Since I won't be posting until after the Tennessee Titans have another GM (and possibly even a new coach) I have one question that everyone should be thinking about over this crucial week: what do you want from the next coach?
I'm not talking about an obvious answer like wins, a trip to the playoffs, a Super Bowl, to destroy J.J. Watt. What I mean is what should the new coach come in and do to see ownership on his vision.
The way I see it there are two big things a new head coach can say to really sway a GM and ownership group.
1. I can emphasize your strengths and optimize your resources
This is what I imagine Hue Jackson's big sell to the Tennessee Titans will/would be in an interview. Last year the Cincinnati Bengals drafted two offensive tackles in the top two rounds because that front office thought that those were the best players available.
He found a way to use both of them (as either a swing tackle, tight end or fullback) and he designed ways to get the most talented lineups on the field no matter who they were playing. This is a big reason why the offense looked good this year even with an average quarterback, and the fact that they were serviceable against two playoff teams with a quarterback who rarely threw past the line of scrimmage is just another feather in his cap.
2. I can mask your weaknesses
This is another big draw for some of the coaching candidates. In fact, if Josh McDaniels really wants to sell himself to the Titans brass then this is the pitch he should use.
This year he took a team with two good offensive pieces in an older Tom Brady and an often injured Rob Gronkowski and helped coach that team to a bye week in the playoffs. While that is great and all, his real shining moment was when the Patriots were throwing in guys off of the street, UDFAs and I believe at one point they even had a converted tight end playing offensive tackle, all without ever really missing a beat.
Every week teams knew the ball was going to Gronk, and every week they failed to stop it. They sent pressure at Brady and he schemed in quick passes to take advantage. They spread out and the Patriots used a plethora of free agent running backs to tear the league apart.
All McDaniels needs is an intelligent quarterback and one good playmaker if his recent past shows us anything, and in Tennessee he would get both with Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker. He may find creative ways to use Dorial Green-Beckham, and you know he would find a way to optimize a good slot receiver like Kendall Wright. And he can do that all without anyone making a big deal about the offensive line, now that sounds attractive.