Heading into last year’s draft, the Tennessee Titans were perceived as a nameless, faceless franchise. A rudderless ship with no clear leadership, no clear talent, and worst of all…no clear direction as to who or what they wanted to be.
As this year’s draft approaches, no one in the local or national media is making those claims against the Titans, even though they were one of the worst teams in the league last season.
So, what has changed that perception?
Yes, the former Oregon Duck had a fantastic rookie campaign, and did it with just one offensive weapon in Delanie Walker. But it was the ripple effect of his arrival that sparked the massive overhaul that we’ve recently witnessed.
For starters, the coaching change…
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It didn’t take long for ownership to realize that their prized possession qb was taking too many hits in coach Whisenhunt’s system.
He was fired before the weather turned cold.
And for the icing on the cake, ownership fired general manager Ruston Webster too.
As a result, the Titans now have a head coach that will build his offense around his personnel, instead of stubbornly doing it the other way around.
The Titans also have a new general manager in Jon Robinson, and all he’s done so far is knock it out of the park with his aggressive offseason approach.
And speaking of offseason approach, Jon Robinson should thank Mariota in part for his own successful rookie start.
There’s no doubt that Mariota’s rookie season helped Tennessee land a running back like DeMarco Murray. A player in his prime with other options to explore. The same goes for wide receiver Rishard Matthews, who signed with the Titans when the Patriots were in hot pursuit.
There’s no way that either signs with Zach Mettenberger under center.
Both Murray and Matthews have already reached out to Mariota, looking to schedule some offseason workouts.
In twelve short months, the Tennessee Titans went from a nameless, faceless franchise, to a team that’s adding weapons around their franchise qb. All while losing 13 games last season, and owning the number one pick in the upcoming draft.
Perception is a funny thing.
What a difference a year makes for Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans.