A few days before the NFL Draft, Titan’s owner Bud Adams met with Coach Jeff Fisher and GM Mike Reinfeldt. Adams is 87 years and, as you might imagine, is more focused on the short-term success of the team than the long-term. The offense looked like it could use some help at the receiver position but was pretty solid overall. Defense was identified as the area that needed the most improvement. The draft played out accordingly for the Titans, and six of the nine players selected play on defense.
Adams is convinced that the 13-3 team of 2008 should have done more in the playoffs, and of course everyone would agree. Last year he figured that the quarterback position was the problem, and he claims he ordered Jeff Fisher to play Vince Young over Kerry Collins after the 0-6 start. So what happens this year if, for any reason, the team does not reach the playoffs and win at least one playoff game?
Fisher has an decent coaching resume. He has reached the playoffs in six of this 15 seasons as head coach. He has reached the AFC Championship Game twice and the Super Bowl once, the 23-16 loss to the St Louis Rams at the end of the 1999 campaign. I think most owners would be happy with the 141-116 record that Fisher has amassed in Houston/Tennessee. I also think that Bud Adams wants a Super Bowl victory and I think he wants it now.
“I believe we have the wherewithal to get it done. It’s going to be up to Coach Fisher to get the job done,’’ said Adams in April. If it’s up to Coach Fisher to get the job done, what happens if the job doesn’t get done? Would Adams consider firing Jeff Fisher at some point?
I really don’t know what the old man might do. I do know that firing Fisher at any point would be a huge mistake. I believe anyone can be successful in the short-term but long-term success is harder to come by. Yes, I realize that Fisher has not won a Super Bowl. If winning a Super Bowl is the barometer for NFL coaching success then a lot of NFL coaches are in a lot of trouble.
The 2010 Titans look like they will be an above-average team. I see them finishing 9-7, making the playoffs, and winning at least one playoff game. It Adams fires Fisher this year it will be a huge mistake and will take a few years for the Titans to recover. If Fisher goes I think you lose almost your entire coaching staff. Then you have a new coach come in, a new system, etc. No thanks, I say we stick with Fisher and try to avoid losing players like Albert Haynesworth and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
If the defense can improve, Vince Young can mature, and Chris Johnson can sort out his contract I think this team is definitely playoff caliber. While I think it is possible this team could get deep into the playoffs I think it is unrealistic for Adams to expect it. What do you think? Will Adams fire Fisher? Will the Titans make the playoffs?
Authors Note: I am referring to the Haynesworth we had a few years ago, not the lazy guy the Redskins have. If we could have kept him I like to think we would have kept him in shape but maybe I am dreaming.