5 Most Annoying Things from the Titans’ Offseason

Now that the 2021 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror, I think it’s a good time to unleash my personal five most annoying things from the offseason. We are all a little frustrated with a couple of recent moves made by our Tennessee Titans. I am going to start with the least annoying and lead into the most annoying. Let’s get it going.

Honorable Mention: NFLPA

While this doesn’t necessarily affect anything with the Titans offseason in the grand scheme of things, I am just annoyed by this whole thing. Boycotting something that is already voluntary and then changing your reasoning behind the boycott is just silly and annoying.

Look, first it was concerns over COVID-19, and then when they realized how dumb that sounded, they changed their reasoning. Even though they released a statement saying it was about COVID-19 a month ago. Then they say more people get injured in OTA’s. Sure, injuries happen in OTA’s, but lmore people got injured las year during the season without OTA’s.

The issue is the NFL players do not take responsibility to become educated on matters and take for granted that everything the NFLPA is telling them is true. It isn’t. Then fans blindly side with the players on this issue, just because they’re players. Look, sometimes union leadership gets it wrong. Unions can be a great thing for workers, and especially athletes, but the NFLPA has consistently shown it doesn’t have the players’ best interest at heart.

The way they pick and choose which hills to die on is baffling, and fail to consider all of the players in their decision making process just continues to annoy me. I think being a person that says, “well I will always sign with X, no matter what” is an annoying approach, and JC Tretter is tricking everyone into thinking he made the right choice here. He didn’t. Plain and simple.

5. Setting the bar low

This is a newer annoyance for myself. I do not know when a large contingent of the Tennessee Titans Twitter community decided to have a low bar for things, but I am kind of sick of it.

This particularly started happening when talking about players. A large segment wants Golden Tate, and the general consensus when you remind them that Tate isn’t good, they respond with: “Well, he’s better than Cam Batson!”. True, maybe he is, but is that the bar?

That is like that across the board with people discussing players. We all know an all time annoyance is: “X player with a recognizable name is cut, #Titans should sign him!”. This corresponds to that.

When you want to suggest the addition of a player at a position for this team, it should be because he actually improves the team in some way. Not, “well, shrug emoji.” Going the shrug emoji route is how you get players like Jonathan Joseph, and Twidiots (Twitter Idiots) suggesting that he was their best corner cause they saw a PFF stat.

This team is in a Super Bowl window. Expect better from the team, you may not get better all the time, but everyone involved with this team should set their expectations higher.

Case in point: Two years ago the Titans made the AFC Championship Game, the following year everyone was puffing their chests about being AFC South Champions. Sure, that’s a fun thing to have on a pro football reference page, but if that was good enough for you, your expectations were too low.

Set your bar higher for 2021.

4. Excuses for scouts

I do not care what you say, the scouts responsible for finding out everything they can about Isaiah Wilson and Rashad Weaver failed. Plain and simple. This doesn’t change if Weaver is found innocent. Whether he is innocent or guilty, the Titans scout responsible for finding out everything he can about Weaver leading into Day 3 failed to find out he was about to be charged with simple assault.

It is a blatant failure. The excuses that I have seen people making for this staff concerning this is mind numbing. It really doesn’t make any sense. It is their job to find out, and ask the right questions to avoid disasters like Isaiah Wilson, and to avoid scrutiny that comes with drafting a player who was just involved with the police.

Can things fall through the cracks? Sure. Should it happen two years in a row? No. No one covering, following, or cheering for the Titans should be okay with the current investigatory side of the scouting process. This particular scout should know what questions to ask, and know everything about this player.

Again, stop making excuses. The outcome of the Weaver case won’t change the fact that the Titans had no clue what happened until we all did. Spare me the excuses. Jobs are hard. However, other people with the same job are finding out the information that you failed to find.

Which leads me to, well the other scouts must be lying! What purpose does it serve? Putting the Titans in a bad light? They’re already in a bad light! They’re anonymous, and were asked “Hey, did you know about this?”, and replied “Yeah we knew.” They didn’t respond with “Yeah, we knew all along and these guys are morons.” Respectable reporters like Albert Breer and Paul Kuharsky have now talked about two separate instances where other scouts knew something the Titans didn’t.

