For the Tennessee Titans, Success Might Hinge on "Wild" Use of Personnel

Bryan HollisterAnalyst IOctober 28, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Vince Young #10 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field on October 11, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Colts defeated the Titans 31-9.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Tennessee Titans go back to work this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, a team that has already beaten them once this year.

In the midst of an 0-6 slide, with a wide receiver corps that seems to have forgotten how to catch the football, a defensive backfield that seems to have forgotten how to defend against the pass, and a front seven that is having problems getting to the opposing quarterback, they now have a quarterback controversy.

But it doesn't have to be a controversy.

Bear with me for a moment while I elucidate on an idea given to me by a very good friend over the weekend; a friend whose football background is more extensive than mine, and whose only NFL flaw is that he is a San Fransisco 49ers fan.

In order for this idea to make sense, you must also pretend for a moment that Javon Ringer isn't injured, possibly bad enough to keep him out for a few weeks.

Now, to the idea.

Vince Young is an extremely mobile quarterback; not exactly accurate when scrambling, but most assuredly fleet of foot when running the ball.

Chris Johnson is arguably the fastest running back in the NFL, if not the fastest player in the league.

LenDale White still has the ability to crash the line for good chunks of yardage.

Jevon Ringer showed us in New England that he can be a slippery running back.

Lastly, Kerry Collins can still throw the ball, and if absolutely pushed to do so, can run the ball, albeit slowly and usually in a straight line.

So the question is: Why isn't Tennessee running the Wildcat? 

I know it sounds nuts, but throwing the ball obviously isn't working real well right now. Receivers are dropping too many balls to make the Titans passing game a serious threat.

Why not utilize the talent available in an unconventional way?

I would put money on it generating almost double the offense we are currently seeing.

The only hitch is the defense; as Miami proved against New Orleans last week, putting up points isn't enough. You have to keep the other team from putting up more .

Against Jacksonville this shouldn't be an issue, although David Gerrard did go for over 300 yards against the Titans' secondary in their last meeting.

Let's be honest here. Vince Young's strength is not in his arms, it is in his legs. For all his "play me or trade me" talk in the preseason, his two appearances this year haven't exactly struck a chord of confidence in his passing abilities.

But he can still run.

As for Chris Johnson: How many times have we seen him turn the corner, hit the jets, and make defenders look like they were jogging? And do it without seeming to exert any effort at all, a la Usain Bolt?

If LenDale White can put his ego aside for just a minute, he would see who the better running back is. But White is not without his abilities; he is still a big enough back to pound runs up the middle, and he needs to lean on that skill to get him to the next level.

Jevon Ringer (yes, I know he is injured, but just pretend , okay?) appears to have a set of skills similar to Johnson, just in a lower gear. Imagine LenDale White and Vince Young lined up behind center, with Ringer and Johnson split out on either side running across the backfield.

Who do you focus on?

Kerry Collins is slower than a seven-year itch, so no one would expect him to run out of the Wildcat formation. When he is in, the play would have to be a pass.

Which is exactly why running Collins out of the Wildcat would work, at least once or twice a game. And he would still have the option of slinging one deep once defenders started cheating on him.

Even wide receivers Justin Gage, Nate Washington, and Kenny Britt could get in on the action. All three are speedy receivers who can get around the corner and down the field on a reverse.

Look at it this way; what would it hurt? the Titans are already at 0-6, and the attitude in the locker room is going to get real sour real quick if that doesn't change.

At least by running the Wildcat the Titans would be demonstrating that they are willing to go to any extreme to put on a show for their fans.

And ultimately, that is what it is all about, isn't it?

And Chris, just kidding about the Niners. Seems like Mike Singletary does know what he is doing out there after all.