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Big Trouble in mid-sized Nashville.

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10 minutes ago, code said:

Typically I run towards the optimistic side. Not so much at the moment. 

 

Let me begin by saying that the needle is ascending in Indianapolis and in Houston. As importantly, the Bortles experiment is now over in Jacksonville. While I don't think this is a particularly good QB draft, Jacksonville has been forced to accept their QB mistake and will now move on. They have a great young defense, and while I think Fournette amongst others largely tanked the season, their talent level is higher than ours while their draft picks are considerably higher for 2019. In short, while I am confident in our coaching staff, I am concerned that the mountain got taller this year, not smaller.  Here is why.

 

QB

Love Marcus. At least 50% of the time. He isn't Jake Locker brittle (has missed less than 13% of his games). The nerve injury this season was simply unfortunate. Add the new offensive scheme. Add continued inconsistency in his play. Titans have little choice to pick up the $20,922,000 option -- rather than renegotiating an extension.  That's a ton of cash for a guy who hasn't proven that he is a franchise QB -- both for injury and consistency reasons. 

 

Gabbert is just Gabbert. Better than our previous back up. Not good enough to win with consistently.  Fortunately he is paid like a scrub. 

 

Bottom line, this is the most important position on the field and we are no closer to the answer today than we were at the beginning of this year. 

 

RB 

Good news. Henry became what he was drafted to be. Lewis, clearly played hurt, and lost the burst we saw early. That said, Titans have to feel good about this group, though Henry is down to his final contract year. He is going to want more in an extension than I suspect we are willing to give.

 

TE

Titans get Walker and Smith back. Pruitt and Firkser showed value, as did Stocker. None of those three are under contract. I imagine a few one year deals will be in order here.

 

WR

I liked what we saw from Corey Davis and Taywon Taylor this season. Jenning and Batson were positive surprises. Sharpe improved considerably, but also fought injury. I think the group could use one more stud, though I will say that better QB play might make the need less glaring.

 

OL

Quinton Spain has to be upgraded. IMO, so should Josh Kline and Ben Jones, though the Kline contract from last off season is brutal.

We never saw Conklin in 2018. Fortunately we still have Dennis Kelly under contract at a bargain price for one more season. 

 

The interior of our offensive line has got to be fixed this offseason.

 

DL

Absolutely no impact players other than Jurrell Casey. I think we need an upgrade both at DE and at NT, particularly with Logan unrestricted.

 

LB

I have enjoyed watching Rak and Derrick Morgan in TN. That said, I can't imagine either guy returns. Titans struck it rich with Evans, Landry, Brown and Finch. Between Orakpo, Morgan and Compton they free up roughly $19 million for 2019.  We have six solid with the four young dudes, Woodyard on the final year of his deal and Bates on the final year of his deal.  I would guess we go searching for another rush linebacker this offseason and for Woodyard's eventual replacement inside.

 

SECONDARY

Thought it would be the strength of the team heading into the season. Some of the news was excellent. Some just ok. Have to love Logan Ryan (now in his final contract year). Butler was clearly overpaid, but definitely got better as the year wore on. Adoree Jackson is lost as a punt returner, but he too is showing some value at DB. Byard has to be a priority for a long term contract extension (19 is his final cheap season). I liked what Vaccarro brought to the table -- but he currently is a free agent. Cruikshank certainly was good on special teams. We  didn't see him much on defense. Bottom line is that I think we are set at corner, but will need to do a lot of work at Safety where Vaccaro, Trawick, and Lewis are all unrestricted, recognizing that we will get Cyprien back, and I guess Tye Smith as well.

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

Unfortunately Succop didn't make me feel great about his extension, while Brett Kern now is on the final year of his deal. Wish those two circumstances were reversed.

 

COACHING STAFF

I really have no issues, though the Offensive Line play might suggest a need for an upgrade in that area.

 

FRONT OFFICE

I'm a lot less sold on JRob then many.  

 

Which particularly scares me as we go into 2019 with these players in their final contract year:

Mariota, Gabbert, Henry, Sharpe, Jennings, Conklin, Kelly, Marz, Jones, Austin Johnson, Kilgo, Correa, Woodyard, Bates, Ryan, Sims, Byard, Brinkley and Kern.

