Tennessee Titans: 5 Moves That Get Them Right Back into Contention for 2013
The fact is that the Titans have probably dug themselves too big of a hole to climb out of, and there's still a few extremely tough opponents left on the schedule.
Since that sort of a miracle is unlikely, there are still things that can be done to get the Titans into contention in the AFC for the 2013 season.
That means bringing in new talent and cutting ties with the others.
1. Address the Defense in the Draft
Johnthan Banks is considered a top prospect at cornerback.
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This defense has been historically bad in terms of giving up points, and a lot of that has to do with allowing quarterbacks to just chip away on the loose-zone coverage the Titans bring.
Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray has shown very little confidence in his cornerbacks with his zone defense that has guys playing way off the receivers.
If Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty are really that bad in the eyes of Gray, then the Titans need to go get a lockdown cornerback in this draft.
There will be plenty of solid prospects to choose from at cornerback, and Johnthan Banks out of Mississippi State is one the Titans should keep an eye on.
Of course, the defensive line still remains an area that needs improvement, and that also needs to be focused on hard in the draft.
In today's pass-happy NFL, you have to be able to get consistent pressure on the quarterback.
Derrick Morgan is slowly coming along, but a big defensive tackle to anchor down the middle of the field is something the Titans really need heading into 2013.
2. Relieve Chris Palmer of His Duties
It's been made painfully clear this season that offensive coordinator Chris Palmer just doesn't have what it takes to be a successful coordinator in the NFL.
There was a reason why Palmer was a coordinator in the UFL before being hired by Mike Munchak.
Many of the players have been speculated to not be buying into Palmer's offensive system, and that's a bad thing when you're dealing with a ton of inexperience.
Jared Cook, who is extremely important to how good this Titans offense can become in the future, now wants a trade due to his frustrations on where he stands in Palmer's offensive scheme.
Jake Locker has all the tools to be a star in the league, but he needs an offensive coordinator who can maximize his talents along with the talent around him.
Perhaps this latest outburst against the Dolphins will help Palmer's case a bit, but I wouldn't bet that Palmer makes it to 2013. If he does, then this team will continue to be average at best.
3. Make a Few Splashes in Free Agency
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Owner Bud Adams can play the blame game all he wants, but he's not innocent in this whole ordeal that came out of the embarrassing loss to the Chicago Bears.
Adams has to start spending some money in free agency if Tennessee is ever going to make another trip to the Super Bowl.
The Titans have plenty of money to spend on a big free agent, and making a run at a defensive tackle would be a smart move for this defense.
Randy Starks could be an option to make a move for. Starks is a big reason why the Miami Dolphins have had such a solid rush defense recently.
For the Titans secondary to start improving, their defensive line has to get better. Putting Starks back in a Titans uniform would solidify this defensive line.
Israel Idonije of the Chicago Bears is another possible option for the Titans to look at.
In way or another, Adams has to start spending some money if he wants to avoid having to leave another game at halftime.
4. Work Jared Cook More into the Offense
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It's still baffling at how much Jared Cook's talents have been wasted in games this season.
Cook has the athleticism to be one of the better tight ends in the NFL if he's used properly. The problem is that, most of the time, he's invisible in Chris Palmer's offense.
In only three games this season has Cook seen more than five targets in a game. It's not like he's surrounded with Pro Bowl receivers like you would see from the Green Bay Packers or the New Orleans Saints.
He should be the main weapon of choice on this offense, outside of Chris Johnson.
Perhaps that's why Cook now wants a trade.
Cook should be getting a ton of opportunities to make this offense as vertical as possible. If the Titans can figure out a way to start using him more effectively, their offense will begin to flourish heading into 2013.
5. Draft a Safety, Trade Michael Griffin
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With Chris Johnson breaking out of his slump over the past few weeks, Michael Griffin is now the biggest disappointment for the Titans this season.
He just hasn't shown the drive that you would want to see from a guy that's suppose to be the key veteran leader on defense.
However, Griffin should still have value on the trade market. The Titans still owe him a lot of money from his five-year deal that he signed this past offseason, but sometimes, you just have to cut your losses.
Griffin was signed to that deal under the hopes that he would anchor this young defense, but he's been far from that through these first 10 games.
His tackling has been the poorest you could ask for from an NFL player that is suppose to be of his caliber.
If the Titans can find a team to take over his contract, then they should jump all over it. Move on from Griffin, and go get a talented young safety in the draft.
Eric Reid out of LSU is a prospect that the Titans could go after in the first round if they choose to cut ties with Griffin.
It was great while it lasted, but Griffin has to go so this defense can begin to rebuild into a top defense once again.