When Jon Robinson was hired as the newest general manager of the Tennessee Titans in 2016, his vision for the future of the franchise was one you’d expect any new front office hire to have.
A vision riddled with consistency, positivity, and most importantly winning.
But for a franchise that went through years of mediocrity and play that produced some of the lowest moments in the history of the Titans era, a future full of winning and respect from others around the league seemed too far-fetched.
I mean we’re talking about the same team that scratched and clawed its way towards the epitome, the mountaintop for teams that belong in the cellar of perennial losers, the top pick in the entire NFL draft. So it wasn’t all that crazy to have nothing but negative feelings regarding the direction of the once proud Titans organization.
However, after years of dealing, shrewd moves in the front office, on the roster and coaching staff, along with some luck here and there, it really looks like Robinson’s vision is starting to come to fruition.
The 2021 Titans sit at 6-2 after an up and down affair with the Indianapolis Colts, one that had more twists and turns than your favorite cheesy 90s action movie. After a tumble that led to quick a 14-0 hole, the Titans picked their selves up and rode the wave to a 34-31 overtime victory.
From the early Tannehill interceptions, to Derrick Henry’s injury scare, A.J. Brown’s clutch receptions from the second quarter onward, Carson Wentz’ initial game sealing left handed throw away attempt in clutch, and finally the DPI madness that led to overtime and an eventual Titans win, this game had every last possible scenario on your NFL bingo board.
It was a game that made you question the idea of spending three hours in front of a blinding screen just so you can waste your already questionable, yet feasible life. But also one that made you realize why you love this addictive, irreplaceable, enticing thrill ride of a sport.
For the Titans, although it was a thrill ride that probably shortened years off the lifespan of everyone involved, it eventually ended up as a win that further pushed forward the growing sense that this franchise is now in waters they haven’t been in since the end of the Steve McNair/Eddie George/Jeff Fisher/Floyd Reese hierarchy.
No no, I’m not talking about a bonafide Super Bowl contender that presents a threat to destroy any team that crosses their path by way of extreme physicality and efficiency.
But one that knows who they are, what they do well, what they lack, what they need, and one that has the ability to stay in games when hope seems lost. You have a nucleus of young talent mixed with accomplished veterans, a coaching staff that’s continuing to extend their personal reach with players up and down the roster, and a front office that isn’t afraid to shake things up whenever a problem arises as a specific roster spot or position on the coaching staff.
This team still has flaws.
Like their inability to consistently play at a high level, borderline frustrating playcalling during important moments of the game, and a defense that seemingly finds ways to embarrass themselves week in and week out.
But the physicality on both sides of the ball is there, the attitude on both sides of the ball is there, the talent is there, the organization wide credibility is there. It almost feels like a complete 360 from where the franchise was before Robinson took over the mess that the franchise was in at all levels.
The mission towards completing the grand scheme of thins isn’t done just yet, in fact it can’t officially be deemed a full go until the Titans prove they can make it to the grand stage and hoist the trophy that’s alluded this organization even through times of great success in the past.
However, the makeup and the rest of the details have emerged and constructed into the team that’s well on their way towards winning their second straight AFC South title.
We’re only eight weeks into a newly formed 17 games schedule. But from the way everything has transpired so far, Robinson’s vision of a tough, physical, relentless, but accountable football team is starting to come to fruition.