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nine

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Everything posted by nine

  1. Coach Fisher? Is that you? For the past seventeen years, the knock on Collins has never been that he completely sucks....it's that he'll play well enough to keep you in the game, but will find a way to lose it in the end. Against the Steelers, Collins played well enough for three quarters, but folded up badly late in the game when the Steelers started blitzing him. The following week (Texans), he played well for 58 minutes....but gave the game away with an unforced fumble as the Titans were approaching FG range. Nobody touched him....he simply dropped the ball. Game over. In week 3 against the Jets, he played well for three quarters, before going something like 2-17 in the fourth quarter including two INT's. Now granted, a lot of those incompletions were drops by WR's....but you don't get fifteen incompletions and two INT's without some piss-poor QB play. As Fisher was fond of saying at the time, "QB play is not the reason for these losses." No, Collins wasn't THE reason....there were TONS of reasons for the team's struggles. The defense was struggling, the WR's were horrible, injuries were mounting....there was no one reason for the team's poor performance. But when the QB is the league's lowest-rated starter and is tied with Jake Delhomme for the most INT's...he's a huge part of the problem. To suggest otherwise is simply delusional.
  2. The funny part is, the whistle didn't blow until after Morgan had hit Flacco, and was already picking himself up. So not only can you be flagged for playing until the whistle blows....now you can be fined for it, as well.
  3. Seems to me that all these players have played for lousy teams, where that player represented the team's only hope of being competitive. Few of them have ever played with an established franchise QB. Of the seven teams mentioned, six of them replaced their coaching staffs this year, and the seventh (Jax) will almost certainly be doing so next offseason. If you're implying that it takes more than a great RB to overcome a dysfunctional franchise, then I'm in complete agreement. But I fail to see the logic in devaluing the RB position simply because the rest of the organization can't get their heads out of their collective asses.
  4. IMO, the loss to the Broncos last year was one of the worst-coached games of Fisher's career. The Broncos went heavy on the run-blitzing in order to stop the running game.....and it worked. So what did the Titans do? They kept handing CJ the ball, and having him run into the teeth of a defense that was geared specifically to stop him. And when they weren't doing that, they were calling a conservative passing game that focused on dink-and-dunk throws.....always one of Vince's weaker areas. IIRC, Vince (who is legitimately one of the best deep-ball passers in the game) didn't attempt a single throw of 25+ yards until the hail mary throws in the final 20 seconds of the game. Fisher and Heimerdinger are gone, and judging from what we've seen in the first couple weeks, I believe Munchak's coaching staff will do a much better job of developing a reasonably successful gameplan, and adjusting that gameplan as necessary, depending on what the opposing team is doing. I also think Orton will see a lot less in the way of cheap shots and dirty play; this time around, he's just in for a good old-fashioned beatdown.
  5. Right....a point I alluded to at the end of my previous post. That said....is it any dumber to pay big money for an elite RB than it is for elite talent at another position? Name any position other than QB, and there's a long list of elite players at that position who have been consistently great year after year...and yet their teams have stunk year in and year out. In my opinion, a team's success or failure is largely determined by the coaching staff and the QB. The irony is that these are two areas where elite talent is almost always brought in and developed in-house....not acquired via trade or free agency. (I very nearly included defense as a key factor....obviously it is. However, I believe a good defense isn't so much about the players on the field as it is a direct reflection of the coaching staff....so defense falls under coaching). As far as the other positions go....I don't see that DE, CB, or WR is all that much more critical than RB. It's a matter of a team establishing a strategy and philosphy that they believe will win a championship, and acquiring players that fit that philosophy. And if you've already got a guy in-house who is a truly elite player at his position, you do what it takes to hang onto him....regardless of position.
