Here are the 5 questions I sent to the guys over at Firecoachfisher.com. I appreciate them taking the time to answer the questions. (Jonathan Tucker's answers are in red and Bryan Griffey's answers are in blue)
1. First off tell me about yourselves. (i.e. How old are you? Where are you from? What do you do? How long have you been Titans Fans?)
I'm in my 30s. We have been identified in the Tennessean. I have lived in Tennessee all of my life. I have a non-sports-related day job and write some for the blog at night. I attended Titans games when they moved to Memphis , and have been attending a handful of games every year since they've been here -- both preseason and regular season games. I do not own a PSL, and thus do not have season tickets. Games that I do not attend in person, I catch on television or listen to on the radio.
I'm in my late 20's. I was born in Indiana but moved to Tennessee at age 16. I was raised a Colts Fan, but once we got a team in Nashville , I lost all interest in the Colts. Several family members are huge Colts fans and we all go to at least one of the games each year. We usually alternate between Nashville and Indy. I have been a Titans fan since they moved to Nashville from Memphis . The first year at Vandy, I attended 3 games, and have been going to a handful of games every year since. Like my friend, if I'm not at the game, I'm listening on the radio or watching TV. I too have a full time non-sports related job.
2. In your estimation who is more to blame for the problems of the last 3 years Floyd Reese or Jeff Fisher? Why?
I think they are both to blame; I could not assign a percentage. Reese is responsible for poor drafting for the most part the last 4 to 5 years. He has drafted some legitimate, quality starters, but not enough. Also, there is little quality depth at any position. Having said that, Fisher has input on personnel decisions as well. He is not blameless as far as the personnel aspect of the team is concerned. I am amazed that some people do not realize this.
When the Titans had their successful run here, they had a dominating defense and a powerful running attack. They were also very good in the short passing game (McNair/Wycheck). None of those areas are strengths any longer. The defensive front seven is average; the secondary is porous. Lamont Thompson has to go. The corners appear lost. The offensive line has been neglected far too long. That should have remained a point of emphasis considering that was one of the hallmarks of the good Titans clubs. They could control the line of scrimmage and the ball game in the Eddie George era. Fisher is as much to blame as Reese for abandoning their winning formula. Additionally, without going on forever, I would submit to you that Fisher has made questionable hires, based on the results, for his coordinator positions.
My friend said it well above. I feel more strongly against Fisher then Reese.
3. Fisher did a good job of development in the late 90's and early 2000's? Do you think it is his development that has changed or the players he has been given? You had a list of draft picks that Fisher was supposed to develop. How many of those guys who are no longer with the Titans have gone on to be successful elsewhere?
I answered partially in #2. I do not keep a close track of the draft picks that have gone on to glory for other clubs. The most notable recent stars that have left are: McNair, Kearse, Mason, Samari Rolle & Kevin Carter (Carter was not a Titans draft choice). They're still in the league and doing well. Dyson, the corner, is a solid, not spectacular, player. He is missed as well. Most of the other draft choices, selected between 2001 - 2005, that are no longer on the team, are non- factors in the NFL.
I share the same thoughts as my partner on this one.
4. If Fisher is fired who should the Titans hire? Is there really someone out there who is better than Fisher?
I don't know. I have not put much thought into it since I doubt Fisher would be gone before the end of the year. I think there's a good chance he'd be retained, and Reese is let go. Yes, there are many coaches out there better than Jeff Fisher. However, I think Fisher would be serviceable if he were surrounded by better assistants and had a GM who didn't make questionable evaluations. I honestly have no idea what has happened to Reese. He has been in a 4-5 year rut. I think there is something to be said for drafting players from winning programs: Kearse/Florida; Rolle/Florida State; George/Ohio State - those are just off the top of my head, and that's not to say there are not quality finds from the mid-major schools, but most of the best players on the team now, the new core they are developing, are again, from major programs: Haynesworth/Vols; Young/Texas; White/Trojans; Pac Man/West Virginia. A lot of Reese's mid-major picks have been busts. McNair is an obvious exception. I guess McNair was not even a D-1 player though.
If Fisher is fired mid-season I would be shocked. To be honest with you, we hadn't planned on announcing the website until later on into the season, but Jim Wyatt contacted us and the rest is history. I think Fisher's hiring of coordinators lately has been terrible and therefore it's a valid question of who we believe should replace Fisher mid-season. I think the only good midseason replacement for Jeff would be Dave McGinnis. He's the only one on the staff with prior NFL head coaching experience. I think the Linebackers have been the bright spot for the defense so maybe he should get a shot. I think there are several coaches better then Fisher available, but we can't reveal those yet. You'll have to follow our BLOG!
5. Do you think you can really sell 67,000 T-shirts?
That's really beside the point. We're donating the money we make off of the shirts (which is very little) to charity. The point of the site is to provide an avenue so people can voice their opinions. I do not think the local sports stations, the local papers, or local sports talk shows are willing to take Fisher or Reese to task for the condition the team is in. It's a mutually beneficial relationship: the Titans provide access to these entities and individuals, and they in turn provide polite commentary about the organization. In a lot of ways, the local media act as press agents for the Titans. There was some legitimate criticism levied over the Pac-Man Jones shenanigans, but Reese and Fisher are largely left alone despite the fact that they have completely dismantled this organization. I mean, let's be honest here, the Ravens, Steelers, Patriots and Colts have managed to stay competitive for a relatively long period of time (by NFL standards) despite having the same constraints. Those teams have had occasional down years the last 4-5 years, but they have not even come close to scraping the bottom like the Titans are now. Is this what we get for giving Bud a $300 million stadium? Through salary caps and revenue sharing, the league is designed for parity. The Titans shouldn't have to ever completely start over like they are having to now. This isn't politics. Should we have to suffer through 4 years of bad teams to have 4 good years, and then start that cycle over? I don't think so. Even in off years, they should be able to win 6 to 8 games and give the fans reason for optimism. Having said all this, I will still pull for them if they lose every remaining game this year.
Selling 67,000 shirts is a huge stretch honestly. We mainly set the shirts up to fund the site. As you know keeping a website up and running takes time/money/effort. The shirts are an avenue to promote the site, (which has been a huge success). To me it's a better way of showing your frustration with the coaching staff without being vocal negatively at games or on the radio. It's a silent statement.
These guys have gotten a lot of pub for their website. They make some good points but I don't agree with everything. When I asked about draft picks being elsewhere I wasn't including the guys that were part of the salary cap purge. I like the way they are protesting even if I don't agree with them. Intelligent conversation is always better than yelling and name calling.
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