Yesterday we talked about the importance of branding, whether it be in the retail environment or the NFL. We talked about the Tennessee Titans, and their lack of a brand…their lack of an identity. We also discussed how vitally important it is for Tennessee to not only show their fans that they are committed to winning, but that they also have a plan in place to accomplish just that.
Today, we provide some practical advise on how the Titans can improve…and form an identity.
All in this year’s draft.
First piece of advise? Take a page from the Indianapolis Colts.
Just a few short years ago the Colts were the worst team in the league. They finished the 2011 season 2-14. They were terrible on offense and defense, finishing 28th in the league in both points scored per game and points allowed per game.
The Colts did nothing well, and had nothing to hang their hat on…just like last year’s Titans.
The following draft they selected qb Andrew Luck 1st overall. But they didn’t stop there…and what they did next should be carefully heeded by Tennessee.
Indianapolis made a conscious decision to surround Luck with as many weapons as possible, selecting pass catching tight ends with their next two picks. They also added a wide receiver that year. The Colts, as bad as they were on defense the year prior, stayed the course and went almost exclusively offense in that draft. They essentially told their fans…
“Look…we know we have holes everywhere, but we’re going to give our franchise draftee the best possible chance to succeed right away. We’re going to try to outscore people to win until our defense can catch up.”
To say that the strategy worked would be an understatement. Indy made the playoffs that season with an 11-5 record.
Tennessee finds themselves in the exact same spot this year, having so many roster holes that it’s impossible to fix everything. So….do what the Colts did and fix one side of the ball this season.
And it doesn’t matter which one.
If the Titans decide that offense takes priority this year, and thinks that Marcus Mariota is their guy, then by all means draft him. But don’t stop there. Draft skill players the next two rounds that complement Mariota’s strengths.
Let them all grow together.
If, on the other hand, Mettenber is your guy then you select the best wide receiver in the draft with your number 2 pick. Recent history confirms that rookie wide receivers can make a huge impact right away.
Continue to add playmakers with your second and third pick. Load up on weapons. There will be a plethora of quality skill players at the top of the second and third rounds.
But if the Titans feel like their defense takes priority this offseason, then defensive lineman Leonard Williams is your slam dunk pick at number 2. If Leonard pans out the way he is projected to be, then Tennessee could be looking at something special when paired with fellow USC alum Jurrell Casey.
The Titans would boast one of the most dominate defensive fronts in the league. Maybe even good enough to spawn a nickname. Branding at it’s best.
But don’t stop there.
Resist the temptation to draft that running back, and find the fastest…toughest edge rusher on the board. If a quality cb falls into your lap…take him. Add him to the free agent pieces that you’ve already acquired.
Fans want to know what they are buying before they buy it. Movie trailers are popular for a reason. The Titans can come out of this year’s draft with something to sell to the fans.
I just hope it doesn’t come in a plain white box.