  6. Reasonable arguments. However, look at it from a different angle: very few teams ever have the opportunity to spend money on an elite RB. And while a lot of teams do go RBBC, they typically do so not by choice, but out of necessity. The fact is, teams rarely part ways with truly elite players after only 3-4 years, regardless of position.....and RB is no different. In the three years since CJ has entered the NFL, only four players have qualified as a top-ten RB in each of those three seasons: Adrian Peterson, Steven Jackson, Michael Turner, and CJ. Three more (DeAngelo Williams, Maurice Jones-Drew, Thomas Jones) were top-ten in two of the three seasons. Of these seven players, five are still with the teams that originally drafted them. The two who are not (Turner and Jones) were late bloomers who had minimal production in their first few years. This clearly indicates that NFL teams have few reservations about paying top dollar for truly elite RB's, nor do teams routinely allow elite RB's to walk. So while it seems reasonable enough to say that few teams would have paid CJ his asking price.....history clearly suggests otherwise. (Of course, whether it's wise to pay top dollar for an elite RB is an entirely different conversation; after all, none of the aforementioned players has won a Super Bowl, and only a few of them have reached a conference championship game. But like I said, that's a completely different conversation.)
  7. This three-page thread about Plaster just might be the single greatest accomplishment of his career.
  8. One thing I noticed while re-watching the Ravens game.....the Titans have absolutely no qualms about throwing deep from a run formation. They had at least two long 30+ yard completions (and at least one more that narrowly missed) out of a power-run set with Quinn on the field, one TE, and two WR's. In fact, I'd venture to say that from that particular formation, they probably threw more than they ran.....and in many cases, it appeared that the first read was deep down the field. It ain't brain surgery, but it freaking works; it's all about the matchups. You make the opposing team put a heavy run-stopping package on the field, which means at least one of your WR's is going to be in single coverage.....and then you throw it to him.
  9. Looking back at the replay of the first two games.....the Jags D-line was much more imposing than the Ravens were against the Titans O-line . The Ravens' DL were solid, and did a good job of containing the running game, but they didn't get much in the way of penetration or controlling the LOS....and of course, they never sacked Hasselbeck once. The Jags' D-line was consistently getting great penetration and hitting ballcarriers a yard or two behind the LOS, got to MH a couple times, and appeared to be a much greater challenge for the O-line than the Ravens were.
  10. I've been meaning to start an "Attaboy Nate!" thread since Sunday night....glad somebody else picked up the ball and ran with it. I've been a fairly vocal critic of Washington since '09, but I've got to hand it to the guy.....he's been absolutely lights out this year. Not only is he catching the ball much more reliably, he also appears to be running good routes, and is no longer hanging his QB out to dry by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Another huge improvement is his willingness to make the tough catch in traffic, or when he knows he's going to take some punishment. In the past, he would often short-arm it, or visibly shy away from contact. In the past couple weeks, he's made some catches that many receivers would think twice about making....and instead of crying to the officials trying to draw a DPI flag, he's focused on catching the ball and making the play himself. The fans and media are obviously going ga-ga over Britt's spectacular performance, and rightfully so. It's a shame that Washington's performance has been overshadowed and is flying under the radar....because the fact is, the guy is playing his ass off right now, and is looking better than I've ever seen him.
  11. I've been on the Ringer bandwagon since his arrival in TN, and have long said he should be given a larger role in the offense. Ringer is a talented player, and the previous regime allowed that talent to go to waste.
  12. I'm guessing Munch's decision was influenced by the situation. Later in the game, when Munch went for it on 4th, he did so after the Titans had established some momentum. But at the point in question (mid/late first quarter) neither team had really established any kind of momentum. The last thing you want to do is screw up and GIVE the other team momentum, or put them in good field position. So the FG is out. That leaves you with the decision to either go for it on 4th & 5 or punt it away. Any time you're inside the 40, you have to consider going for it. However, the Ravens offense had done nothing to that point......and Titans punt coverage teams have been remarkably effective this year. So all in all, there a pretty darned good chance of pinning the Ravens inside their own 10, and force them to go the length of the field against a defense that had given them nothing but problems to that point. I figure Munch probably told Kern, "you just hang it up high and short, and we'll have someone down there to catch it." And with McGrath downing the punt at the 4, that's exactly what happened.
