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deeluxx3

Bye Week Blues

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Titan fans, I’m frustrated. I’m disappointed. We currently sit at 3-4 with the division still in reach, but after three straight losses and an offense reminiscent of years’ past for all the wrong reasons, my outlook on our immediate future has never been so bleak. Our latest loss, a 20-19 London heartbreaker to the Chargers, sent us into the bye week with a lot to think about. This is where my head’s at.

Jon Robinson is showing glaring and significant chinks in his armor. After dragging this team from the depths of the league to respectable mediocrity, his mismanagement of the roster this past offseason – one in which a “leap” was supposed to be made – is the primary cause for my pessimism as we approach the second half of the season. While hindsight is 20/20 and nobody could have predicted losing both Delanie Walker and Rishard Matthews mere weeks into the season, Robinson’s lack of foresight into a shallow pond of receiving options has absolutely crippled what was already a mediocre passing attack. Trusting players like Jonnu Smith, Luke Stocker and a group of journeymen and practice squad receivers to replace the significant production Walker and Matthews provided was not only overly optimistic, but arrogant. The decision to ignore improving our receiving corps over the offseason is made even more frustrating when taking into consideration Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor’s poor play. But that’s for another paragraph.

Perhaps our expectations were too high for a first year play-caller (regardless of his pedigree), but Matt LeFleur’s struggles to field a consistently prepared and effective offense has cost this team victories. While it’s not LeFleur who’s dropping wide open passes or blocking like a revolving door, he is the one refusing to pass in early downs and relying on an ineffective run game to set up an ineffective passing game. LeFleur clearly does not understand the importance of getting a rhythm thrower like Mariota in a groove early, and this has resulted in the offense being forced to play catch-up in the second halves of games. LeFleur’s biggest shortcoming can be found at the opponent’s 20-yard line. The Titans are currently ranked 29th in the league in red zone offense and, after losing two of their last three games by just one point, fans can’t help but imagine how the outcomes of those games could have been different if LeFleur was able to crack the code to red-zone scoring.

While the gameplans may be flawed and the depth may be nonexistent, the Titans’ offensive personnel need to look in the mirror, as well. The “next man up” mentality clearly has not seeped into the locker room, as the collective group has sputtered in the face of injuries. Outside of Dion Lewis, who was Robinson’s greatest addition over the offseason, the progression of the offense has been hampered by a terrible interior offensive line and receivers who are allergic to catching the ball. Other than two solid individual performances – one from Corey Davis and one from Tajae Sharpe – the receiving corps has consistently let down Mariota and are simply not making plays for their quarterback. As a fan, it’s frustrating to hear about players improving over the offseason and building high expectations for the season, just for their progression to be stuck in neutral.

Heading into the bye, one has to wonder if Jon Robinson has any plans to address personnel issues with the team, but it does not seem likely at this point. This puts the onus on Matt LeFleur and his players to grow up fast heading into next week’s Monday night match-up in Dallas. Maybe the team will show up under the bright lights, but it’ll require immediate and sustained growth for the Titans to instill confidence in their fan base that a playoff push is possible.

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JRob starting to draw the ire of more and more fans has been interesting to me. "Glaring and significant chinks in his armor" seems a bit overkill from where I'm standing, but I'll admit that could just be the result of too many years of Titans fandom weighing down my outlook. Maybe I've gotten used to accepting minimal improvement over long periods of time and being okay with it? I like JRob though, I feel like he actually works to fix things when he sees a problem in a way that wasn't very apparent with past GM's in Nashville. And I have faith he will actually address these issues with the offense when he sees a realistic and smart way to do so (unfortunately that almost definitely has to wait until the offseason). It's like you said though, no one could have seen that Delanie and Rishard one-two punch coming quite like it did. And I can't bring myself to call it arrogant thinking Jonnu would be a good backup or believing in the young WR's as 3rd and 4th on the depth chart in a real offense. I also don't think there's a signing or two he missed out on that would be making a world of difference right now from last offseason. I'll admit I was excited about the offense and thought it looked really promising on paper before any actual games were played for that matter so I can't personally play the "tried to tell 'em" card.

We'll see what happens though. Every fanbase is fickle and maybe we'll figure things out, make a bit of a run, and JRob will be the hero we deserve again before the season is over. That'd be swell.

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9 hours ago, imDelusional said:

JRob starting to draw the ire of more and more fans has been interesting to me. "Glaring and significant chinks in his armor" seems a bit overkill from where I'm standing, but I'll admit that could just be the result of too many years of Titans fandom weighing down my outlook. Maybe I've gotten used to accepting minimal improvement over long periods of time and being okay with it? I like JRob though, I feel like he actually works to fix things when he sees a problem in a way that wasn't very apparent with past GM's in Nashville. And I have faith he will actually address these issues with the offense when he sees a realistic and smart way to do so (unfortunately that almost definitely has to wait until the offseason). It's like you said though, no one could have seen that Delanie and Rishard one-two punch coming quite like it did. And I can't bring myself to call it arrogant thinking Jonnu would be a good backup or believing in the young WR's as 3rd and 4th on the depth chart in a real offense. I also don't think there's a signing or two he missed out on that would be making a world of difference right now from last offseason. I'll admit I was excited about the offense and thought it looked really promising on paper before any actual games were played for that matter so I can't personally play the "tried to tell 'em" card.

We'll see what happens though. Every fanbase is fickle and maybe we'll figure things out, make a bit of a run, and JRob will be the hero we deserve again before the season is over. That'd be swell.

I agree that JRob is actually trying to fix things, unlike previous regimes. I think that he has a vision and has a plan...it's impossible to bat 1000. I also was optimistic about our O heading into the season and kind of doing the whole "baptism by fire" thing with guys like Taywan...it's just not working.

 

reality is, though, that we're 7 games into a whole new coaching regime and scheme. Not every team can gel immediately like the LA Rams or Saints did when Payton/Brees joined. 

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