What’s up, TNS Nation? Thanks for taking the time to read this State of TNS Address. Let’s briefly talk about each professional team’s highlights, and feel free to click the links attached as you walk through memory lane with me. If you don’t want to read it all, just skip down to your team.
It’s been an exciting last two months for the teams in Nashville, while the teams in Memphis, both collegiate and professional, are going through some coaching changes.
It’s been a long road through Playoffs Avenue. Early on, they could barely clinch a playoff spot. But if it wasn’t for the huge run at the end of the season, they’d be sitting at home right now. Instead, they’ve been the ultimate underdogs in the playoffs. They busted everyone’s brackets in the first round; no one had them skating past the Anaheim Ducks. After all, they ended up forcing a game seven in that series. Pekka Rinne had some important saves at the end of that to send the Predators to round two.
Sadly, they got off to a rough start against a team that won their round one series in just five games, the San Jose Sharks. The Predators trailed the series 2-0, but eventually tied the series at two. Get this, one of the two wins was a huge three-overtime victory at Bridgestone Arena.
They later had another overtime win at home to tie the series at three on Monday night.
Predators’ head coach Peter Laviolette says he is going to keep that Mike Fisher line on the ice for as long as possible. In fact, that line has been causing mayhem against opposing defenses; it is a big reason why they are still in this series. Indeed, the Predators have another game seven, this time at San Jose. They’ve never won a playoff game in Sharks territory, yet they are 1-0 in game seven situations. Game 7 will be this Thursday.
Former head coach Dave Joerger took over as head coach in 2013, replacing rather successful head coach Lionel Hollins. Even though Joerger had a pretty phenomenal record as head coach, 147-99 in three seasons, he was fired. So, what led to his firing?
Grizzlies’ general manager Chris Wallace wasn’t a happy man when Joerger seeked permission to speak with other teams. At the same time, Joerger didn’t feel very secure in Memphis. Reports indicate that he felt as if they were out to get him. Wallace, unfortunately, fired him, and he was quickly scooped up by the Sacramento Kings.
The Grizzlies will now look at ex-Pacers’ head coach Frank Vogel as a strong candidate to replace Joerger. Rumors have also surfaced that former head coach Lionel Hollins could make a return to the Griz Nation.
Although either one of those guys would be a step forward in the right direction, many Memphis fans are calling for Chris Wallace to be shown the door. Interesting enough, reports say he was actually requesting to speak to the Kings about their G.M vacancy.
It’s been one of the more interesting offseasons in recent history for the Titans.
After a 3-13 season, which marked their fourth consecutive losing season, some aggressive changes needed to be made – and made FAST. In response, the Titans fired Ruston Webster and Ken Whisenhunt, completely wiping out the executive staff, and naming their permanent CEO in Steve Underwood – who has trademarked the phrase “the team is not for sale!“. Good news though, they retained defensive master Dick LeBeau, who is loving Nashville, and hired Mike Mularkey as head coach; finishing that off with the hiring of Jon Robinson as their new General Manager.
Speaking of J-Rob, he has had a great offseason. He was unceremoniously named “Offseason MVP.” He wasn’t the only one, though, as two other AFC South teams are also ranked as having highly successful offseasons so far.
Back to the Titans and J-Rob, the free agency period went well. He brought in talent and depth at positions in need. However, the draft is where Robinson struck gold. His first ever draft class is already being labeled as a special one; headlined by OT Jack Conklin and RB Derrick Henry.
According to Titans’ controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk, their number one goal this offseason is to protect the franchise’s most prized possession, Marcus Mariota. Drafting Henry, trading for RB DeMarco Murray, and beefing up that offensive line was what Robinson did to make that possible.
The idea is that Henry and Murray will take some loads off Mariota, thus making the offense more two dimensional and slowing the game down for the smart and talented quarterback. That could definitely make him more dangerous, and win the Titans some games.
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