Jeff Fisher recently spoke to John Glennon of The Tennessean during the recent Drvie4Dinger charity golfing event. The event is held in memory of Mike Heimerdinger and a lot of current and former Titans as well as other NFL personalities show up for the wonderful event.
Fisher spoke with The Tennessean about his new weapon in Jared Cook, and focused on his ability to create headaches for the defense.
"He's obviously got years of experience under his belt, he understands the league, he understands defenses and he's picked things up really well," Fisher said. "We're excited about creating mismatches, and offensive success these days is about creating mismatches."
Mismatches? Possibly. The Titans had a hard time getting that to work with Cook during his time here, both under Jeff Fisher and Mike Munchak. One of the main reasons Cook was able to walk from the Titans was his time being split out at to the slot. A reminder of his lack of production at the in-line tight end position.
"He's going to play all over the place," Fisher said. "We've even got him in the backfield, so we've got some good things for him."
Jared Cook's skill level, combined with his size and speed truly make him a threat. He has huge play making ability as well as the potential to dominate at the position. The problem is his lack of blocking skills or desire to do so. He has also shown a lack of desire to fight for position, or the ball, on underneath routes.
For Cook to be a mismatch, he has to be seen as a threat in the run game. That's where the Rob Gronkowskis and Tony Gonzalez's have made their living. If you can consistently hold strong blocks out of a jumbo set, 12, or 22 personnel, you force the defense to go "big". This then creates your mismatch in the passing game on slower, smaller, linebackers. Conversely you can aid your team out of three wide sets by staying in to block for a single back, or even releasing in underneath routes as the receivers take over the secondary. Basically, if no one knows what you are going to do, and you're good at both, you can create a mismatch.
The bottom line is regardless of where you place Jared Cook on the field, he's just a big receiver. At least that's what he was with the Titans. Jeff Fisher can put Cook in the backfield all he wants, but unless he's changed his attitude about blocking, he will be correctly viewed as a receiver by the defense, limiting his ability to create the mismatches he desires.