I remember being a Nashvillian in 1999. Our brand new stadium was complete, and we eagerly awaited the fall so we could root on our brand new Tennessee Titans. The city embraced them with open arms, and the Titans were admittedly shocked by the raucous sellout crowds that jam packed LP Field each home game. In turn, the team rewarded us with a magical season.
A true match made in heaven.
I remember sitting in the stands with my mom, brother, and sister for the Music City Miracle. It literally felt like the ground was shaking beneath my feet as Kevin Dyson sprinted toward the end zone with the closing seconds ticking away. I will never forget that moment.
Fast forward to the start of the 2013 season...and it felt like nothing had changed. And not just the team, but the franchise as a whole....in all those years.
And I don't mean that as a compliment.
The inaugural Tennessee Titans team was coached by Jeff Fisher, who had already been at the helm since 1994. His philosophy was to run run run...then run some more, play good defense, and kick a field goal at the end to win it. While that worked when Eddie George was in his prime, the team started to slide as he did. But there was no change in philosophy.
Even when Tennessee drafted Vince Young with the third pick of the 2006 draft (you do realize how bad you have to be to get the third overall pick right?) Fisher was still unwilling to change his offensive approach. And this is now 2006 folks.
That's 12 years and counting for Fisher by the way.
No, of course I am not calling Vince Young Warren Moon. But I am saying that VY had a particular skill set (read option) that Fisher was down right unwilling to adapt to....in any capacity. Coincidentally, San Francisco and Seattle adjusted to their qb (Kaepernick, Wilson), and are flourishing on offense today.
Fisher compiled 56 wins his first 5 years in Nashville, and only 54 wins his last seven years. Even with the obvious decline, no change in philosophy...coach...nada.
In 2011 Tennessee finally pulled the trigger, letting Fisher go andhiring Mike Munchak....who just so happened to be the offensive line coach (not offensive coordinator) for Fisher since 1997. And he's a first time head coach.
In a shocking turn of events, the Titans continued to struggle with the same ole run run run, play good defense, and kick a field goal in the end approach. And could you blame him? You only know what you know. But Munchak took it one step further...hefilled out his coaching staff almost exclusively in house. You know...the same staff that wasn't getting it done previously? I mean...you were there too Munchak right?
Let me digress.
Meanwhile, it was hard to fault Titans fans for feeling a little bored, and dare I say...salty at Tennessee. After all, they watched their rival Pittsburgh Steelers get with the times and start throwing the ball. Two more Super Bowl victories were the result.
But in 2014....
Tennessee finally did it....they did something different. Mike Munchak was let go after 3 forgettable seasons, and in comesKen Whisenhunt. And get this...Whisenhunt is bringing in an entirely new staff! New schemes, new concepts, new outlook, new optimism.
And let's rejoice in the fact that we finally have an offensive minded coach with some skins on the wall. He won a Super Bowl as offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and was seconds away from a Super Bowl victory as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals. Whisenhunt also took a Chargers team that was 31st in total offense in 2012, to a 5th place finish as offensive coordinator for them last year. And this was with the same personnel to a large degree.
Fisher is gone, Munchack is gone, CJ is gone, that era is gone....we are officially staring anew.
So at least for this season, I'm good with that. Every win is just a bonus. follow @plcolter