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Coach Jeff Fisher Has His Titans Under Control

miller-article1Parity in the National Football League is mentioned every single season.

However, parity is not a new concept. It became a common sports term in the late 1970s.

Six weeks into the season, there are four undefeated teams (Broncos, Colts, Saints and Vikings) and three winless ones (Buccaneers, Rams and Titans).

The most stunning example is seeing the Tennessee Titans sitting at 0-6 going into its bye week.

Tennessee was the best team in the NFL last year heading into the playoffs.

It was a No. 1 seed with a 13-3 regular-season record.

It’s a turnaround that no talking head or expert could have ever predicted.

One would be more successful at naming the next horse to win the Triple Crown.

To make matters more interesting, earlier in the week at a Nashville charity event, long-time Titans head coach Jeff Fisher revealed an Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning jersey when he removed his jacket. Also, in attendance was former Colts head coach Tony Dungy.

After showing off the blue-and-white Manning jersey, Fisher said, “I just wanted to feel like a winner.”

Uh oh, that surely gets Titans fans talking.

But, rarely in sports do we see a 360-degree turn such as this.

In his 15 seasons with the Titans/Oilers, Fisher has never encountered such a dilemma.

He’s only had four losing seasons – two of which were 7-9 records – and has notched 128 regular season wins into his proverbial coaching belt.

I can’t speak for all Jacksonville Jaguars fans, but a part of them has to feel sorry knowing that their rival Titans are down for the count.
Even as I watched in amazement as the Titans were annihilated by the New England Patriots 59-0, I couldn’t help but pity the snowy outcome on the field.

It’s as if the University of Tennessee’s head coach Lane Kiffin spoke badly about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and the two took it out on the lowly Titans.

In the first three games, the Titans lost by a total of 13 points. During the last three, nothing positive has come from the decimation at the hands of the Jaguars, Colts and Patriots.

Blame it on the lack of a secondary, the loss of massive defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth or the snow we saw last week at Gillette Stadium.

No matter what you blame it on, there is no escaping how bad Tennessee is this season.

But, if one head coach could turn around a club another 180 degrees, it is Jeff Fisher.

In the near future, Fisher will have to start fourth-year quarterback Vince Young because 36-year-old starter Kerry Collins can no longer ride the magic of last season.

Collins’ throws have been high and off target. Also, his quarterback rating is currently an abysmal 62.0.

Only three quarterbacks, who have started all of their team’s games, have worse quarterback ratings than Collins.

They are Carolina’s Jake Delhomme, New York Jets’ rookie Mark Sanchez and Oakland’s bust JaMarcus Russell.

Collins’ poor numbers are one thing, but a teammate has publicly lost hope in the starting quarterback.

On Sporting News Radio this week, LenDale White, the Titans’ second-string running back, called for Young to get an opportunity as the starter.

With White’s words, a locker room can easily be torn apart in no time.

Now is the time for Jeff Fisher to pull on the reins of his football team.
He has said lineup changes are not out of the question before the Titans’ next game on November 1 against the Jaguars.

And, don’t be surprised when Collins and Young share snaps during the bye week.

Fisher will implement the proper changes to see that his team improves.

So, regardless of Fisher’s selection of facial hair – whether it is a full beard, goatee or mustache – he is the man for the job in Tennessee.
For the Tennessee Titans, parity means a lot more this season than any other.

Don’t expect, at the end of the season, for the entire Titans roster to be wearing Manning’s No. 18.

You know they want to feel like winners, but just not that badly.

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Richard Miller is a national broadcaster for Jacksonville Jaguars’ home games on Sporting News Radio. Additionally, he can be heard on ABC 1320 WBOB in Jacksonville at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesdays with The Jacksonville Observer Radio Show.

Richard contributes to Inside the Game with Robin Valetutto every Saturday from 12-2 p.m.

Currently, Richard is writing David Lamm’s biography entitled Lamm at Large: The David Lamm Story, which will be available in 2010.
You can e-mail Richard at Richard.miller@jaxobserver.com

4 Responses »

  1. I just remember being beaten by the Titans over and over. You can't help but gloat. Team performance are like tides, coming in and going out. To have a team stay on top forever is impossible. What makes this happen so rapidly is high definition video replay. Players performance can be evaluated and surgical precision applied to finding team's weaknesses. They need to stop allowing teams to watch game tapes. Or let them do it, just with Super 8 video like in the old days.

    There is one more element that no one discusses. GAMBLING. It appears to me that from college to NFL, there may be a concerted effort by players to control the outcome of games. College players no longer need to "make it" in the NFL. They just need to bet.

    Wait until the next "Black Sox" team is revealed, then you will believe me.

  2. Very interesting about Jeff Fisher. It's got to be tough when you are usually on top and headed for a winning season most of the time and then to be experiencing such a decline and by so few points. It reminds me of Bowden's Seminoles. The losses are by so few points, but they just can't take the hill. So, I guess the November 1 game with the Titans will be interesting.

  3. You are right. They beat us so many times. Hopefully, this is OUR year to beat them. That's part of the game, the ups and the downs. Such is life.

  4. "It’s as if the University of Tennessee’s head coach Lane Kiffin spoke badly about Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, and the two took it out on the lowly Titans."

    What does that line even mean???