Well this year hasn't exactly gone to plan, but it's been another fun ride here at MCM regardless.
Last year's long offseason got a shot in the arm when the Titans selected the consensus favorite pick in the NFL draft in Chance Warmack and an explosive WR in Justin Hunter. MCMers were generally pretty impressed, myself included, with the way Webster navigated the offseason and was aggressive in FA, bringing in the likes of Levitre, Pollard, and Walker, all of which have made significant impacts on this Titans team in 2013.
On the field, the season started off with a dud...a safety by Darius Reynaud before the season was even 0.1 second old. That sort of epitomized the rest of the year for Tennessee. While I have certainly seen worse performances throughout a season, the Titans have been victimized by stupid mistakes far too often. The perpetrators are all over; Fokou with his bonehead roughing against Indy, Battle with his decision to run his own play against the Chiefs on 4th down, Britt deciding he prefers penalty yards over receiving yards...I could go on and on.
While the injury bug didn't claim too many (certainly far less than the league average), our QB, Jake Locker, took a knock early on against the Jets, and was never the same, creating a swirl of questions about his future in the league, and more generally, the direction of this Titans football team.
There were also positives to look back on. Alterraun Verner emerged as one of the best CBs in the NFL, breaking Titans records for passes defensed and making the popularity contest, er, I mean the Pro Bowl. Jurrell Casey made his bid for the best DT in football, notching 11.5 sacks on his way to a likely all-pro appearance. Kendall Wright had an outstanding season, topping 1000 yards and solidifying his growing reputation as one of the league's premier slot receivers. While I will not look back on 2013 fondly, I am proud of the play of more than a few of these Titans players, both new additions and old veterans alike.
Now we are looking at another long off-season with no prospect of January football. There are some big decisions looming over the coaching staff with the new CEO Tommy Smith deciding the fate of Mike Munchak and his crew. There are also decisions to be made about Jake Locker, and new contracts to be agreed upon for Alterraun Verner and Bernard Pollard. CJ and David Stewart are likely done in Tennessee as well. It may be a painfully long off-season and it may go two different ways depending on the coaching staff's status, but either way this is going to be a paramount year for this organization and it's direction heading into the future.
On the side, we here at MCM have had fun adding our two cents; analyzing games, players, and coaches....lots about coaches. We've birthed yet another catalog of hilarious (and sometimes frustrating) memes. Maybe next year will be different. Maybe Jake will stay upright and built on his successes from early 2013. Maybe the Titans will actually have a running game again, maybe the team's linebackers will be better, maybe a few more calls will go our way... That is all up in the air. That said, I have faith that things will be different. I am ready for a new year, and hopefully a fresh start in Titans land, where fans have languished under the banner of mediocrity for far too long. We are due some good luck eventually....right?
Anyway, I also wanted to say a big thank you to Jimmy, Gramsey, and all the other contributers for letting me be a part of the MCM crew, and to all the site's regulars for being so supportive. You guys are the best community of fans I have ever been lucky enough to know. It has been a blast bringing you Titans news and analysis, and I am looking forward to doing the same in 2014 and beyond. Thanks again for everything, and have a happy new year.