Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Questions about the Titans

One of the posters over at Music City Miracles had a set of 10 questions about the Titans that makes a good way to lie out some of what I believe about the 2007 Titans. Questions are in italics, and my responses are in plain text.

1. What are your expectations for Vince this year?
Little, primarily because of the supporting cast. I expect him to play overall about as well as he did last year, only without as many late game heroics--the Titans "deserved" to win about 6 games last year, and I don't think it's unrealistic to see 6 as reasonable and expected this year. This wouldn't necessarily reflect badly on Vince. I'm not really concerned about stats, but more about my subjective impression of his ability.

2. At this point, are you confident with the White-Brown-Henry trio this year at RB?
I have almost no confidence in any of them. I don't like any of them, and don't expect any of them to be above replacement-level. I appreciate why they signed Brown, and believe he was about the best fit for what they wanted-he knows the offense and can pass block. We should be concerned about all of them-I hated the Henry pick and the White picks, and believe the P(bust) for each was huge. And White hasn't shown me anything to lower it.

3. Did we upgrade the WR position over the offseason?
No-it got worse. I have perhaps even less confidence in the WRs than I do in the RBs. Jones is the WR I believe most likely to be good, and maybe the only competent one. The Moulds signing proves to me the Titans will be running the ball as much as possible-he doesn't scare anybody as a WR, but will be a professional and a willing blocker, like Jones was last year.

4. Do you agree with moving (and keeping) Griffin at CB?
No. I don't understand why you draft a player at a position of need, then move him to a position of slightly lesser need. I don't expect Griffin to be much above average as a CB this year or in 2008. That's a little bit of a wasted pick to me.

5. In your opinion, what is the strength of our O-Line?
Before the preseason, I would have said run blocking, since I thought they did a good job giving Travis Henry places to run the latter half of last season. After seeing a pretty dismal performance in the running game the first two preseason games, my new answer is that there are some good young players we can reasonably expect to improve.

6. How much will losing Pacman hurt the Titans in the return game (and field position) and how will it affect our record?
Killer. Pacman was perhaps the single best return man in the NFL, and I include Devin Hester in that statement. It's a decent sized loss, and will be felt worse in close games.

7. What player or a storyline will come out of virtually nowhere and grab major attention in Titan-land?
I have no good answer for this question. I suspect perhaps the DL, either Tony Brown or Rien Long performing better than expected.

8. Can we sweep the Colts this year?
Sure, why not? I mean, I didn't think we stood a chance in Week 5, and that was a 1 point loss. I don't place that much weight in these two games, or at least more than in any two other games, with slight bonuses for conference and divisional games, since those are tiebreakers.

9. What do you think of Norm Chow's offense?
His grade depends more on how Vince develops than on the rest of the team, simply because the other "skill position" players are so bad. The Titans have been among the 5 worst teams in the league at RB and WR for all 3 years now of Chow's term as OC. GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out.

10. How worried (if any) are you about Fisher getting a contract extension this year?
If there's not a contract extension in place at the start of the year, and I don't expect there to be, then I believe this will be Fisher's last year as head coach of the Titans. My reading of the tea leaves is that there's a very real possibility Fisher's coaching for his Titans future this year, and that because of that he'd rather go somewhere else when his contract runs out.

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