2014 Tennessee Titans: Moving With The Times?

Frederick Breedon

Can Tennessee change their old ways?

The Tennessee Titans are changing a lot of things from 2013 to 2014; coaching staff members, player personnel, but more than just that, they are changing philosophies. With the "old guard" gone, the strategies of focus of the offensive and defensive philosophies have also shifted.

After looking back through Ken Whisenhunt's past stops, it's clear that he favors an offense that is consistent above all things. His 2013 San Diego Chargers were an efficient bunch for much of the season. With a consistent rushing attack (without any outstanding running backs), and an efficient passing scheme, Whisenhunt led the Chargers to an impressive 32.19 minutes Time Of Possession in 2013, 2nd in the NFL behind only the Denver Broncos. Meanwhile, Tennessee, who's former coaches constantly preached about the importance of time of possession, lagged behind at 15th in the league.

The point? The Chargers impressive TOP numbers are a result of an efficient offense and a clever scheme that constantly challenged defenses and kept the chains moving. A big change in Ken Whisenhunt's scheme, now in Tennessee, will be the focus on consistency. Obviously all coaches want this from their team; but Tennessee has struggled in this category for the past three seasons. A boom or bust rushing attack, a passing scheme that didn't feature many dump offs to running backs and tight ends, and an offensive line in flux contributed in putting the Titans defense to the sword, and struggling to stay on the field.

With Whisenhunt and Jason Michaels now at the helm, there will be an added focus on reaching the sticks, and not worrying about the endzone all the time. The league, while moving to a more pass-happy stance, is still an arena dominated by physical teams who can run the ball when they want to (49ers, Seahawks, etc). It's time that Tennessee moved on from the old "3 yards and a cloud of dust" mentality, especially since that the team's personnel hasn't matched that stratagem in quite some time. That doesn't mean focusing solely on the passing game; it just means being more clever and creative in a league where all the best teams are.

Tennessee (2013)

San Diego (2013)

Avg. Time Of Posession

30.12 (15th in NFL)

32.19 (2nd in NFL)

First Downs

311 (18th in NFL)

373 (3rd in NFL)

3rd Down Coversion

41.4% (8th in NFL)

49% (1st in NFL)

San Diego's clock-work offense managed to keep the chains moving and keep opposing offenses off the field better than almost anyone last season. When you consider that they did so with an entirely depleted reviving corps, a running back who had been left for dead by his critics, and a quarterback who the prior season had shown major signs of decline.

Whether the Titans personnel is better is a matter of debate, but I would lean to the answer that they are. The Titans have a bedrock offensive line and a bevy of consistent skill position players. If Jake Locker can stay healthy this season and give the team the same boost he did in early 2013, I would say the Titans and their fans won't be looking back anytime soon.

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