Raise your hand if you think the Tennessee Titans are going to be non-players this offseason? (Don’t actually raise your hand. I can’t see you and if you are in public, people around you will probably avoid you for a while after your weird hand-raising episode.) Perhaps I should explain what I mean by “non-players” before you decide if you agree with me. I’m not saying that the Titans will not sign any free agents or make any roster moves. I simply mean, that the Titans will do what they usually do: They will target less expensive options and try to fill out the roster with serviceable players. They will not go after any “big name” free agents or make any significant changes to the roster. Now, are you still raising your hand?
Chances are, if you have followed this team for some time, you realize that the Titans rarely, if ever, pursue the expensive free agents. Most of the time that works in their favor. This franchise has been moderately successful in the past 10 years. They have made the playoffs more than many teams, and have put together some very good teams by being careful and conservative with their spending. (I don’t mean to imply that the Titans are cheap. They aren’t. They spend money, but they don’t go crazy like some teams do.) Unfortunately, Titans’ fans are getting tired of moderately successful. I know I am. So, in that spirit, I would like to propose 5 things that the Titans should do if they want to prove to this fan-base that they are serious about winning. (The following 5 items are in no order of importance.)
- Never speak to Jake Scott again. Too harsh? Perhaps, but sometimes it makes more sense to just dispense with all the pleasantries and say what we really think. Jake Scott has been awful the past few seasons. He might not be the worst on that line, but he is too old and too bad to be given a new contract now that he is a free agent. Let him walk, or walk him out the door
- Move Eugene Amano back to guard and find a new center either in free agency or in the draft. Amano just doesn’t have the power and the nasty to play center in the NFL. Find someone who does and put Amano back where he had success a few years ago.
- Target one big name player in free agency and do everything in your power to sign him. I don’t really care who that is, as long as it is someone that can help this team immediately. To be honest, I would love to see the Titans go after a pass rushing defensive end. Mario Williams would look really good in two-tone blue. You fix that one issue and the whole defense gets better. The Titans are going to let Cortland Finnegan walk, so if they want to make the fans happy after losing such a popular player, they need to do something that will make that loss a lot less painful.
- Let Jake Locker and Matt Hasselbeck fight it out all offseason for the starting Quarterback spot. Don’t tell the fans that this is the plan, but deep down always plan on going with the veteran Hasselbeck. Give Locker a legitimate shot at winning the starting role, and if he does in fact win it, then go with him. He might not have the experience that Hasselbeck does, but he can do things that Hasselbeck can only dream of doing at this point in his career.
- Make this draft count. I know that sounds obvious, but sometimes teams can get too comfortable. The Titans have to be feeling pretty good about where the team is right now. They did a great job drafting last year, with a bunch of rookies playing big time minutes and contributing all over the field. They have their QB of the future on the roster right now and they know the sky is the limit with him. They have a franchise running back in Chris Johnson, if he can get back to his 2009-2010 form. They have an all-pro talent at wide receiver in Kenny Britt, if he can come back healthy from his knee injury. They have two of the best offensive tackles in the game in Roos and Stewart. The team is primed for success; they just need a few more pieces to put it over the top. Sometimes, when teams are in this position, management can take a few chances in the draft. Don’t do it Titans. Stick with your program. Draft smart. Draft based on production, not on workout numbers. If they can put together a draft like last year, this team will be built for long-term success.
Simple enough, right? The division is ripe for the taking, now that Peyton Manning is on his way out. And no one truly believes that the Texans are going to be good every year…it’s the Texans after all. It is the right time for the Titans to make their move and become the power of the AFC South. Munchak, Reinfeldt, and Webster, my hand is raised. Prove me wrong.