Don’t you hear it every year? “This is our year,” and “The Titans should be good this year.” In result of the hype, you get so amped up for the season, only to witness one with less than four wins. I’m sure you would agree that it’s annoying, wouldn’t you?
Well, it’s finally coming to an end, I can confidently say.
Mark my words: you’re going to witness the last few years of a decade long rebuilding era in Tennessee. So go ahead and tell your friends to jump on the code blue bandwagon now, because if they wait too late, they won’t be considered true fans.
To prove my point, here’s why you can legitimately be excited for the Titans’ future: General Manager Jon Robinson is rebuilding the Titans’ brand.
One of the few things the Titans have been known for since making the move to Nashville is running through the trenches. Eddie George made it a trademark in Tennessee, and it was complimented by quarterback Steve McNair, who was always a threat to take off and run at any time.
Hence, Marcus Mariota, who Mike Mularkey would like to see “run more often.”
But, you can’t have a punishing running back without a fierce offensive line. That’s why, for the past three seasons, the Titans have been slowly building it off the foundation. This offseason, though, Robinson hit it head-on. He strongly addressed the issue in free agency and the NFL Draft. Titans’ first round draft pick Jack Conklin is a tough son-of-a-gun who’s expected to start right away on the opposite side of left tackle Taylor Lewan.
Whether you want to believe it or not, the Titans were known for their offensive line for a decade or so under offensive line coach Mike Munchak. That’s why running backs like Eddie George and Chris Johnson, A.K.A CJ2K, were so successful.
On the other side of the ball, there’s the defensive line. That’s another area the Titans were strong in for several years. Just to name a few, there’s Jevon Kearse, Albert Haynesworth, and Kyle Vandenbosch. Those are guys who made quarterbacks lives miserable every Sunday like it was their job. Well, it was their jobs.
He also addressed a position the Titans aren’t too much known for, but has had a player that defined their defense for years: Linebacker. Keith Bulluck set the bar high in the Titans’ organization, and Robinson has brought in players like second round pick Kevin Dodd to help set the standard a little higher. If the Titans can get a strong push from some of the guys they brought in this offseason, you’re looking at team in Tennessee that’ll beat you both on the scoreboard and on the field. By that, I mean physically.
DeMarco Murray and an enhanced offensive line should work wonders for Tennessee, and help Marcus Mariota stay protected. Since the Titans shouldn’t be one dimensional anymore, that will open up the playbook for the coordinators to let Mariota loose. That will be fun to watch.
At a logical standpoint, you’re looking at two more years of growth pains and issues that comes with young teams. But, there’s no doubt the arrow is pointing up for the Tennessee Titans. We shouldn’t be the “joke of the NFL” for much longer.
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