive to win if you don't get too involved with team's everyday decisions, on and off the field. Let the people you hired try to make it work, be patient.
All in all the Titans are a mess from head to toe, but I will say there is a cause for optimism. For one the Titans are an extremely young team right now, and they have caught some un-lucky breaks. Locker still has work to be done and we now have a fresh OC who has looked okay in his first two games. They will be drafting high this year and have the pick of the litter for an Offensive Lineman, Cornerback, or Defensive End, and this years draft is loaded with defensive talent. If Bud does pull the trigger on Munchack to be fired, there are some good coaches that are out there, whether college or pro.
Just keep the faith Titans fans, and realize one thing... We could be worse, we could be Oakland or Cleveland.