The Preseason is over. The regular season is about to begin. Words cannot express the joy I am feeling. Perhaps this video can do what my words cannot.
That is how I feel every year the week leading up to the first kickoff in the NFL season. As I’ve asked before, if you are a fan, why would you approach the new season with anything other than enthusiasm and optimism? Let us all take a few moments and just enjoy this moment when everything is great, because it won’t be long when many teams and their respective fans realize that they are going nowhere in 2016.
Recap of the Final Preseason Game
In the final preseason game, the Titans took care of business in Miami. Mariota and Murray did not play. Derrick Henry ran over a lot of people. The defense actually got off the field without giving up any points with some regularity. Nothing unexpected or all that notable happened. It was a barely glorified scrimmage between two teams that really didn’t want to see anyone get injured. We’ll move on now to other more interesting matters.
The Ruston Webster Era of Failure
I do not want to take shots at anyone but sometimes, someone does their job so poorly that they leave me no choice. Ruston Webster was the general manager for the Tennessee Titans from 2012 until the end of the 2015 season. (He was fired in January of 2016.) There are many ways we could analyze his record, but I would like to focus on only one for today: One of the best ways to rate the quality of a draft is to see how the person making the picks did in the middle rounds (2nd – 4th). It’s in these rounds that the depth of a team is built. As of today, these are the players still on the roster that Webster picked in those rounds in his four drafts:
- Brian Schwenke (4th round 2013)
- DaQuan Jones (4th round 2014)
- Angelo Blackson (4th round 2015)
- Jalston Fowler (4th round 2015)
That’s it. Four players, all 4th round picks, are left from his four drafts in those three rounds. You might say, “Well, maybe he didn’t get many opportunities to pick in those three rounds.” False. He had fourteen picks in rounds two-four in his four drafts. No second or third round picks are still on this roster. That is abysmal. It is the main reason the Titans have not been competitive in years. Jon Robison came in and has done his best to rid the team of Webster’s fingerprints as quickly as possible. Will Robinson prove to be any better? We don’t know yet but based on how poorly the players Webster drafted have performed, it sure doesn’t seem like Robinson is in the wrong here.
REO Staff Predictions
As promised last week, I present to you the REO staff predictions. I asked every member that cared to participate to predict the Titans’ 2016 regular season record. Here are the results with some commentary following each prediction:
Gowdy Cannon: I think they will go 9-7 and barely miss the playoffs. NFL teams regularly go from 1-3 wins to 7-9 wins. I am extremely optimistic, to a fault really. But what I gather from Phill’s articles and general observation is that the offense will win some games this year. The defense appears to be a year away.
(I like this Gowdy guy. Straight shooter all the way.)
Nathan Patton: I think they will go 0-16, and it’ll mean the destruction of the franchise; and, if we are very lucky, the obliteration of the entire atrocious sport known as American football…
(Nathan is a sad and bitter man, who also happens to have a magnificent beard.)
Josh Crowe: 5-11. (No commentary given.)
(Since Josh wasn’t kind enough to provide any commentary, I won’t be providing any commentary about his commentary since there is no commentary on which to comment.)
Mike Lytle: I am excited about the direction of the Titans. They appear to have the right GM and ownership finally seems interested in the team again. I am not completely sold on the coaching staff, but I will wait to see how they do before passing judgement. My gut feeling is that while the team will be better it will take some time to overcome all the terrible moves of the previous administration. I expect 6-7 wins this year and a team that is competitive most weeks. Our rookies on offense look very promising and I expect great improvement on that side of the ball especially if we can get consistent offensive line play. The defense has not looked great in the preseason but if we can stay healthy (especially in the secondary) they should not be terrible. Things are looking up but it will take some time. Of course, I hope I am wrong and we put it all together this year and make the playoffs.
(Mike plays by his own rules. I say “predict their final record” and he responds with 6-7 wins. At least he wrote a blurb unlike some of our staff members…Josh Crowe…)
My prediction: I’ve got the Titans finishing the regular season with an 8-8 record. Typically, I predict the record with a three game window and I am sort of doing that now. I could see anywhere between 7-9 and 9-7 so I am splitting the difference. It’s a return to the glory of the Jeff Fisher era baby! 8-8 seems average, and it is in many ways, but considering how dreadful this team has been for the past two seasons, 8-8 is a gigantic step in the right direction. It proves that the Mularkey/Robinson partnership is working. I couldn’t ask for more to be honest.
(Phill also chose Betamax over VHS and HD DVD over BluRay, so…)
2016 BOLD PREDICTIONS
- Marcus Mariota will be in the discussion for the Pro Bowl and will get in as an alternate when other QB’s drop out.
- Derrick Henry will lead the team in rushing yards. Murray is the starter but Henry will be the closer.
- Tajae Sharpe leads the team in receptions.
- Mariota will have his last name mispronounced multiple times by the D level commentators the league sends to broadcast the Titans’ games. On a related note, some moron will call the team the Tennessee Oilers at some point, because that makes so much sense…
- More than one opposing QB will throw for 400 yards against the Titans.
- Perrish Cox and Jason McCourty only start 4 games together in 2016. Evidently, neither of them can stay healthy and on the field for more than a few games at a time.
- Kevin Byard racks up at least four interceptions in his rookie season.
Now that I have all of our predictions out of the way, let us know what you are thinking. Vote in the poll and post your prediction of the Titans’ 2016 record in the comment section below. Don’t be shy. There will be no judgment here.1
Predict the Tennessee Titans' 2016 Regular Season Record
- 9-7 (40%, 8 Votes)
- 0-16 (15%, 3 Votes)
- 7-9 (15%, 3 Votes)
- 6-10 (10%, 2 Votes)
- 8-8 (10%, 2 Votes)
- 5-11 (5%, 1 Votes)
- 4-12 (5%, 1 Votes)
- 1-15 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 2-14 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 3-13 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 11-5 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 15-1 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 14-2 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 13-3 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 12-4 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 10-6 (0%, 0 Votes)
- 16-0 (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans 9/11 at 12:00 CTS
I’ve got the Titans kicking off the season with a strong performance over the Vikings.
Titans 27 Vikings 17
- This is a complete lie. We will judge you. A lot. ↩
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