2006 season: 8-8
Head Coach: Jeff Fisher
Offensive Coordinator: Norm Chow
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Schwartz
Pro-Bowl: Vince Young(QB)
It took three games for Jeff Fisher to hand the starting quarterback job to rookie Vince Young and by Young's performance, he was three games too late. Not only did Young receive a selection to the Pro-Bowl he also was named the offensive rookie of the year. Young threw for 2,199 yards, 12 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and he also rushed for 552 yards and 7 rushing touchdowns. Not necessarily "Pro-Bowl" worthy numbers but when you take into consideration where this team was before he took over the reins and the talent level and how they finished, then you could start to understand selection. Young was a huge reason, if not 100% of the reason why this team went from 0-5 and dead in the water to a playoff contender. Travis Henry emerged as the premiere back in the Music City, gaining 1,211 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. This had been his first 1000 yard season since 2003 with the Bills. As you could see by Young's yards, this team wasn't really a threat in the passing game. Although they had some talented receivers, they just never found a way to work them into their system, if that's a fair judgment. Drew Bennett was the Titan's leading receiver, making receptions for 737 yards and just 3 touchdowns. Brandon Jones led the team in touchdowns with 4, he also had 27 receptions for 384 yards. Obviously not the type of numbers that would strike fear in any defensive coordinators. They definitely took the term "winning ugly" to heart, because that's what they did, they played hideously and yet they found ways to win.
The Titan's defense as a whole was abysmal, ranking dead last overall in yards per game giving up 369.7. Even with such an atrocious defense, there were of course some bright spots. Long time Titan linebacker, Keith Bullock enjoyed the second best season of his career, statistically speaking. Bullock recorded 143 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 1 interception. Actually Tennessee had great play from all three of their linebackers, David Thornton, who was signed during the offseason, had 107 tackles and Peter Sirmon had 88 tackles, 0.5 sack, 1 interception. Also someone the Titans signed during the offseason that had a great year was Chris Hope. Hope had 121 tackles, 5 interceptions and 1 touchdown. Now onto Adam "Pacman" Jones. Aw, yes the guy that makes the Bengals' look like Gandhi. On the field, Jones was amazing, getting 62 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, 4 interceptions and 1 touchdown. But off the field was an entirely different story. When Pacman wasn't getting arrested he was busy "makin it rain" at strip clubs and then chocking the strippers for picking up the money that he had just showered them with. Saying that they weren't "supposed to pick up the money until he gave them permission". Oh, but of course, come on people that's lesson one in "stripper's etiquette". Getting back to on the field matters, Kyle Vanden Bosch led the team in sacks once again, this year getting 6.5 along with 75 tackles.
Rob Bironas hit just 78.6% of his field goal attempts but all that was put aside with just one kick. A game winning 60 yarder against the Indianapolis Colts in week 12. Craig Hentrich, who had been with Tennessee for majority of his 14 year career, had a punt average of 42.7, 32 punts within the 20 yard line and 10 touchbacks. Bobby Wade had an excellent season returning kicks, getting 1,194 yards and an average of 23.9. And now this brings us back to our good ol' friend, Pacman Jones. Jones had a great season returning punts. Although he only had 440 yards, he made the most of it returning 3 punts for touchdowns. He also added 521 kick return yards.
The Tennessee Titans hold the 19th pick in this year's draft and it is widely thought of that they will be taking a widereceiver with that pick. Since they lost Drew Bennett and Bobby Wade to free-agency they are without a true number one or even number two receiver. Other pressing needs are at cornerback, although Pacman Jones is quickly becoming a top corner in the NFL he has lost all the faith of his teammates and coaches meaning he may not return to the team. If he is released or traded than they will have a blaring need at an already depleted secondary. Also they really need help on their defensive line. They have absolutely no depth at either the end or the tackle position.
Positions that must be tended to during the draft.
Like I mentioned above, I like many others, believe the Titan's will select a widereceiver with their first selection. But there is some debate on who it will be. Some Mock's have them taking Dwayne Bowe of LSU, some have them taking Dwayne Jarrett of USC and some have them taking Ted Ginn Jr. Seeing as how I don't believe Ginn will still be there at 19 it's out of Bowe and Jarrett for me. Now Jarrett isn't a speed guy but he has the best hands in the draft and is being compared to another USC alum, Keyshawn Johnson. Bowe on the other hand is someone that runs pretty well, very good size and great leaping ability. I do think that the Titans are in need of someone that can both stretch the field and catch the ball, I feel Bowe can do both of these things and that is the reason I am slightly leaning towards them taking Bowe.
Whether or not they release the troubled Pacman Jones, they could use some depth at cornerback. Recently signed Nick Harper is a nice step in the right direction, but they still could use another young corner to play aside Jones/Harper and or the nickel. If they hold onto Jones then they might look to fill this need in either the 2nd or 3rd round, if they release/trade him then I wouldn't be surprised if they went with one in the first round. If they do go the first round, then they could look at Darrelle Revis out of Pittsburgh, Chris Houston out of Arkansas and Aaron Ross out of Texas.
I believe they will use their 2nd round pick on a defensive tackle because they really need help with Albert Haynesworth's future in Tennessee unclear and the fact that they just don't have depth they could look at getting the local kid, Justin Harrell out of Tennessee, DeMarcus Tyler out of N.C. State, or Quinn Pitcock. Just to name a few.
Travis Henry has moved onto Denver and even if they decide to hand the starting job over to Lendale White, the will surely look to get someone as a back up. I wouldn't expect them to look to fill this need to the middle rounds. They could look at someone like Dwayne Wright out of Fresno State who bounced back from missing pretty much the previous two season with a torn patella muscle. But he had a great season gaining 1,462 yards and 11 touchdonws. He's already married with two children and is a real "character" guy, someone the Titans probably could use right now. Also a rising star since the combine is Chris Henry out of Arizona. Before the combine he was a projected late round/free-agent type player but since running a 4.39 his stock has been soaring. He has never really been a starter and had just 165 carries last season(a career high) but in the right system and with some molding he could become a good back that could be a great tandem with White in a two back system.
I know I usually do 5 positions, but most of their needs are simply adding depth such as defensive end, offensive line, wr, s, cb, olb etc.
The Titans, I don't feel are an 8-8 team, with a now non-existent running game(unless White can come through) and no top receiver their offense will suffer this season. Their defense isn't getting any better so they could be in store for a long, long season. But then again, that's what many thought last season and they were a .500 team so with Vince Young as your quarterback, I guess anything is possible.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
2006 season: 8-8