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Ease Up On These Referees
Look, I've been avoiding harping on and on about the referee situation. Part of that is because I genuinely feel bad for the guys, and partly because when everyone in the world seems to agree on one matter of opinion, some part of me backs away. There's a lot of this fury that's whipping across the plains that should be aimed at pretty much everyone but the replacement refs. These aren't the best of the best. Not even close: hell, the NFL even had to resort to guys who couldn't hack it in the Lingerie Football League (though, the last thing anyone is watching at those games are toes and hands).
However, at some point, players and coaches need to realize that they're more than partially responsible for the mess that was week 3. The know these guys aren't up to the task, but instead of trying to play a cleaner game or maintain a level of professionalism and pride, they push the envelope further and further: they crowd piles, ignore instructions, yell and whine like petulant children just to hopefully influence a call later and just generally treat these refs like dirt. It's sadder than the performance of these refs, honestly.
There's a point the league has to come out and mandate that players and coaches don't have to respect the performance of these refs, but they absolutely must respect the position. Without at least some baseline for respect for the officials, the situation will keep deteriorating until one of the notorious hot heads in this game really hurts someone.
And when that happens, you better not blame it on the scab officials. It's an official's job to control the game, but it's a player/coaches job to control themselves. Period.
PFF stumbles into perhaps the most succinct explanation for what's wrong with our running game I've seen from a national analyst so far:
Johnson's best runs came when he freestyled, and his worst runs came when he freestyled. It's as if he assumes that he'll get poor blocking on any play, so he doesn't get positive yardage even when the hole is there. Until the Tennessee running back trusts his line, and until they give him a reason to, Johnson won't look anything like the player who earned the nickname CJ2K.
Panel Egboh is once again a Titan, and Kenyatta Dawson was placed on the IR to make room for the addition. This seems to rectify the biggest head-scratcher of a personnel move we've seen this year.
Hey, at least we're leading the league in special teams VOA!
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