Tennessee Titans:"Hopefully, We Can Turn This Thing Around" Against Jaquars

Bryan Hollister@too_old_4stupidAnalyst IOctober 2, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 27:  Chris Johnson #28 of The Tennessee Titans in action against The New York Jetsduring their game on September 27, 2009 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

That's how Titans running back Chris Johnson ended the line of questioning that asked him what he thought the team's problems were and what it was going to take to get them back on track. 

Coming from the one guy on the Titans' sideline who is doing everything he can to help his team succeed, the words above sound a little desperate.

Most of his answers were standard fodder for such an occasion: according to Chris, Tennessee is only one or two plays away from a 3-0 record, they just need to execute better, be more consistent, blah, blah, blah.

But at the end of the interview, he spoke what was really in his heart, revealing, intentionally or otherwise, the feeling of desperation and despair that is undoubtedly beginning to creep into the Titans locker room:

"Hopefully we can turn this thing around."


But what will it take? What do the Titans have to do in order to get back on track and back to their winning ways of last year?

You are in luck, sports fan: I just happen to have a few ideas.


No. 1: Catch the Ball

The Titans spent big money in the off-season to acquire Nate Washington from the Pittsburgh Steelers, citing his experience and leadership as primary reasons for signing him.

The Titans apparently overlooked one very important point: experience does not always equate to top performance.

To be sure, Washington is a capable receiver. CAPABLE, but not necessarily top tier. True, he has a couple of Super Bowl rings; so does the 53rd player on any Super Bowl team roster.

Doesn't mean he did anything much to help them acquire the ring.

Yes, I know it is a team game, but let's be real here; would it make any sense to sign a player off the practice squad based solely on the fact that he was on a Super Bowl-winning team?

No, it doesn't. And no, I am not comparing Washington to a practice squad guy who is probably thanking his lucky stars that he still has a shot at making the big time (at least, he still thinks he has a shot).

Simply put, Washington's production has not solidified him amongst the upper echelon of NFL receivers. Particularly last week, he dropped way too many balls that a receiver of his supposed caliber and "experience" should be allowed.

Justin Gage has also let a few balls slip through his grasp, passes that should have been caught.

It doesn't matter who is under center; if the receivers aren't producing, then it may as well be me throwing the ball.

But Washington and Gage are not alone in the fumble-fingers department.

Two words for you: Ryan Mouton.

Enough said.


No. 2: Keep the OTHER team from catching the ball.

Okay folks, here is the crux of the issue. In two of their first three games, the Titans gave up more than 350 yards through the air.

They got beaten deep nearly a dozen times, and when they weren't getting beaten deep they were playing a soft zone underneath and getting eaten alive.

This must stop, and it must stop NOW.

If Tennessee is going to have even an outside chance of making the postseason—heck, if they even want to break .500 this year—they need to fix their pass defense immediately.

Stop pointing fingers; Every team in the league runs some variant of the same plays, so everyone knows who is supposed to do what. The trick is to do your thing better than the other guy does his thing. 

And if you don't, you don't get to blame your teammates for not backing you up, or your coach for calling the wrong play.

If you want to coach, then take off the helmet and get your behind on the sidelines.

If you want to play, then shut up and play.

Are we listening, Nick Harper?


No. 3: Get the inside running game going

Okay, Chris Johnson is good....real good. But he isn't capable of running in the middle with much effect and consistency; he makes hay on the edges wheren he can outrun everyne in the stadium.

Normally, this would make a team's running game one-dimensional, but the Titans are in luck. They have a backup plan in LenDale White.

Or they did, until he came off the Tequila.

With a few exceptions, LenDale has not produced as needed in the trenches. As one of my readers so eloquently stated, his lost weight has him looking less like Smash and more like Ash because he keeps getting blown up at the line (Thank you, Tony Tucker).

I don't know what it's gonna take; an extra helping of dinner, more work on the leg machine, maybe get back on the Tequila. Whatever it is, White needs to do it quick so he can take some of the load off of his counterpart and his quarterback.

Speaking of quarterbacks...


No. 4: Publicly put the quarterback question to rest

With the Titans' 0-3 start has come rumblings that some changes need to be made. Coaching changes, play-calling, players; everyone has an idea about who needs to go and who needs to go in.

The Vince Young Kool-Aid drinkers are up in arms saying that Collins can't lead this team anymore, and Young needs to be given his shot, since it was, after all, his position in the first place, and Collins is an interloper.

They are right, to a point. It WAS Young's position. It was his to lose.

Which, by means of his injury and petulant behavior, he did.

Collins has not performed poorly enough to lose the position—a case I make here—and Young has not done anything notably spectacular to win the job back.

Put it to rest before it becomes toxic to an already stressed locker room.


No. 5: Keep stuffing the run

The Titans' run defense is the only thing that seems to be going right for them. Opponents have been held to an average of less than 60 yards/game in their first three outings. This is a good thing, and one that needs to be built upon.

It is important that this state of affairs continues to allow the rest of the defense to make the adjustments they need to make the turn.

If the run defense goes awry, then the Titans are staring down the barrel of a Detroit Lions-like result.

And THAT is a scenario I don't think any of us, even the most die-hard anti-Titans fan, wants to see any time in the near future.

Sounds simple enough, right?


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