This should make sense. If no other scouts knew about Isaiah Wilson’s weird issues, he wouldn’t have been considered a reach. If scouts didn’t know about Weaver’s incident, would he have fallen to the bottom of the fourth round? No, he was a technically sound EDGE player that should have gotten drafted earlier…unless teams knew something bad about him?

People need to understand that there are teams that have scouts that find out information other teams don’t because they are asking the right questions. That’s how teams get competitive advantages, and don’t find themselves in a situation like this one two years in a row.

3. Uneducated Media

Since starting our podcast, I have taken the time to learn stuff about the NFL as a whole, that I had never bothered to learn. Hell, the whole purpose of this site was to make sure we provided you with better, smarter analysis while trying to educate our readers. Our hope was you always walked away from an article or a discussion with having learned something new.

That’s why it is so freaking annoying to hear people go on the radio, go on their podcasts, or write something up, about a topic they clearly have no knowledge of. The best example is about the salary cap.

Year in and year out you get talking heads talking about the salary cap here in the local media that obviously need to go read an article here at www.broadwaysportsmedia.com. I learn something new every season about the salary cap, and when writing an article for the site about definitions you should know, and such, I learned about five things.

So why can’t the other local media personalities? Why are they out here touting an $8m money that is reserved for the draft class that hurts the salary cap? It’s just not true. The top-51 is not a new notion for this year. It’s been around. The failure is the understanding of cash on hand vs salary cap.

Same thing for practice squad players. You don’t have to worry about reserving a portion of your salary cap for the practice squad. That’s a cash flow issue, not a salary cap issue. The chances a practice squad player affects the salary cap are almost zero-percent.

Just the other day I heard someone on a podcast clip be asked to give a grade on this draft class, and then admitting they don’t watch college football, and giving a grade anyways. Just stop. You don’t watch college football? That’s fine, but just say you don’t and stop there.

There are plenty of people who don’t like college football. I don’t understand them, but I also don’t understand vegans. That’s okay, but if you don’t know a topic let someone else talk about it. Have someone else on to talk about it for you.

If you’re in the media and not confident enough in a topic, like say the salary cap, source it out to someone who does. I am available for any salary cap questions via text, email, Twitter, and MySpace (I recently found my old login info). If I don’t know the answer, I will search to the depths to find it. I won’t just throw out a random number.

Much like the Titans the bar should be set higher for the local media.

2. Isaiah Wilson coverage

Look, there are sites out there that continue to share and sensationalize what Isaiah Wilson is doing in his free time now that he is not with the Titans. This was almost number one, because to me the coverage of Isaiah Wilson has been ham-fisted at best and is now a cliche in itself.

He is not with the Titans anymore, get over it. Quit stalking him, and then sharing it for clicks. It’s too much TMZ for me, and you’re talking about a guy who watches Vanderpump Rules. I love drama, but I am just over it.

I swore roughly two months ago I would quit dissecting and ranting about everything he does. I feel like I have done that pretty well, despite him popping up in the news feed. Let me be clear: this isn’t about Wilson, this is about the sensationalism surrounding him.

Whether you fall into the camp that thinks he’s a troubled kid who needs help, or that he is just a lazy bum who took advantage of a dumb team willing to give him millions, just stop giving this guy attention. It only helps him achieve what he wants: social media notoriety, clicks, listens, and impressions. He is the guy who needs us much more than we need him.

If you don’t like him:

  • Stop following him on social.
  • Stop listening to his songs
  • Stop worrying about him

Trust me, he’s not worrying about you. He is on a path he chose towards a rap career. There is no need for you to ride along with him, or to constantly expose other people to it just because it garners you clicks and downloads. Don’t associate with pathetic people and you, yourself, won’t look freaking pathetic.

Stop sharing the stories…unless he is doing an Instagram story about how he is at the zoo while drinking Pepsi Mango and snorting cocaine off the neck of a giraffe, because in all honesty that would be a sight to see.

