So often, what the fan base wants and what the coaches seem to prioritize are two different things. From the draft day boos (though part of that is the mere fact that the Draft takes place in New York; If you disagree ask Mario Williams) to the repeated cries of, “Are You Serious” from every single armchair GM in the world, nothing can galvanize a group of sports fans like a big free agent signing or first round draft pick. Or a lack thereof. So far this off-season, the pipers tune has seemed to play stronger for no other position than Defensive End, and it looks like this may be one of the rare occasions where the desires of the fans happen to match those of their more highly paid counterparts.
If you haven’t been keeping up on the word around town, I’ve brought some clips from various sources that all seem to point in one very specific direction.
"“A special player like, say, when the Titans drafted Jevon Kearse. He was a special player. He changed things. When I was in Tampa Bay, we had Simeon Rice and Warren Sapp; they made everybody else around them better. Those types of special rushers really can affect your defense.”“… Really, probably outside of quarterback, the one position that’s the toughest to build, and the one position where you have to be really strong in order to win consistently, is up front on the defensive line and the offensive line.”“I don’t really want to overpay for anybody, but the one position probably that can happen with the most is pass-rushing defensive linemen.” – Ruston Webster courtesy of Jim Wyatt"
I’ve heard through the grapevine that the Front Office really likes Couples, but doesn’t feel like he is going to last until pick 20. Also bear in mind that this is an organization that is very conservative when it comes to player acquisitions and trades, so don’t expect any Thomas Dimitroff type ish here.
"“Ruston Webster says DL in the draft is good, but only a handful of special rushers at any time” – Paul Kuharsky via Twitter"
The one thing that stands out to me is that Webster, throughout the off-season, has referred to acquiring “that guy” on the defensive line. They have been very diplomatic about Morgan, and I truly believe they expect him to develop into something of an anchor on the line, but it’s clear that they view him as a “Mr. Dependable” sort of player, and acknowledge that we need a guy to get after the QB and force bad throws.
"“Munchak says #Titans have to do best for team whether it is paying a lot to keep players or add free agents”“Munchak said #Titans are looking for someone who can change a game on defense and make a play to win the game”“Munchak says defensive (sic) is definitely a # Titans need and needs a mix of young guys and vets on d-line”“Webster says #Titans want a leader in every room and finding those guys can be difficult” – TitansInsider via Twitter"
To be honest, I’m starting to feel rather excited about the Munchak era. He definitely seems to be providing a certain vitality and sense of urgency to the Front Office that has them getting excited over bringing in play-makers. For as much as I loved Fisher, he was the type to stand pat with what he had, making for rather lackluster off-seasons. The organization as a whole, especially Munchak and Webster, seem genuinely excited about the state of affairs moving into next season. Something I think the fan base can agree with them on this time.
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