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After taking six months to mourn the loss in Foxborough, I am back! All two of my readers must be filled with tremendous excitement.
I find myself in a new world. Mike Mularkey is gone, DeMarco Murray retired, and the Titans have new uniforms. Are they even two tone blue anymore? I honestly do not know. But I am not going to change the name. That would require altering the word press site and doing other things that I just don’t care to mess with. Anyway, I’ll reflect on our wild offseason and offer premium content.
Last year, I was a sharp critic to Mularkey. I never liked the hire and wanted him gone for nearly the majority of his time as head coach. In 2016, I was wrong, but in 2017, the offense was a train wreck and the most of what they were doing appeared insane. For instance, in the Arizona game, putting a rooking cornerback at wide receiver for the most pivotal play of the game was absolutely bananas. However, despite the issues, after the Kansas City game I did not know what I wanted. Before the game, I thought if they simply got blown out, they would just fire Mularkey and we would move on. But after the comeback I kind of wanted to keep him. We had not see playoff success since 2003 and I was filled with more emotions than I could handle.
The New England game would quickly dissolve my warm feelings. I did not go into that game with delusions of grander or even thinking that they would win. However, the game plan was pathetic. New England’s secondary was suspect last year, and they made no attempt to spread the ball around and exploit that. It was basically a flashback to every game of season. No coherent plan, no adjustment, and pure stubbornness. It was a Mularkey special. Not to mention, it felt that once Jack Conklin went down the coaches and the team quit.
Of course the most infamous press conference in Titans history took place a few days later. Mularkey did his best Baghdad Bob impression shouting that all was well with his broken offense. Upon watching that disturbing display of stupidity I slipped into a deep depression. I saw a world with a significantly stronger AFC South. It featured a fully healthy Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck. Both along with Jacksonville would be in the playoff hunt, while my Titans would continue to run a 1970s offense and struggle mighty against the elevated competition. I thank our savior, Jon Robinson for seeing this too, and making the right move.
I was pretty exited once Mularkey was ousted. However, I never want to cheer for someone losing their job, but Mularkey is a millionaire, so he’ll get over it.
The hiring process for a new coach was quicker than I anticipated. It seems that there is a decent chance that they wanted Vrabel the entire time. I was surprised when he got the job, and I will admit that I have some trepidation. He has such a minuscule amount of experience, that I am not sure what to expect. However, I trust J-Rob. I definitely think that the staff looks good. Dean Pees and Matt LaFleur are great hires. I am specifically exited about LaFleur. He’s probably the best offensive coordinator that the Titans have had since Mike Heimerdinger. Thus, he’s a far cry from the likes of Terry Robiskie and Chris Palmer. (Seriously have they ever run a modern offense?)
I have been impressed with Vrabel demeanor. He comes across as intelligent and collected. I thought that he would be more of a meathead, but he appears quite the contrary. I am cautiously optimistic.
A coach is nothing without talent, so I’ll do a quick rundown of the draft and free agency. The addition of Malcolm Butler was a pleasant surprise. Typically my expectations for free agency are small. The years of seeing the Titans do very little have conditioned me not to anticipate much. However, I tend to forget that we are in the J-Rob era and he’s a GM that’s not afraid to make a move and this year certainly showed that. I absolutely love the Butler and Dion Lewis signings. I think Butler is a potential lockdown corner who could elevate the secondary to perhaps one of the best in the league, while Lewis provides them with another dynamic offensive playmaker who combined with Derrick Henry could make the Titans rushing attack quite potent.
I hate to make this the sunshine and rainbows blog, but I was also a fan of the draft. I am a believer in the philosophy of drafting defense early and often and the Titans did just that. The addition of Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry will obviously enhance the defense. I think that Evans is a guy they can move around a lot and do some interesting things with. As for Landry, I am excited to see him added to the pass rush. I expect HONOR (this joke is already done to death) to make some big plays this year.
As for the rest of the draft, there is not much to say. I thought that Dane Cruikshank looked good in the two minute youtube video that I saw of him and as for Luke Falk, I always love getting a developmental quarterback. It’s like playing the lottery. Most of them end up Mettenberger, but once a generation you get a Brady. My only real criticism of the draft class would be that it was a relatively small one. But other than that, it looks fine.
That’s the entire off-season or at least the most important stuff (sorry Dodd). I am ecstatic for the season. I cannot wait to see what this team can do. I’ll talk more about the preseason in the next post. Until then, keep those thumbtacks flaming Titans fans!