 

That's a lot of critical decisions with potentially huge financial implications.

 

In terms of immediate free agency issues: Stocker, Pruitt, Firkser, Spain, Logan, Orakpo, Morgan, Compton, Vacarro, Trawick, Lewis.

 

Bottom line, 30 of the 53 on active roster are either free this year or next. 

 

BOTTOM LINE

Robinson makes or breaks the franchise for the next 5 years this offseason. He has to get contract extensions correct. 

He has to find a way to rebuild both offensive and defensive lines.  Most importantly, he has got to get the QB situation sorted out.

 

Going to be a very interesting offseason.

As always, one of the more reasoned takes on the Titans and especially Mariota. Mariota is always going to be something between the two extremes this board screams at each other about. I wish we could go back and see what happens to a Mariota who not only never gets injured, but never gets these strange, confidence shaking injuries. At this point, he needs to find a way back and find long term health. He's always going to be injury prone, but I hope for his sake this particular injury is sorted out. I'm not sure the Titans can count on that. I hate it, because I love the kid--I imagine we will know in one more year. 

 

We can't worry about the Colts or the Texans. The Colts are the luckiest (pun intended) franchise ever when it comes to QBs. In the past, however, sometimes they've wasted that good fortune by building bad rosters. It is terrifying to see them with a competent and dangerous GM, surrounding Luck with a defense and a legitimate star like Leonard. 

 

I am excited because the prospects of our team are more interesting and compelling than they have been in recent years and there are a lot of guys to root for and watch develop. As for Marcus, you can cheer for him, want to see him back and see him beat the odds and still approach his situation logically and start considering what alternatives look like. 

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ctm   

Pruitt and Firkser are under contract for 2019.

 

I can see Morgan back if...if they can do a deal with little to no guaranteed money beyond 2019.  You can't replace everybody.  Some of these guys will be back.  Morgan can still contribute but they need someone to rotate in on passing downs for him.  All depends on the contract.

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Good post and agree. This will be a critical year for JRob and Amy Adams. Money will have to be spent and good talent will have to be assessed. We have a lot of dead weight players and will have plenty of holes to fill if we want to stay relevant in the AFC South. The Texans and Colts are very good and will continue to get better, and yes the Jags are a QB and a few pieces away from being contenders again as well. This division will be even tougher next year, likely the toughest and most competitive in the league. If we don't get it right and quickly, we will be sitting in the basement.

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BudAdams   

There's a lot to like but to me they have 3 glaring weaknesses that have to get fixed

 

Interior OL - perhaps a solution is a young guy like Levin but Spain doesn't look like a scheme fit and Kline is limited

Pass Rush - thankfully this draft is loaded with pass rush talent and Landry showed flashes too

QB play - it's been discussed over and over but it's year 5 and Mariota is both inconsistent and injury prone.   

 

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Five weeks ago, I would have agreed with all of this. But if we are giving Henry credit for December, we have to give it to the OL too. They have absolutely improved after the bye. I'd still look to upgrade center, but I definitely keep Spain, if possible. Kline is the one I'd cut, but he does seem to have improved. New scheme, zone blocking. They seemed to get it by the end of the year. So, while I'd draft one, I don't think it's a huge FA need, unless we find someone at a good value. 

 

As for WR, look at FA, for sure. Could use an upgrade at 3rd/4th WR area. 

 

Real problem is the DL. Casey is the only guy I trust. Draft a DL at 19, for sure. 

 

Our DBs will be fine. We still had a top defense. But they can't stop Luck all damn game. 

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@code

 

Solid post, Gandolf.

 

QB - Gabbert needs to be replaced with an actual backup. They may be hard to come by, but I'd use a relatively high draft pick on a guy. Mariota may or may not be the long-term fix, but injuries are his biggest problem and may result in 2019 being his last year as a Titan.

 

RB - Henry is the guy. But he needs a solid Robin to his Batman. Lewis looked like JAG more and more as the season wore on. I don't like relying on him. I know this may not be popular with the SJW types, but I'd be all about trying to bring in Kareem Hunt. He and Heney together, when that happened, could be deadly and it would be good insurance in case Henry loses his glass slipper.

