(These results are from the 4/28 fan poll, “Super Bowl or Bust: What Are Your Expectations for 2013-14 Tennessee Titans?” Visit the poll here).
Restored faith in the Tennessee Titans fan base? Mission accomplished.
For the Titans, it has been an eventful offseason. Management knew that changes were required for a team that had just finished the previous season with a 6-10 record that included multiple blowout losses. Bud Adams put everyone on notice, demanding that this team return to its status as a playoff contender. Their last playoff appearance came in Jan. 2009.
The Titans got a head start on the competition when they restructured their coaching staff and signed safety George Wilson almost one full month before the 2013-14 NFL calendar year started. Between then and the 2013 NFL Draft, the Titans stocked their roster with a bunch of new players. Among those names were Andy Levitre and Chance Warmack, arguably the two best offensive guards that they could’ve acquired without trade.
Ready for the 2013-14 season? Management isn’t, not quite yet. Following the draft, the Titans have hosted OT Eric Winston, DE Israel Idonije and DE John Abraham. There’s no doubt that this team wants to add as much depth as possible in an attempt to create competition among the players.
Most fans are appreciative of these moves. As the poll indicates, only 27 of 175 respondents (15.43 percent) expect anything similar or worse to a sub-.500 season. 23 voters (13.14 percent) were confident that this team had built itself into a legitimate Super Bowl XLVIII contender.
This team has the talent to win an AFC South championship. With that said, they’ll have to answer a lot of questions before they reach that goal—and anything beyond that.
Can Mike Munchak and his staff keep players motivated so they avoid losses against 0-13 and 1-9 teams? With so many new players, how long will it take to develop chemistry? Likewise, can the Titans use that unfamiliarity to their advantage as an element of surprise against their early opponents? Is Jake Locker the answer at quarterback? Can he stay healthy?
Those are just some of the questions that this team will face. Even if the Titans reach the playoffs, how will a playoff-debuting Locker fare against Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Joe Flacco or any other AFC quarterback? Can this defense keep points to a minimum against those high-caliber of quarterbacks?
The talent is there. It’s up to the Tennessee Titans to coach them up and get it out.