Josh Weinfuss has a really good article over at ESPN today about Bruce Arians changing the culture of the Arizona Cardinals. The article points out that Arians noticed early in the season that his team was "out there hoping to win games." They finally started winning when they expected to win games.
I couldn't help but long for a coach to come to the Titans and do the same while reading that article. I think we can all agree that Mike Munchak has not changed the culture of this team. He said he would, and I don't doubt that he has tried, but this team still doesn't have a killer instinct about it. There is still no faith that they are going to win games in the 4th quarter.
If that hasn't changed in the three years that Munch has been the coach, why would it change in year 4? I get that this team is better than last year's team (even though their record isn't much different). I get that they have played without their starting quarterback for most of the season, but the fact remains that there have been several games, even with Jake Locker, that they had a chance to win late and they couldn't make that final play.
How did Arians chance the culture? By getting players to buy in to what he is selling. Check out this clip from the article:
Players at his stops have loved playing for Arians because he rules with tough love. He won't sugarcoat it. If you're playing badly, he'll tell you -- not in that nice of a way, of course. He yells. He screams. He loses his temper one second and he hugs you the next. It's a rare trait, Keim said, but Arians has mastered the art of having a short memory.
In fairness, we don't know how much of that Munchak does behind closed doors, but what we do know is that there are still way too many mental mistakes.
The bottom line here is that some times all it takes is a different voice in the room. If Arians can come in and help the Cardinals make a complete 180 in one offseason, why can't the Titans find a guy to do the same?
They can, but they have to be willing to rid themselves of the culture of mediocrity that is so prevalent right now. I really hope Tommy Smith reads this article.