Tennessee Titans: New Years Wish List
By Sean Maczko
Sep 22, 2013; Nashville, TN, USA; San Diego Chargers kicker Nick Novak (9) and holder Mike Scifres (5) dive for the ball after a blocked field goal against Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner (20) and safety Bernard Pollard (31) during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Everywhere around the NFL is known as “Black Monday”, a dreadful day for all underachieving NFL coaching staffs. I am native to the Akron/Cleveland, OH area and unfortunately, Rob Chudzinski didn’t even make it to Monday to hear his fate going forward with Cleveland Browns. While that is a completely different story in its own right, as of early Monday morning Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins and Leslie Frazier of the Minnesota Vikings have already been “relieved” of their coaching duties.
Let’s turn our attention to our beloved Tennessee Titans. As of 10AM Monday morning, head coach Mike Munchak appears to be safe . In the midst of our mid-to-late season free fall, many fans were calling for coaching changes in Nashville. I have had mixed feelings on the matter. I felt Munchak’s fate was sealed when we had clear control over our playoff destiny and we squandered it. However, he closed out the final two games of the season against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans, respectively, to end the season on a positive note.
The wins against the Jaguars and Texans were nothing special aside from the fact it kept the Titans from going 0-6 in the AFC South division.
New CEO/President Tommy Smith was already quoted as having a troubling time with what his decision on Munchak would be.
Dare I say this, Munchak should be spared. He should be given ONE more year. We started the season 3-1 before the disastrous Jake Locker injury. Spirits were high. We were one play away from being 4-0 in those first four weeks of the season. However, losing has a horn-effect, where the losing outweighs the winning.
I refuse to live in a world of should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, but I feel that this article would be irrelevant if Locker were to stay healthy. Locker was looking very poised in the beginning of the year and it looked like things were finally start to click for him. I am not a fan of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, not even the slightest, but it seems some sort of connection was made early in the season.
Since it’s the season for wishes with it being nearly the “New Year” here is my proposed Tennessee Titans themed resolutions:
- Re-sign safety Bernard Pollard and cornerback Alterraun Verner
- Pollard brought veteran leadership and an instant impact to our secondary and overall defense. He played an important role in the Baltimore Ravens championship run. You really can’t put a price tag on what he brings to the table. Verner, on the other hand, is a must re-sign because he is still an up-and-coming defensive back. He was the only player from the Titans to be named to Pro Bowl this year. When we didn’t re-sign Cortland Finnegan I was frustrated, and the fact we fortunate enough to have Verner step up was a blessing.
- Retain running back Chris Johnson
- He has already made the bulk of his $50+ million contract. He has two seasons left. Let him play it out. He is without a doubt, still one of the NFL’s biggest playmakers. All it takes is one hole for him to take it to the house. His playmaking ability is definitely better than his numbers show. As we saw in the final game of the season against the Texans, when he is the focal point of the offense, he can certainly do damage.
- Keep Jake Locker
- Don’t kick a man when he’s down. I feel that we should bring in another quarterback that can compete with Locker for the starting job, but don’t feel he should be released due to a string of bad luck. I love that he is athletic enough to be mobile, but he doesn’t protect himself and injuries occur. He needs to take a page out of Seahawks QB Russell Wilson’s playbook, and that is to slide or run out of bounds when in danger.
- Give Munchak ONE more year
- I don’t see a head coach out there really worth the upgrade. He should also be spared due to the Locker injury. As stated earlier I highly doubt we would be having this conversation if Locker remained healthy for the season. Aside from Lovie Smith, there is no HC that is really worth the growing pains of new coaches, coordinators, and staff. Give the man who has 30-plus years with ties to the organization the benefit of the doubt.
- Make Gregg Williams defensive coordinator with full control of defense
- His impact could be seen without a doubt. He had more of an impact on this defense than just a voice, despite what the team says. The only catch to this promotion for Williams is, “Did Jerry Gray really do anything to lose the job?”
- Dowell Loggains must go
- This is the one person I feel should really be on the chopping block. He deviated away from making Chris Johnson the focal point of the offense. In regards to CJ, Tommy Smith was quoted as saying “he has done everything we’ve asked of him.” The reason all this talk is surrounding CJ about not being worth $8M this upcoming season is because he hasn’t been the focal point of the offense. CJ has the ability and where with all to be the focal point just like LeSean McCoy is for the Philadelphia Eagles and how Jamaal Charles is for the Kansas City Chiefs.
There are more upgrades I would like to see such as improved linebackers and a more aggressive defensive end, but honestly, are we going to accomplish all of this? We must all understand and remember that football is a business, but it also comes with a very dedicated fan base. As a member of that fan base, I hope my opinion matters. Sometimes the best criticism and suggestions don’t come from the millionaires who run the organization, but the people that are filling the seats every Sunday.
Until next time my fellow Titans Nation members…Happy New Year!