1. The Titans’ process

If it wasn’t for the myriad of things that fall under this category, Wilson would be number one. I don’t even know where to begin.

Let’s start with the rolling out of Shane Bowen as DC. Look, I know they believe that the fault of the defense rests entirely on the shoulders of the players, but to not make any coaching changes is mind-boggling…yet it was predictable. Which is annoying. I believe Buck Reising said it first, but a lot of people were on the same wave-length that this was gonna happen.

The press conference on top of this was just them spoon feeding us crap with a ladle, in my opinion. They only make one addition on the staff, and keep losers like Anthony Midget and Jim Haslett who saw their positions groups fall off into the dark abyss with the souls of the fan base.

I get it, Haslett probably goes up to the cabin with Vrabel and Bowen and cracks a few beers while they dove hunt, but that doesn’t mean he should have kept his job when every inside linebacker saw a drop off in their performance.

If you want to keep Bowen and think it was largely due to inexperience and the players, I may not agree with that, but I can at least understand it to some extent. However, don’t keep the rest of the largely inept staff intact.

I spoke about salary cap above, but it is going to make another appearance here. Why are the Titans so afraid of the salary cap? They dipped their toes in the creative waters with the Jayon Brown voided years, but they largely ignored restructuring contracts to create cap space for 2021.

I get it, sometimes pushing off til next year can back fire, but the salary cap is by and large fake and other teams who want to win now understand that. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are returning all…I repeated all…22 starters from the Super Bowl. The window is open now for them, and it is open for the Titans too.

Vin Marino and Jon Robinson should have opened up their playbook more this offseason. They could’ve created more than $30 million in additional cap space through restructures. They could’ve done some more contracts with voided years, and maybe they still do, but it is too little too late.

The annoyance continues when you look at how far this offense has fallen off talent wise. Like I mentioned before: it didn’t have to. It’s not annoying that the Titans just didn’t sign Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith, but its the fact they believe they didn’t need to re-sign them, nor did they believe they needed to find suitable replacements.

From everything that’s been said or written we know the Titans weren’t in on Juju Smith-Schuster, Kenny Golladay, or Marvin Jones. This is not to disparage Josh Reynolds, but those guy are closer to a Corey Davis replacement than he is. The problem is that outside of Sammy Watkins, the Titans just thought that any guy can do what Davis did.

Hell, they even said it, because they continued making us sip from the goblet of crap by trying to convince us, or maybe themselves, that Nick Westbrook-Ikhine is a suitable WR3, maybe WR2. the same guy who if it wasn’t for his special teams, wouldn’t have made the roster.

You know what is most annoying at all? I have yet to see someone say this, maybe I missed it, and it just hit me typing this: Robinson spent the fifth overall pick on a player that four years later he claims: “was a product of Derrick Henry and AJ Brown and can be easily replaced.” Uhm, HELLO? Like give me a break.

Jonnu Smith had nine total touchdowns last year. Don’t bring his yardage stat up because ultimately it doesn’t matter. The dude scores. He isn’t some easily replaceable guy, and then they just settle in on Geoff Swaim and Anthony Firkser and we are supposed to think this offense doesn’t miss a beat?

So everyone enters the draft thinking WR and TE will be a priority for them. Why shouldn’t we? They failed to properly address either position and these are two glaring holes. SPOILER ALERT: they didn’t properly address it.

Let me first say this, this is not a knock on the players, it’s just that in my opinion, and the opinions of people way smarter than me, the value of these players and the chances of them hitting are slim.

I don’t know if I should start with the load of Oscar Meyer bologna that Jon Robinson tried to drop on us, or the players he drafted. Let’s start with the process.

I think there is a very good case that can be made that, for this team, Dillon Radunz was the right pick. I am on the side you go with Terrace Marshall there, but ultimately I don’t have a real annoyance with this. My annoyance comes from the grotesque mishandling of pick 85.

