Time to show some love for the Titans’ OC Arthur Smith
By Brady Akins
Playing Elite Offense
NFL fans can be an impatient bunch, we want immediate results. It’s in our nature to look over at the Rams and see the offense Sean McVay was able to build practically overnight and say “hey why can’t we just do that over here?” But for Arthur Smith, a first-time offensive coordinator, and first-time play-caller, the job came with some clearly visible growing pains.
But when Smith figured it out, and the offense began to click, the Titans looked truly unbeatable on that side of the ball– for the first time since 2003. Ryan Tannehill came in and took over the job of starting quarterback seamlessly, putting up some league-leading numbers along the way. AJ Brown began playing at a superstar level and broke the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie. And Derrick Henry, well, Henry earned the title of ‘King’.
It wasn’t just the Titans big three playing at a high level, either. From Week Seven onward, everyone began playing at a higher level. The offensive line turned into one of the best groups in the league by season’s end, Jonnu Smith and the tight end group started to emerge even without Delanie Walker— and Smith’s offense took shape and turned into the unit we all hoped for.
The offense broke the 350-yard mark eight times in the final ten weeks of the season, the 30-point mark six times, and won seven of their final ten games in large part due to their offense. What Arthur Smith wanted his group to be was working better than anyone could have imagined after that early-season stretch. The play-action passing game was deadly, Derrick Henry was controlling games on the ground, and nobody had an answer.
And here’s the craziest part, the Titans could do it again in 2020– this time for a full 16-game schedule. Ryan Tannehill is back. Derrick Henry is back. And most importantly, Arthur Smith and his vision for the offense are back. And with the growing pains of 2019, a thing of the past, Smith and the Tennessee offense should be set to control games and roll through defenses once again.