For far too long, the Tennessee Titans have been mediocre. Its actually easy to overlook the mediocrity, considering the Ken Whisenhunt era was so bad. In reality, this team has most commonly been between “almost bad” and “almost good.” Since the 2008 season when the Titans went 13-3, they have hovered around mediocre (6-9 wins) for seven of the nine seasons.
NFL teams are always quick to mention their ultimate goal in the offseason. Everybody’s talking championships. Its easy to sound great when your team isn’t playing on Sundays. A better indicator of how serious teams actually are is with their actions. Much like how some teams play to win and others play not to lose, some teams aim for greatness and others just want to “not fail.” Fear of failure is how coaches like Jeff Fisher and Marvin Lewis have lasted so long in the league. Those teams will be competitive and linger in the playoff race for most of the season, but are they a serious competitor for the Super Bowl? There is obviously a chance a team like that gets hot and breaks through one year for a championship, but odds are not usually favourable.
This was always a significant fear with Mike Mularkey’s Titans - not that they would be bad, but that they would be consistently average. This was worsened by the fact the Titans have one of the most promising and unique quarterbacks in the league. Would they waste that talent? A player with Mariota’s skillset is pretty rare.
When the Titans fired Mularkey, it indicated that mediocrity was no longer accepted. The bar has been raised. With the hiring of Mike Vrabel, Dean Pees, and Matt LaFleur, Tennessee is swinging for the fences. Like any other bold move, there is a chance of failure. The Titans are finally aiming for greatness though, and that should give fans a lot of hope going forward.