Trading back, in theory, is usually a good idea. Trading back, and then not drafting a good player, relative to who is out there, with what you gained, bad idea. The story from Robinson’s side, is that he couldn’t find a willing trade partner to trade up. Now let me remind you that there were seven….SEVEN day two trades before the Titans made this trade. So spare me this blatant lie to try to heal the wounds of the fan base and media, because then you foolishly trade up later.

Monty Rice may very well turn out to be some hidden gem, all-pro linebacker, and he very much better, because trading with a team who probably told you they were taking Amari Rodgers, and then proceeding to lose out on Nico Collins, because you decided to trade back, is just negligence.

Then Robinson decides “Oh my it’s Round 4 and we don’t have a wide receiver.” He trades up giving up a 5th…I am thinking its for one of the top wide receivers on the board…nope it’s 6th round value Dez Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick has a lot of tools to be a successful WR, but the odds are stacked against him. Amon-Ra St. Brown would’ve been my preferred choice.

It’s just a flawed process from start to finish. This offseason, the Titans focus needed to be on sustaining the offense while improving the defense. It was totally possible this offseason to do just that. Robinson had to get creative and willing, but it was possible.

The offense died for the defense to live, and a large group are okay with this. “Well, if Titans are Top 15 in offense we can make the playoffs, and our defense will be better!”. Yeah, again this about setting the bar too low, but the Titans didn’t have to do it this way. You need a top offense to get into the Super Bowl.

Sure the defense was miserable, but the Titans did a great job, on paper, fixing that. However, it was at the cost of what made them a relevant and successful team the last two years: the Offense.

After the initial few waves of free agency passed, I kept saying let’s see what the draft holds. That will explain the process. Except, it just explained that their process is let the ball go through Henry and defense all day everyday. That would be a great strategy in the 80s/90s, but not in today’s NFL.

In the end, this has been one of the most frustrating and annoying offseasons I can remember. In a Super Bowl window, that shouldn’t be the case, and whether you believe it or not, this is a massive year for the staff from top to bottom, and their gambles need to pay off.

Comments

  1. I agree with a lot of what you said, but there is still time for roster building through trades and after cuts. Some of our best players in the Robinson era have come via trade. I would argue his hits on traded and have been much better than his free agent signings.

  2. A quick thought on issue #2 before commenting on #1. 

    Telling people to stop talking about Wilson … is talking about Wilson. 

    No one should necessarily be happy or agree with some of the decision and perceived miscues, but for those that believe in Titans management (Ms. Amy, JRob and/or Vrabel), it’s also possible to understand that their actions are an attempt to do what’s best for the team. They’re also bright enough to see what “we” see and adjust as needed, although the tight-lipped pressers often suggest otherwise.

    As far as sacrificing the offense for the defense. Are the Titans really that far off from last season? The 2021 OL & RB (Evans dependent) groups are better and the QB room exactly the same. TE is worse, but how much when Jonnu (not downplaying his talent or early production last season) was basically an inline blocker for the last 10-11 games? Didn’t this prove that the Titans could consistently win without a top end, dual threat at the position? WR is worse, but Fitz or someone else should be able to duplicate the limited production of Humphries, so the only “hole” to fill is that of Davis. Is he really irreplaceable at WR2 (65R, 980Y & 5TD)? Reynold’s may not have his pedigree, but Davis did benefit from (AJ & Henry) & Tannehill’s accuracy. Isn’t it possible that an average WR2 produces similar (50R, 750Y & 3TD) results & that Reynolds could prove to be at least average? Couldn’t any lost outside production, of an irreplaceable Davis, be made up elsewhere (slot, screen game, etc.) depending on Downing’s offense?

    We all want better, (a TE1, WR2, vet DL and/or EDGE like Houston or Kerrigan would be great) but…perfect world, intolerance driven rants don’t change anything. The Titans have holes – Shame on them for not planning better for COVID & its effects (30M in lost ticket revenue, reduced salary cap, need to cut or not resign desired players that created the existing holes, etc.) and not signing a roster full of big name, all-pro players, at every position even if those players were over-priced, not a good fit or didn’t want to come to Nashville. Shame on them for having a plan (adding different players, at different positions & not restructuring every available contract) different from “ours”. Shame on them for not providing what “we” want, when “we” want it (it’s too late now even though anything can happen prior to the start of the season). 