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Number9   
11 minutes ago, code said:

 

QB

Love Marcus. At least 50% of the time.

We need a QB.  Love has nothing to do with it.  

 

Last night, people were just ripping Gabbert apart.  Gabbert is not the problem.  He's not the starter.  If not having your injury prone QB available for the biggest game at the stadium in years doesn't wake people up, what does it take?  We had this same conversation when 2017 ended.  Mariota has to show he can stay healthy.  He has to show he's a franchise QB in 2018, or else.

 

Mariota 2017   13 TD  15 INT  3232 YD

Mariota 2018   11 TD    8 INT  2528 YD

 

Unable to finish three out of four seasons. That's 75% and he missed time in the season he finished, plus used the excuse that he was playing hurt last year, 2017.  Since he was hurt, his numbers were bad.  Wait, that's what we are saying again this year.

 

If our fanbase doesn't demand a better QB, we deserve what we get.  Then you have the people who cry, "look at all the Colts fans in the stadium"  Oh boo hoo.  You didn't buy a damn ticket because you aren't going to go pay to watch Marcus Mariota.  You just want other people to pay for his act.  We didn't have a problem paying to see Steve-Eddie-Frank.  We went and packed the Colts stadium.  Nobody is paying to see him here and nobody is turning on the TV to watch him play outside of Titans fans and the opposing teams fans.

 

Oh, but who can we get?  Let's give him 20M to find out if he can stay healthy.  Maybe in his fifth season he will learn not to hurtle tacklers or lay big blocks with his throwing shoulder.

 

Well, who else can we get?  That's a sorry excuse to waste all the talent on this team.  Cousins was drafted in the 4th round.  Dak was a 3rd round pick.  Wilson was a 3rd round pick.  Jimmy drafted 2nd round.  We have a GM who can find talent.  This year's team deserved better QBing.

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10 minutes ago, oldschool said:

Don't expect the team to move on from Kline. Spain is the one thats gone based on how the team treated him last year. I expect Jones to be back as well.

This would be very bad. Kline is the worst of the 3 and has no reason to continue being a starter. Jones has the IQ without a doubt but physically isn’t strong enough, and Spain should be replaced as well. I’d say Kline is the biggest of the weak links followed by Jones then Spain.  

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Just now, Titanstattoo25 said:

This would be very bad. Kline is the worst of the 3 and has no reason to continue being a starter. Jones has the IQ without a doubt but physically isn’t strong enough, and Spain should be replaced as well. I’d say Kline is the biggest of the weak links followed by Jones then Spain.  

I agree but Jrob paid Kline and the running game took off the last month of the season. Spain whom I believe is way better than Kline is the only one I think is gone.

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tgo   
15 minutes ago, oldschool said:

Don't expect the team to move on from Kline. Spain is the one thats gone based on how the team treated him last year. I expect Jones to be back as well.

I concur on these points. 

 

I had been thinking that we'd go after a big time guard like Saffold but the more I think about it - given the switch to the zone scheme - I think they'll go with a mid grade free agent type guard or an aging veteran. 

 

I think Robinson doesn't value the position very much and I probably even less so with the switch to the zone scheme. I don't see him shelling out 8-9M for a top FA guard.  

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ctm   
31 minutes ago, BudAdams said:

There's a lot to like but to me they have 3 glaring weaknesses that have to get fixed

 

Interior OL - perhaps a solution is a young guy like Levin but Spain doesn't look like a scheme fit and Kline is limited

Pass Rush - thankfully this draft is loaded with pass rush talent and Landry showed flashes too

QB play - it's been discussed over and over but it's year 5 and Mariota is both inconsistent and injury prone.   

 

4.  WR---all the WRs beyond Davis are suspect  If the team is going to fairly evaluate MM in year 5, then he needs to have all the pieces around him.

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11 minutes ago, oldschool said:

I agree but Jrob paid Kline and the running game took off the last month of the season. Spain whom I believe is way better than Kline is the only one I think is gone.

I think a sign of a good GM is admitting and cutting loses so I’m hopeful he does so. Granted replacing 3 starters is very hard on one line so we will see but Kline shouldn’t be starting at all. He is awful at both but really bad at pass pro. 

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