Boclair: It's clear now Titans need to change more than their coordinator on offense

Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 10:58pm

One of sports’ most well worn axioms is the notion that coaches often get fired because firing all the players who deserve it is impossible.

Like all clichés, there is an element of truth there. Good thing for members of the Tennessee Titans’ offense too.

If Sunday’s 24-10 loss to the Houston Texans proved anything, it’s that the issues on that side of the ball extend beyond just the gameplans and play calls. Based on this one, there were plenty of candidates for the chopping block.

The Titans ran 68 plays on offense to the Texans’ 70 but had an edge of 22 total yards, which translated to an average of half a yard more per play by the home team. When it came time to ‘make plays,’ though, Tennessee came up woefully short.

Most notably, the Titans scored only one touchdown, which rarely is going to be good enough in the NFL. Three straight second-half possessions got inside the Houston 35 but only one resulted in points.

Dowell Loggains, who replaced Chris Palmer on Monday as the guy in charge of that unit, had nothing to do with the fact that Jake Locker had a handful of balls batted down at the line of scrimmage or that so many – particularly early – that did get down the field ultimately were off the mark. Locker was a dreadful 8-for-22 with two interceptions in the first two quarters.

Once Locker finally got dialed in somewhere after halftime, his receivers played as if they had checked out. Dropped passes suddenly became a problem, none more disheartening than the back-to-back throws to rookie Kendall Wright on consecutive plays – third and fourth down, no less – when the Titans had a chance to get within one score.

“When Jake got it going a little bit, then we dropped the football,” coach Mike Munchak said. “Can’t do it.”

Chris Johnson set the stage for another big day when he ripped off a 26-yard run on his second carry. After that, he carried just 11 more times for 22 yards and lost a costly fumble as he disappeared behind a line battered by injuries. Don’t overlook the fact that offensive line penalties negated a 28-yard Locker run and a 21-yard Jared Cook reception either.

It was assumed that the depth up front was a strength of this team. Now, it’s anything but clear that’s the case given that Locker, who had been sacked five times all season, went down six times in just these four quarters.

In short, the consistency that the Titans wanted to create with the coordinator swap was nonexistent in the first go-round. Thus they fell to 4-8 on the season, 0-4 in the division and out of all but the most unlikely playoff scenarios.

That means they’re ready to turn to another of the game’s most tired phrases: Guys are now playing for their jobs. Again, though, there is some truth there.

Franchise officials couldn’t fire everyone on offense this week so Munchak simply axed Palmer.

They can’t possibly think that what they saw Sunday was good enough, just as was the case with the first 11 contests, though, and there is an offseason coming. That’s when the personnel department can – and will – change some of the players. Maybe a lot of them. Probably not all of them, although there’s little reason for any to feel comfortable at this point.

“It was tough game, a frustrating game,” Munchak said. “That’s why we are 4-8, we can’t make enough plays to win when we have an opportunity to do it.”

They took the opportunity to make a coaching change a week ago. Now it seems certain they can’t wait to make even more moves.

5 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 12/3/12 at 1:55

Anyone who has looked at the 53 year history of a Bud Adams franchise Oilers/Titans will agree that that this is franchise that champions go through on their way to glpry.

By: bobyounts@comca... on 12/3/12 at 9:26

Seriously, isn't it time this franchise looked for another host city? Frankly, I think the Titans are hurting tourism. Let's send em packin'.

By: jwk6179 on 12/3/12 at 11:45

If you look at the history fo the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans franchise, they have been historically a bad to mediocre team with a few good to great years thrown in to tease their fanbase. When I first started keeping up with the NFL on a regular basis (1971 season), the Houston Oilers went three straight seasons with 1-13 record. They put three play-off teams on the field in 1978, 1979 and 1980, only to be back to mediocrity by the early '80s. That seems to be their pattern ever since, a few seasons of winning football sandwiched between a lot of seasons of very bad to mediocre football. As long as Bud Adams has anything to do with team, that all the people of Nashville can expect. And the Superbowl season 0f 1999 was a FLUKE SEASON!!!

By: courier37027 on 12/4/12 at 7:46

Try this for chiche-busting: bench the starters. This season is over. Maybe a second or third stringer will play better than the over-hyped, over-analyzed star.

By: yucchhii on 12/11/12 at 1:43

Lol, it's clear? Hah ha ha Lol..LMAO!! They need a WHOLE NEW TEAM!! That would include yet ANOTHER new head coach and ALL STAFF...then ALL new PLAYERS!! Obviously their CEO is NOT named "Robert Kraft" thier head coach is not "Belichic" and they're quarterback ISN'T TOM BRADY!!! He he he heh heh heh!!! The day when the Titans played the pats that last time, I was told that the Titans would be kicking the pats butt....That made my day, I was laughing all the way to the stadium to see the game and after the game on my way home!!! LMAO!! The the time before that when Titans played the pats in NE, it was snowing out and the pats cleaned the fiield of snow with the Titans 58 - "0"...Lol.