    Being a fan means constantly being frustrated. Shame on “us” for not balancing that with rationality occasionally … 

    1. Yeah, I love what the Titans have done to revamp their defense, and I agree with Bobby here that they did a brilliant job of maintaining a similar (though maybe not quite as good) level of talent on offense – especially at the positions that make our offense go. And especially in a year when the cap went backward!

      We truly don’t know yet what else may be coming. I’m excited to see and not ready to judge the whole just yet.

      My favorite thing about the draft is that we feel freedom to draft BPA in spite of the fact that it may not be the position of greatest need each time. That’s how a good roster gets incrementally better and ultimately defies the cap.

      I also love that J-Rob consistently goes with premium positions in the draft when it fits. The fact that we can stay GREAT at the tackles, get GREAT at CB, get GREAT at Edge and that we are still GREAT at QB and ELITE at RB without paying top 10 money for ANY of these position groups is incredible team building strategy in a cap-strapped NFL.

      Titan Up!! And loosen up…. let’s enjoy the ride.

      1. Just a few things, while you both raise some good points, there are some big pieces of the puzzle you’re missing about this offense.

        First not paying Top 10 Money:

        • 5th most cash tied up in QB
        • 2nd most cash tied up in QB
        • 6th most cash tied up in LBs (OLB/ILB)

        The other two you’re correct according to spotrac.com However, the amount of money tied up in those position groups I understand and don’t both me. It is this:

        • 32nd most in WRs
        • 29th most in TE

        You have to maintain a Top 10 offense in the very least to have a shot at the Super Bowl. It’s been proven year after year after year. Right now, on paper, this offense is not a Top 10 offense after being a Top 5 one last year. Jonnu Smith had 9 total touchdowns in 2020. That combined with what you lost from Corey Davis equals up to 13 total touchdowns from just two players, that matters.

        This team, as it sits currently, is asking for SIX players to have career years: AJ Brown, Josh Reynolds, Anthony Firkser, Cam Batson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, and Darrynton Evans need to have career year in yards and touchdowns.While maintaining a great rushing attack that matches the touchdown output per game of last year.

        Not to mention a rookie like Dez Fitzpatrick has to step up. Then you have to look at the teams that improved on offense that were already top 10, and those just outside of it:

        Tampa Bay, Buffalo, Kansas City, Baltimore, Seattle, and the Saints will still be scoring a lot. That is 6 teams. Then teams like the Rams, Cowboys, Browns, and Chargers, who all have improved since 2020 and will see scoring rebounds. Then not to mention the usual suspects that can bounce up any moment: 49ers, Steelers, Falcons, and WFT.

        The state of the offensive weapons is just plain bad. It’s practically praying to the Gods that Henry stays a close to 2000 yard rusher and AJ Brown stays healthy all 17 games, because when Brown was out, Corey stepped up. Reynolds hasn’t shown the capability to be that WR1 guy.

        Like I said, I want to be wrong, but realistically, right now, I’d bet money I am right. Speaking of money, no one was surprised with how the salary cap dropped.

        Everybody has planned and operated under the assumption that it was going to be where it was since last summer. Also, other teams got creative and found ways to sign really good players and improve their team, or maintain their success as a team, I am just saying I wished JRob and Vin Marino had that same creativity.

        Like I said above they could have restructured a few contracts and gotten $30m in extra cap room. The Bucs are bringing back 22 of 22 Super Bowl starters under the same salary cap rules that Titans have to follow.

        1. Thanks for your reply. Is one of these items a typo?

          First not paying Top 10 Money:

          5th most cash tied up in QB
          2nd most cash tied up in QB
          6th most cash tied up in LBs (OLB/ILB)

          If so, can you clarify which one?

            1. I was referring more to the fact that it says 5th most cash tied up in QB and 2nd most cash tied up in QB. One of those numbers has to be QB, and the other has to be some other position.

