The Tennessee Titans are one of the worst organizations in professional sports, and I’ll give you five reasons why they haven’t been a successful franchise.Warning, this may get rough, but being a lifelong Oilers/Titans fan I’m coming from the heart. Extreme Warning, this is just an honest opinion from someone who has watched this team and organization for almost 30 years.
1.) Weak Ownership- Bud Adams has long been known as one of the more aloof owners in the NFL. He does things his way and doesn’t care what people think about him. For that I respect him. As an owner, I completely disagree with how he runs the Titans. Bud is a hands off owner who allows his F.O. to make almost every decision regarding the day-to-day operations of the team. I would have no problem with this but it simply doesn’t work, and it hasn’t worked. Bud does seem to swoop in and override team personnel on occasion and does his best Al Davis impersonation when he finds a player that he likes and wants (Vince Young, Peyton Manning). The career record of the team is 400-415-6 which is below .500 but obviously good enough for Bud. For someone who is 89 years old and has said that he wants a Super Bowl before he dies, he has done little to change the way the team is run.
2.) Weak Front Office- While I think the Titans F.O. consisting of V.P. Mike Reinfeldt, G.M. Ruston Webster, and V.P. of Player Personnel Lake Dawson are very competent men I have more than a few problems with the strategy they use to try and make the team better.Drafting players for the Titans has been a strength for a number of years and there is no way I can fault the current regime for how the current roster of drafted players looks. The main problem I have with the F.O. is the philosophy that they use to manage the roster year in and year out. The drafting and developing of players is a real strength but it is minimized greatly when these players that we drafted hit the open market and leave via free agency. The F.O. has repeatedly talked about how this is the Titans strategy. They have chosen to repeatedly use a strategy that has produced a mediocre football team.
3.) No Identity- For most of Jeff Fisher’s tenure it was perceived by many that when you played the Titans you better get ready for a dog fight. You may win but his teams were going to bludgeon you in the process. That wasn’t always the case with Fish, but more often than not it was. When Fish left so did that perception. Being able to have a philosophy that stays with a team even though a coach leaves always makes the transition easier on the franchise.
I know the Titans are supposedly transitioning to a more pass oriented team and that’s fine, but are they going to stick with that if Munch is fired this off-season? If Gray is fired are they going to stick with the 4-3, cover 2 based scheme they are running now? This is extremely important because certain players fit certain schemes better than others. It could set the Titans back another few years if they decide to switch philosophies in the off-season.
4.) Constantly Rebuilding- I understand the F.O. not wanting to overpay for soon to be free agents on the roster, but how about identifying a good player and signing them the year before their contract is due so that way they are cheaper than if they were to hit the market. Why not try it? What could it hurt?
Drafting well, developing players, and then watching these players leave via free agency has led to consistent holes in the roster. These holes are not getting filled by players that are as talented as the players that left. This leads to a tremendous drop off in talent which in turns leads to a weaker team with constant holes to fill.
5.) Mediocrity is Accepted- As I stated above in the article, this is a franchise that has a sub .500 record. This is an organization that leaves $20 mil in cap space on the table heading into the season because they think they are all set on the roster when its obvious to everyone that there were still many places for upgrades.
After watching this organization for close to 30 years there have only been three very good periods of Oilers/Titans football. The late 70′s with Luv ya Blue, the late 80′s/ early 90′s run n shoot era, and of course the late 90′s/ early 2000′s with McNair and Eddie. I reference these periods because I remember them vividly (except the Luv ya Blue era, I remember but I was a wee lad) and I’ve seen Bud invest in his team at these times. Unfortunately, it seems more often than not that Bud is fine as long as the stadium is full, he’s putting out a decent product, and he’s making some cash.
Whatever the recipe for success is, it is clear that this organization hasn’t found it. So instead of doing exactly what you’ve always done why don’t they just try something different? What can it hurt? Surely they’re not worried about having a losing season.
What say you?
You can follow me on twitter @RS1Eagle