If you read one article today, it better be this 323-word boondoggle of spin in which John Glennon delivers Mike Munchak's spin regarding Sunday's atrocity of a run game. Munch manages to spread the blame to everyone except the unit that's most to blame: the offensive line.
Look, I'm sure Locker was out-smarted on a few audibles. The Patriots are masters at disguising their defensive calls before the snap. And, there's no debate about the fact that Chris Johnson was hesitant, lacked confidence and was overall an indecisive mess.
However, the fact that CJ was hit at or behind the line on 8 of his 11 carries falls on the shoulders of the big guys up front. It's also mostly their fault that Reynaud and Harper were even less effective on their few carries. The issues in the run game probably also extend all the way to the scheme, but lets be real about what's going on here...
The franchise crapped the bed over the offseason by not completely revamping the middle of the O-line through either the draft, or free agency. We've got nearly $20 million in cap room, and we had a full complement of draft picks. Sure, I gave this organization a pass on this issue most of the offseason because I love so much of what they've done, but in retrospect, this particular issue looks like a dumpster fire now that the season has started.
On top of all that, Munchak is now spreading the blame around without mentioning the key offenders. I know he's an O-line guy, and our O-line crew has been notoriously quiet since Mawae left, but these guys aren't babies. They're professional football players, and they should be subject to the same level of critique and accountability as every other player on this roster. Instead, Munch continues to publically baby them in much the same way you would three-legged dog.
Even if he's saying something different inside the confines of BSP, Titans fans deserve a bit more straight talk than this. For example:
There's no excuse any reasonable person can give that validates Leroy Harris' continued employment at the NFL level. He couldn't pass muster at Center, and he's been a complete train wreck at Guard. This is his third season as a starter, and his health is almost as much of an issue as his complete ineffectiveness. There were parts of last season where Harris looked to be getting better, but those flashes aren't enough to hang on in the NFL.
Harris ended yesterday's game on the bench, but now Munch is saying he expects Harris to play in San Diego. If that ends up happening, it'll be the most disappointing move Munchak has made since he was promoted to head coach last year. If he's got any reasonable dedication to getting his best players on the field, Kevin Matthews or Deuce Lutui will be out there all game.
We're stuck with the rest of the unit. Roos and Stewart are still a phenomenal tandem at tackle, Hutch has been at least somewhat of an upgrade over Jake Scott and Velasco has yet to drive me crazy. However, Harris is a walking, talking breathing embodiment of everything wrong with this run game.
The time has come for Munchak to make the tough calls Bud Adams hired him to make, or we'll likely watch this season go down the tubes in a hurry.