              1. I’ll concede that I don’t know all about how cash & cap numbers work in the NFL. That’s part of the reason I love reading all of the good work here at Broadway. Still, I just don’t feel as ranty about how the Titans have handled their business this offseason. I think they’ve done a lot of things well.

              2. One of those should be OL, I believe.

                …and the WR rank should change drastically with AJ’s next contract…

        2. The Bucs were in an incredible position with respect to last year’s salary cap. Their positioning relative to how they’ve handled their roster the past 5 years has more to do with their success adjusting to the cap going backward than did anything they have done this offseason. And that’s exactly the philosophy that J-Rob Is trying to follow.

          Again, I’m not great at understanding the cap yet, but I’m seeing that we have the best RB in the NFL and we are paying him 5th best money.

          We have a QB who has performed in the top 5 for two years running who is getting paid 10th best QB money. Yes, we have the 4th highest cap number this year at the position (overthecap.com) but part of that means we are a healthier team in 3-5 years than all of the other teams who are in some manner or other kicking that can down the road and mortgaging their futures. (If we renegotiate and kick some of that money forward, it will be bittersweet for me.)

          If we only have the 6th most cash tied up in LB’s after the Bud Dupree deal, I’d say we are doing okay (not great) at improving a position of incredible need after a historically bad season. But staying outside the top 5 there.

          The bottom line I’m seeing is that we have some very good players on this team. We pay them competitive salaries. But we don’t make them grossly overpaid. And we try to keep our roster churning and our draft-choices flowing in such a manner as to keep the money in positions that produce the most bang for buck based on market tendencies. And when we have BPA opportunity that let us get cheaper at expensive positions, we jump! When we have great players hitting free agency that aren’t worth paying top-of-the-market money for because their position brings less value than their market demands, we respectfully let those guys walk. I like it.

          Counting TD’s as if they are inextricably tied to certain players is more of a fantasy football game than a real team football game. I think J-Rob and Vrabes both learned that lesson in Foxboro. You build a team for synergy with the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

          When the sum of a team’s parts exceeds the whole of it’s production, you have teams like the 2020 Texans, the 2019 Rams, the 2020 Eagles, and the Falcons since the lost in they SuperBowl.

        3. Thanks for the response. I wasn’t attempting to state that I was satisfied or side with the Titans, but only that we don’t know what’s going on inside the building. 

          As far as planning, sure every team knew this was coming, but a 1-year warning can mean different things to different franchises depending on their situation at the time; cap, budget, roster, etc.. Maybe the Titans had planned, prior to COVID, to resign or franchise Jonnu and keep both Butler & Jackson and the corresponding moves associated with each created holes that took focus away from other upcoming needs like WR. 

          The Titans could have done more with a restructure or two (be more creative), but this (understocking – coming in light w/a dependence on developmental pieces) also seems to be how the Titans tend to build rosters, so although I’m not satisfied, I’m not surprised or frantic either. Hopefully, another move or two is coming. 

  3. Love this article.

    NFLPA – seem to be doing players a huge disservice.

    Uneducated Media – just shell out the few dollars it takes to subscribe to Broadway Sports Media. It’s the best way to support quality journalism. Don’t read anything else. Problem solved.

    Titans Process – agree with your draft comments, especially about trading back and reaching for Rice and Fitzpatrick. Head scratchers. When it comes to free agency though, it’s easy to criticize the team for not signing Golladay or others. But the players are going to sign with the highest bidder 99 times out of 100 (unless it’s the Jags). It takes 2 to tango in free agency so it’s largely outside the Titans control. Tagging Jonnu Smith WAS in our control and we passed. A decision we will regret unless another move is made.

  4. Regarding your low bar comment, not every player on your team can be an All-Pro. The salary cap doesn’t allow for that. Settling for good enough in one position, so you can afford excellent in another is the reality of the NFL. Sorry, if you don’t like it.

  5. Excellent article. The defense needed adjustment for sure, but the way they handled the TE/WR spots in free agency and the draft were so mind boggling to me! Couldn’t agree more with you.

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