On the heels of a disastrous 2-14 season, Titans General Manager Ruston Webster, and Head Coach, Ken Whisenhunt are on the hot-seat to show fans some vast improvement in 2015, or it could well be their last in Music City.
I’m a firm believer that drastic improvement in the defense this year, with some modest changes to the offense will net eight wins in 2015, and I would consider that as a success that I think everyone could live with.
I think eight wins would be enough to keep the wolves away from the door, and give the coaching staff an opportunity to repair the offense in 2016, making a playoff run.
If that’s not the game plan, we are more than likely in for more years of the “Same old S___!
The Titans made the first positive move to get the defensive side of the house in order earlier this month, when they hired Defensive Assistant Head Coach, Dick LeBeau. The next step is getting LeBeau, and Defensive Coordinator, Ray Horton some talented toys they can play with.
How they approach the Free Agency period, and the 2015 NFL Draft is key to getting the players that can execute the newly installed 3-4 scheme which Horton installed at the beginning of the 2014 campaign.
The Titans obviously didn’t have the right players in the right places in 2014, because the defense could not get off the field.
There are a couple of approaches the Titans could take, using both, free agency and the draft to get the defense in order, and how they accomplish that task could be very interesting.
The two strategies I see for getting this monumental job done are:
- Pick up enough pieces in free agency where they can stack the box, and provide a pass rush, while being able to stop the run. This option would free-up the second pick on draft day, and let the Titans look at some of the trade offers that will, for sure come from teams looking to move up and get a franchise quarterback.
- Fill some needs in free agency, knowing they will take DE Leonard Williams from the University of Southern California with the second pick. Williams has the potential to be the defensive cornerstone on this defense for a decade.
Option two, is obviously the safer road, and let me be the first to say, it’s a great option. After watching Williams at the NFL Scouting Combine( and because of snow in my area, I watched more coverage than I wanted to this past weekend) I was impressed with his performance during all the drills.
The Tennessee Titans, and their fans need to think well outside of the box with option one. Having a projected salary caps space of $44.3 million when they hit free agency, it all comes down to how far out of the box they want to play, and how far will team owners want to open their wallet.
If they can’t get him re-signed in Detroit, Ndamukong Suh will be available during free agency, and because the Titans have their salary cap in order, they can afford him.
Like Florida State Quarterback, Jameis Winston, Suh comes with some excess baggage, and presents some risk, but he is a proven warrior that could make Titans fans quickly forget about Leonard Williams.
If the Titans were to re-sign Defensive Tackle, Karl Klug in the process, they could have one of the more impressive D-lines in the NFL.
Klug is a fan favorite at LP Field who has had flashes in the past, and by giving him some help like Suh, could prove to be a combination that could stop both the run, as well as provide a much-needed pass rush.
With only 14.5 sacks in his four-year career wearing Titan Blue, Klug could provide the run support while Ndamukong Suh gets after the quarterback. That’s what he does!
The Oakland Raiders are very interested in Ndamukong Suh, but the Titans have the cap space to make a legitimate run at the leagues best defensive player.
Williams was drafted by Ken Whisenhunt in 2010 while he was the Head Coach in Arizona. Defensive Coordinator, Ray Horton worked with Dan Williams during his two years in Phoenix.