Pardon my continued use of the scientific simile, but Tennessee Titans coach Jeff Fisher is beginning to take on the look of a mad scientist.
It began with his publicity stunt from a week ago, when he wore the Peyton Manning jersey.
Yes, I said "stunt." In spite of his coyness about charity, Tony Dungy's presence and the fans' crocodile tears, he knew the effect it would have on the organization full of prideful players.
Nowadays, he's spouting off darn-near cryptic phrases about lineup changes and playing time shakeups.
The whole organization has a "first day of the rest of our life" feel to it.
Even owner Bud Adams has gotten in on the act recently, not being shy about twisting Fisher's arm to start Vince Young in place of the struggling Kerry Collins.
That's hardly insignificant, given the good faith and carte blanche that Adams has given his coach over the years.
When Bud talks, you know something's wrong (or, really good, but that's obviously not the case in this dreadful debacle of a season).
So, the Titans commenced to tweaking their ways.
For starters, Fisher closed the main portion of practice from the media.
Then, he gave the players the weekend off to "clear their heads" while him and his coaching staff remained hard at work behind closed doors, burning the midnight oil.
The opponent this week, the Jacksonville Jaguars, are a well-known—and greatly improved—foe that promise to pose a stiff challenge. The days of Tennessee regularly notching easy victories of the Jags—despite how good or bad they were—are long gone.
The funny thing is, there is almost an opening day excitement coursing through my veins. It's not so much a "everyone's 0-0, in first place and full of promise" sort of anticipation, true.
No, this is more of the "nothing to lose, this should be exciting," variety, regardless of the win-loss record.
Will the adjustments be more on the vanilla side? Say, for instance, if Vince Young starts; that wouldn't shock anyone.
Or, will there be an exotic sea change, rife with Wildcat formations, crazy blitzes, onside kicks and fake punts aplenty?
We saw a similar thing in Miami about a year ago. In 2007, they were dreadful, winning only one game.
The next year, they and their new coach employed all sorts of "why not?" schemes (the Wildcat was one of them) to rise to the top of the AFC East and make the playoffs.
Can Tennessee regroup to reproduce a mini version of that success story?
They're on the right track; changing the old methods that thus far haven't worked at all for them.
Time will tell if there's a method to Fisher's madness.