  13. I noticed two plays where they motioned CJ out of the backfield.....and even though he wasn't targeted on either play, it still served a purpose. As I recall, the first time they did it, Suggs followed him out there in coverage....which eliminated Suggs as a potential pass rusher on that play. (No small consideration, there). The second time, #53 McClain followed him out there. The significance of this is that, in both cases, motioning CJ out of the backfield made it more difficult for the defense to disguise which LB's were blitzers and which ones were in coverage; in effect, it forced the defense to show their hand a bit, and made it easier for the QB and O-line to determine which protection to call. (In fact, the second time they did it, it looked as if MH saw something and instructed CJ to go in motion.....perhaps for the very purpose of making the Ravens tip their hand a bit.) That said....if opponents continue to cover CJ with a single LB thinking he's just a decoy, don't be surprised to see a WR screen thrown his way. in the past couple weeks, both Britt and Washington have had considerable success with WR screens, and have consistently turned them into chunks of yardage. Given his acceleration and ridiculous change-of-direction, I would think CJ would fare quite well, also.
  14. I don't know George Plaster, nor do I have anything against the guy personally....but after listening to him for however many years, I have absolutely no idea how he ever established any kind of career in sports radio. I don't mean to slam the guy, and I don't hate him....but the truth hurts: whenever he opens his mouth, he comes across as a buffoon, and it's impossible to take anything he says seriously. Those of us who listen to Sirius NFL Radio are almost certainly familiar with Adam Schein, who I regard as an overly bombastic and ill-informed blowhard. The guy grates on my last nerve. But compared to Plaster, Schein is Bill Belichick.
  15. I haven't gone back for an in-depth play-by-play analysis of the running game, but I did re-watch much of the game...and what I saw, from the running game looked a lot like it did last week. On some plays, CJ looked like a guy who showed up a month late. On other plays, a member of the O-line allowed his guy to shed the block and make the tackle. There was a play where Stevens was the lead blocker from the H-back position and seemingly bypassed an unblocked defender, which forced CJ to cut it back inside, where he ran into a wall. (Interestingly enough, the same thing happened last week, on basically the same play. Not sure what Stevens' assignment is on that play or where he's going, but they might want to change it.) One thing I have noticed is that CJ isn't breaking tackles the way he once did. I think this is due to two factors: partly because he still looks a bit rusty, and partly because defenders are doing a much better job of wrapping up and taking him down with a form tackle, rather than throwing a shoulder into him and trying to knock him to the ground. However, it's also worth mentioning that CJ has faced what are (so far) two of the better run defenses in the league; both the Jags and Ravens have held opponents to barely 3 yards per carry. Hopefully he'll get back on track against a Broncos defense that has allowed 3 rushes of 20+ yards in the first two weeks....second worst in the league.
  16. It's all about perceptions. The Titans are perceived to be a bad team, so they won't get much credit for upsetting supposedly better teams, as much as the other teams will be blamed for playing down to their opponent. If and when the Titans can string a few wins together, then the analysts will suddenly realize, "Hey....maybe this isn't such a bad team after all." The whole small-market thing certainly doesn't help....but the bottom line is, the Titans won't be known as a good team until they start winning consistently.
  17. They had their foot on the opponent's neck and went for the kill instead of giving them the ball back with a chance to get back in it. Not only do I approve of this slightly more aggressive approach, I'm the players also appreciate the coach demonstrating his confidence in their ability. Not that there was anything inherently wrong with Fisher's relatively conservative philosophy in such situations....but as someone else pointed out, this was about change in culture, and playing to win instead of playing not to lose.
  18. IMO.... Finnegan does give up plays every now and then, and even has a bad game from time to time; every corner does. There obviously are better corners out there who are beaten less often, which is why they're "elite", whereas Finnegan is "very good". But even when Finnegan gets beaten, it's not necessarily because he made a bad play; in many cases, it's because the WR made a better play, or maybe the QB made a perfect throw. It happens. But there's never been a time where I felt Finnegan was a liability in the defense. The same cannot be said of Griffin. Like any DB, Griff is occasionally subject to getting beaten on a play by a great play or a great throw by an opposing player. However, unlike Finnegan, there are also times where Griffin appears to be playing very tentatively, as if he's unsure what to do on a play. Griffin has also had his share of head-slapping "WTF?" plays....plays where, even after re-watching it several times, one is left wondering what the hell he was thinking. Again, this is not to say that Griffin is a bad player by any means; it's just that Finnegan is more consistent, and less prone to the mental lapses that have plagued Griffin at times.
