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Tennessee Titans: Five Reasons Why The Titans Are Not Successful

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?


Shawn Eagle

You can follow me on twitter @RS1Eagle


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Tags: Bud Adams Tennessee Titans

  • josh gunnels

    I think they do sign quality guys before their last year. Roos and Stewart were two recent ones. And how many amazing guys have we developed that we let walk? I can’t speak to the oiler days, but the overall record as the titans is pretty good.

    • Justin Stewart

      Roos was drafted by the Titans in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft.

      • josh gunnels

        yes, but didn’t they extend him before his original contract expired?

        • Justin Stewart

          Ahhhh…. I didn’t read “before their last year.”

          This is what I get for always being in a hurry.

  • Shawn Eagle

    They have signed a few quality guys. The problem is there is very little retention of players. If you re-sign a player who has a year left on his contract he is dramatically cheaper then if you would re-sign him once he hits free agency. By letting so many guys walk….you constantly have to replenish those roster spots which in turn creates a constant rebuilding phase for the organization. My main point is not about letting amazing guys walk, but letting solid starters leave and having to fill that position with a rookie or second year player that may or may not develop. This creates a weakness at a position.

    The Titans since moving are 135-105 since moving with 6 playoff appearances. Of those appearance there have been 5 total playoff wins. 3 of those wins came during super bowl run. So there have been 2 more playoff wins, none since 2003. So we have 9 year lull in between playoff wins.

    Sorry, but that’s not very impressive in my book.

    Players we’ve let go of…….this could take days…Steve McNair(remember when we locked him out of team facilities….we’re the only team that’s ever done that…awesome), Jevon Kearse, Samari Rolle, Derrick Mason, Denard Walker, Al Haynesworth, Jason Jones, Antwan Odom, Bo Scaife, KVB, Cary Williams, That’s just to name a few.

    • Modesto Koczwara

      Yes, does that fall in the lap of Bud Adams though? I would assume it would because he is the owner of the Tennessee Titans, but I agree it is beyond foolish!

      • Shawn Eagle

        Difficult….the day-to-day he really has nothing to with, but he allows this to be the business structure….a business structure that is average at BEST.

        • Modesto Koczwara

          He is still the head of the organization, so he has to have somewhat of a say!

          • Shawn Eagle

            Oh he definitely has to sign off on everything. My biggest complaint is that the business model hasn’t worked….so why keep doing it? Why keep doing the same thing if its not working? Like I said… long as Bud is making money…he can still be pretty happy

          • Justin Stewart

            Haynseworth and Scaife weren’t bad releases. The rest I can agree on.

          • Shawn Eagle

            Haynesworth only looks like a good release because of what he did for the Skins…nothing. But what happened when he left? We have been trying for 4 years to beef up our D line.

          • Modesto Koczwara

            I find it funny Haynesworth stopped playing when Jeff Fisher was not coaching him, so that means Jeff Fisher did something right! He probably basically told Haynesworth if he does not do his job then he can be replaced in a heartbeat.

          • Modesto Koczwara

            Exactly and once you reach as high as Bud Adams did or any owner your drive goes away sadly.

    • josh gunnels

      i agree whole heartedly on mcnair. tat’s the worst decision ever by any franchise. the whole VY saga probably would have turned out differently if he could have just watched McNair do it for one year.

      Other than rolle, mason, and the others that were part of the ” great purge” i think the front office has made the right decisions for the most part on their free agents.
      I think the bigger problem is how long it takes the titans to develope the players. other franchises let “solid starters” walk for huge money and let someone else overpay for average to above average peformance. the difference is the guy that they have fill in the spot is ready to go.
      instead we spend years dealing with issues and eeveloping players at a snails pace so by the time they are actually half way good they’ve got one good year and their contract is up. I.E. Bo Scaife, Antwan Odom, Jason Jones.

      • Shawn Eagle

        That is true. Which in turn just leaves another void and another hole to fill once the draft and free agency come along. I know that its impossible to hold on to all of your players but they could be better about the ones they let walk.

        • josh gunnels

          let’s see how this new regime does. i think you’ve got to give them a little time. webster and company are off to a good start.

          I really think our current issues come from bad timing by Bud on the coaching hires/fires leaving us with our current coordinator situation.

          • Shawn Eagle

            They are doing a good job drafting. Let’s see if they can build and keep it movin in the right direction