Jimmy, who runs the fantastic Titans blog Music City Miracles, was kind enough to answer a few questions. Be sure to click over to his site to read his questions and my answers.
- 83 runs to 45 throws. Aside from the option, what separates the Titans’ scheme from a college offense? Why is it so effective? Any chance we’re going to see some single wing?
That ratio is pretty typical of a Jeff Fisher coached team. He loves to establish the run and control the clock. You will never really see the Titans blowing teams out. Grind it out and win by a field goal is the Jeff Fisher moniker.
People are making a lot more of that these days because of the hype surrounding Vince Young. They use that as their proof that Vince is not a good QB. Against Jacksonville the Titans ran for almost 300 yards. If you can do that why would you even try to pass? If the run is working the Titans are going to stick to it.
The reason it is so effective is two fold. 1. The Titans have a very good offensive line. They returned all 5 starters from last year’s unit that gelled as the year went along last season. 2. Teams have to account for Vince Young on every single play. Most teams will use a guy to spy him. That will typically take this guy out of the play on running plays. If you watch the Jacksonville game you will see that they were using their middle linebacker to spy Vince. He was out of position all day long which opened up huge holes for Chris Brown.
- Let’s say that the Saints keep 8 men in the box all day, effectively shutting down the Titans’ running game. Who is Vince Young going to throw the ball (pleeeease say Roydell Williams)?
If the Saints shut down the Titans run game Vince will probably spread the ball around. He doesn’t seem to have a favorite target yet, and the Titans biggest question mark position is receiver. Roydell Williams had the game of his life against the Colts. He has proven he can stretch the field. If he can stay healthy he may end up being that guy. Brandon Jones was thought by most, including myself, to be the guy that was going to really step up this year. He hasn’t proven so far that he wants to do that.
- With Pac Man suspended, who is responsible for covering the opponent’s top receiver? Who should the Saints expect to be covering Marques Colston all evening?
The Titans don’t match-up corners on receivers. They each have a side. The Titans’ starting corners are Nick Harper and Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan has been nursing a sore hammy this week. If he can’t go rookie Michael Griffin will start opposite Harper. Finnegan and Harper have played pretty well so far, and Griffin had a good camp. It should be a pretty good battle between the Saints’ receivers and the Titans’ secondary.
- Can this Titans team make the playoffs? If they do, can they reach the ultimate prize?
I truly believe this team can make the playoffs. The defense is a lot better than they were last year and the offense has been running that ball with a lot of success. That is how Jeff Fisher wants to build a football team. If you look at the Titans run from 1999-2003 they had their success with defense and the running game. None of those teams featured a high powered passing attack. This team is beginning to look a lot like some of those teams.
Is this team better than the Patriots and Colts? No. I am a big fan but not a big moron, but once you get in the playoffs anything can happen.
- I’m thinking that Titans fans love the outcome of the 2006 draft. Tell the truth – how happy are you that both the Texans and Saints both passed on Vince Young?
Words cannot describe how happy that makes me. Vince Young is a winner. He is never going to light up the passer rating column, but he knows how to win games. He is also a strong leader. The guys on the team really rally around him. He makes them believe they can accomplish great things. That is something that is never going to show up on a stat sheet. I think he will bring multiple Super Bowl Championships to Tennessee before he calls it quits.