Another year is now over for the Tennessee Titans and it’s another year where we have failed to make the playoffs. The season was a roller coaster of emotions that included multiple injuries, devastating losses to bad teams, and a plethora of bad choices made by the Titans.
Now that the season is over and we move into the offseason it’s time to start looking at what the Titans do from here. The choices they make now will come back to play out next season and moving forward into next year. Earlier today, fellow Titan Sized Staff Writer Sean Maczko wrote up a little Titans Wish List of things he wants to see moving into the offseason. Titan Sized Editor Joshua Huffman also shared some of his points here. After reading them, I figured I would chime in with my Titans New Year’s Wish List and some of mine and his don’t match up. This is the life of a Titans fan where no one person has the same ideas, but all are relevant.
So without further ado, here is my Tennessee Titans New Year’s Wish List:
1) Parting ways with Mike Munchak:
The very first point and Maczko and I already disagree. Whether or not you think he deserves one more year, what you can’t deny is that Mike Munchak has been the definition of mediocrity and has done little to raise us out of the “we settle for .500” mentality. Settling for .500 doesn’t cut it anymore. Since when was 8-8, 9-7, 7-9, and 6-10 ok? I can tell you, it never has been and for some reason Titans personnel don’t see that. Munchak has no playoff appearances, one (sort of) winning season, and the rest of his miserable statistics can be found written very well by David Climer here.
The Titans and its fans deserve more, it has been far too long since we had consistency and a winning mentality and let’s be honest, it has been far too long since the Titans tasted the playoffs, let alone a playoff victory. For all of these reasons, and some I probably didn’t even describe, Munchak needs to be let go giving this Titans team a fresh start. His time is done and it’s time for Nashville and the Titans to move on.
This would also take care of any coordinators, as a new regime would replace all of them. Fine by me.
2) Parting ways with Chris Johnson:
Chris Johnson is the second highest paid running back in the league behind Adrian Peterson. Just let that sink in. A back whose production is much less consistent than other backs below him on that list. The question every Titans fan needs to ask themselves…Is Chris Johnson honestly worth 8 million next year?
Let me answer that for you: no.
CJ has long since been his former self and I don’t see any signs of him returning. Sure, there are other factors that can play into that, but in the end, he just isn’t a shred of his former self and his numbers are down way past what an $8 million back should be making. 1,000 yards is not worth that kind of money and we can get that out of another back for much less.
The only way I would be ok with him returning is if he took a pay cut, which he has already insisted he won’t do. If that’s the case, then so be it and so long. The Titans have a real opportunity to snag a quality running back out of the draft, not to mention free agency could offer some new potential as well. With a move that brings in a new back, we have a revitalized backfield and the chance of seeing some fresh faces around the organization.
No more excuses, “he can still be great”, or “maybe next game or next year” move on and let’s start again.
3) Resigning Bernard Pollard & Alterraun Verner
Bernard Pollard brought an attitude to this team that we have never seen. He is a force in the secondary and brings leadership to the defense. Sure, at times penalties can be a concern, but I will take them all day if he brings that kind of attitude and mentality every single week. He deserves another contract and he would be much needed leadership returning into next season.
Alterraun Verner also deserves a contract. The guy played himself into the Pro Bowl on an amazing season and deserves to be resigned by the team that took the plunge on him a few years ago. I am tired of seeing the Titans not pay players that perform to the extent we expect them to as starters. When we drafted Verner isn’t this what we wanted from him? I think so.
Pay the man and let him stay in the city where he started. He deserves it. Yes it may be expensive, but let’s retain a real playmaker in the league and take pride in calling him a Titan instead of letting him go somewhere else.
4) Trade down in the Draft and get a pick back:
This may be one of the points where Titans fans disagree with me, but I really think the Titans need to trade down on their first round pick and revive another pick in another round.
Let me explain…the Titans can find a team who wants to move up in the draft, I guarantee it. In return, take their later first round pick and snag another pick from a later round. With this move, the Titans retain their first round pick, only later, and snag another pick later in the draft.
What will this do you ask?
Well it gives the Titans the chance to do exactly what they need to do in the draft…bring in more depth. With more overall picks the more chances the Titans have to find players who call fill in with depth and maybe even become starters. Positions like linebacker, defensive end, safety, running back, tackle, and even quarterback are all things that need work. With an extra pick the Titans can help address one of these needs appropriately.
5) With the first pick in the NFL Draft the Tennessee Titans select:
Please, please, please let this say linebacker. I have been reading around that the Titans are being mocked a tackle in the first round and I really think this is the wrong move for the Titans. Yes offensive tackle is a need, but I really think our line backing core needs to be strengthened with our first overall pick.
There are some stud inside and outside linebackers in this year’s draft and I would love to see C.J. Mosley fall into the Titans lap. Now, I say a linebacker because I see it as the biggest position of need in my opinion. It was the weakest link in our defense this year and bringing in a stud in this year’s draft with our first pick could do wonders for our defense.
This is where point four that I made earlier applies. If we trade down, I still think a very talented linebacker is available to take and one who can step in immediately, play, and make a difference. Addressing an offensive tackle can be made in later rounds and adding another pick can help that as quality offensive linemen can be found later in the draft as well.
6) A Quarterback and a plan:
The Jake Locker situation is one that I still go back and forth on. I think Jake is great, but his lingering injury issues really scare me moving into next season. There is a part of me that thinks he deserves another year and a chance to prove himself, but if gets hurt again next season, then we are back in this same spot again and I would hate to see that.
Drafting a quarterback or signing one from free agency may be the option, but if so, do you draft one high and sacrifice taking away another positional pick on a quarterback who may not even be needed. It really is a debacle to say the least.
All of this won’t matter if a new regime comes in as I think Locker would be out the door right along with Munchak as they would want their own regime signal caller. All in all, the QB situation in Nashville is a tough one to really place and my wish is this…
Make the choice that the staff thinks is right and move from there. If Locker does return we know what he offers and he will have one year to prove he still has it. If not, then goodbye Locker, we no longer need your services, and it’ll then be time to start looking towards the draft for another quarterback.
This is my Titans New Year’s Wish List! Is there something I left off that needs to be added or do you disagree with me? Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or via Twitter @Titan_Sized or at my own personal account @NPitak.
Happy New Year’s Titans Fans and hopefully we can see a better 2014! Titan Up!