  19. Looking back at the team's offensive struggles last week, I find it hard to find fault with the scheme itself; the problems we saw were a matter of execution, and the lack thereof. Several times we saw Hasselbeck overthrow wide-open targets, as well as some well-thrown passes dropped by receivers....both of which can be chalked up to an overall lack of offensive chemistry, and the fact that they're still working on timing, and getting everyone on the same page. Of course, it's hard to draw any meaningful conclusions (good or bad) after just one game...especially when that game is the season-opener. But from what little we've seen, the scheme itself appears to be working. Receivers are finding the soft spots and getting open, and Hass is finding them and making good decisions overall. (The late INT last week being the one notable exception.) Now it's just a matter of working out the timing and execution. One thing I do like is the fact that it's more than just a dink-and-dunk passing game. There's obviously that element to it...but Britt, Washington, and Cook all have the ability to stretch the field, and Palmer isn't afraid to challenge the defense with a few deep shots every now and then. I think everyone will agree that any passing attack is only as good as the chemistry between the QB and his receivers.....and right now, the Titans just haven't had that much time to let that chemistry develop. I suspect we'll see steady improvement in that chemistry as the season progresses...and that improved chemistry should lead to an greatly improved passing game as a whole.
  20. We'd obviously like to see them work it out where both Finnegan and Griffin are retained.....but if it comes down to a situation where the team has to choose, then I think you gotta keep Finnegan. Cort has shown greater consistency than Griff and has become one of the team leaders on defense, whereas Griffin is prone to mental lapses, injury, and stretches of poor play. Griffin also strikes me as a being a relatively quiet, low-key guy....certainly not the vocal leader that Finnegan is.
  21. I think Matt is simply saying the Titans hope to face more defenses that are as porous as the one the Jags faced last weekend.
  22. Five minutes after he lambasts the Titans for paying CJ, Cowherd grades all the rookie QB's according to their preseason performances, and gives Gabbert the highest marks....not because he thought Gabbert was so great, but because the veteran Garrard wasn't any better. I also like his Locker/Tebow comparison. Apparently in Cowherd's mind, any 230 lb. white QB with wheels is destined to be another Tebow. Typical Cowherd.
  23. I rank Cowherd's remarkable insight right there alongside geniuses like Merril Hoge and Skip Bayless. I don't always disagree with them...but it always makes me feel dirty when I do.
  24. i've heard a couple doctors interviewed on SIrius radio about this issue, and their general consensus is, this isn't so much about the threat of paralysis or anything like that; it's a matter of nerve regeneration and allowing things to heal up properly.....and there's not really any set timetable. If he were to re-injure it before it's competely healed, he could potentially be looking at living the rest of his life with a severly limited range of motion in the arm and/or neck; even worse, there's also a risk of having chronic severe pain. As a side note...my wife works for a small company here in Chattanooga, and the company owner runs into Peyton fairly regularly at the golf course during the offseason. (Honors Golf Course, just outside Chattanooga.) He mentioned to her several weeks ago that something must be up with Peyton, because he hadn't seen him out on the course one single time during this offseason.
  25. For what it's worth....here are the top ten TOP teams from the past few years. 2010 Chargers Falcons Jets Giants Steelers Saints Packers Jaguars Chiefs Cowboys 2009 Pats Packers Steelers Vikings Bengals Cowboys Jets Dolphins Texans Giants 2008 Ravens Giants Patriots Buccaneers Texans Steelers Packers Redskins Jaguars Eagles. 2007 Steelers Patriots Jaguars Titans Raiders Giants Redskins Ravens Saints Eagles
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