Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daniel Graham would be good for Titans

According to  Jim Wyatt the Titans plan to bring in former Broncos tight end Daniel Grahamfor a visit tonight and tomorrow. 
Graham has spent nine years in the NFL with the Broncos and the Patriots. Although he has never been a star he has been solid and steady.
In his career he has accumulated 222 receptions, 2,465 receptions, and 24 touchdowns. He has also won two Super Bowls.
A proven winner and steady winner is definitely what the Titans need. With two young, but talented tight ends Jared Cook and Craig Stevens.
Cook is a fast athletic player who plays more like a wide receiver, but has trouble blocking, while Stevens is a big blocking guy who still needs to work on his catching and getting open.
A veteran guy like Graham who has experience in all aspects of the game can help both of these players reach their potential and help the Titans on their climb out of the NFL cellar.
Graham can also contribute as a third tight end. Although his athletic ability has diminished Graham can still contribute as a blocker and receiver.
Since Graham is not a premier tight end and his skills have diminished he will come at a relatively cheap price. The Titans have a lot of cap room and signing Graham wouldn't take up much of that room.
Since Graham is cheap and will help the team their is no reason to not sign him. It may not be a sexy signing, but it will serve it's purpose. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why Vince Young is Really Awful

Kevin Kolb to ArizonaMatt Hasselbeck to Tennessee, Kyle Orton possibly being traded.
Quarterbacks are valuable assets in the NFL, and it seems any player who has had even mild success is having huge money being offered to them.
Interestingly, Vince Young, who many feel is a good quarterback, hasn't received a lot of attention from teams, and even with his release today I don't expect that to change. The best he can hope for is a backup role, maybe in Philadelphia.
This may seem surprising to many, but it shouldn't be. Young is immature, lazy and has a low football IQ. He is also inaccurate with his pass and is completely inefficient in the passing game.
The Vince Young lovers will crow that Vince just wins; he has a 30-17 record as a NFL starter.
I don't care—those 30 wins never amounted to anything. The Titans went to the playoffs twice in the Vince Young era, in 2007 and 2008. That's right, twice in five years. 
The best year the Titans had during Young's time in Tennessee came in 2008, when the Titans went 13-3 and were the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. Young only played half a game that season.
The great quarterback who led the Titans to the playoffs? Kerry Collins.
The Titans won with defense and the run game when Young played. VY had Travis Henry, LenDale White and Chris Johnson in the backfield with him during his career; each rushed for 1,000 yards at one point during his tenure. 
In fact, Young has always had an 1,000-yard rusher. The Titans have always won on the ground.
Yes, Young had some comebacks during his career, but very rarely did he win games by doing his job efficiently and scoring touchdowns. He always played well enough to not lose, and he let the run game and the defense do their jobs.
In fact, I would say Young directly contributed to a Titans loss just as many times as he directly won a game for Tennessee.
Then you have the immaturity—the bar fight, the hissy fit after the Redskins game, the time he disappeared after he was booed during a game against the Jaguars. He has no common sense, coming across as entitled and not too bright. How else do you explain the fact that he never learned the playbook well enough to call audibles?
It's either that or laziness—yes, he is very lazy.
Young didn't study game plans and never went out of his way to improve his flaws. He had a nice deep ball, but his short and intermediate passes never impressed, and it didn't seem to bother him. He never stressed how much he needed to improve in that area.
Mostly though Young's problem was that he never stepped up. He never became a leader or established himself as the best option for the Titans to win. He just never got it.
Maybe the talent is there and he just needs the right situation, but I don't see it—apparently neither do any NFL coaches or GM's at the moment.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Punter and the Tight End

A few days ago, Chris Kluwe wrote a tweet calling Peyton Manning and Drew Brees something that rhymes with whoosh drag, for possibly holding up the NFL lockout so they can get bigger contracts. More specifically, whether they could be franchise tagged. 
It was great. Players are acting like being franchise tagged if this awful punishment when in reality it allows a player to get payed a ton of money. How much money exactly? The average of the top salaries at the player's position.
So, pretty much a lot of money to anyone not named Peyton Manning (really, if you're short on money Manning, go film a commercial for TV).
So anyway, some people don't like Kluwe running his mouth. Manning and Brees can throw a ball really far and are really good at playing quarterback (and also make TV commercials that are semi-funny). So, since these two players are good at playing quarterback and are amazing and much better than you, they have the right to cost the owners, the other player, and these inconsequential people called fans, because they don't want to be paid like heart surgeons—they want to be paid like Donald Trump.
Also, some guy named Nate Jackson says punters have the same rights as Victorian women or the proles in 1984.
According to this article, punters are not allowed to talk or question other players because, "Punters are at the absolute bottom of the totem pole of an NFL roster."
I checked Nate out a bit to make sure he was qualified to know who was on the bottom of the NFL totem pole and not just some random idiot fan/pundit. Turns out he actually "played" in the NFL. Yes, Nate Jackson was a backup tight end for the Denver Broncos.
Actually, I imagine that backup tight ends are the second lowest players on the totem pole, which explains why Nate is so aggressive and acts like such a "whoosh drag" in this article.
So, after putting Kluwe in his place...wait, no, actually, Kluwe responded with this.
Ouch! So Kluwe pretty much called out Nate for being a backup who made no measurable impact in the NFL and then tells Nate how he the all-knowing mighty alpha and omega Chris Kluwe has broken records and helped his team win games.
For all intents and purposes, Chris Kluwe grabbed Nate, threw him down below him on the "totem pole" and then curb-stomped him to let Nate know that's where he belongs.
Kluwe just kicked something that wasn't a ball (Nate's butt). Kluwe called Brees and Manning out for something he believed wrong and then, when he was attacked and demeaned for his position on the issue (also his position as a player), he swung back and won.
Now everyone thinks that Nate Jackson is a troll and that Chris Kluwe is a hero. Because of this, punters/women/proles everywhere may be allowed to express their opinion more freely.
Also, Nate and people like him might think next time before he makes a "whoosh drag" of himself. We can only hope. 

Titans Will Sweep Texans

The Titans and Texans seem to be headed on two separate paths. Both teams finished with an awful 6-10 record, but the Texans are expected to take a huge step forward this year, while the Titans will be considered lucky to finish as well as they did last year.
The main reason for the optimism in Houston is the offense. Last year the the Texans averaged 386.6 yards per game, a very impressive mark. They were led by Matt Schaub at quarterback, Andre Johnson at wide receiver and Arian Foster at running back.
The problem for the Texans came on defense. They boasted one of the worst pass defenses inNFL history giving up 267.5 yards a game through the air. Now they have a new defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, and they believe they can make a playoff push.
On the other hand, the Titans are in an awful position. The Titans started last season 5-2, but only won one game after that, against the Texans, to finish 6-10.
The offense was bad, the defense was porous and team chemistry seemed non-existent. 
After the season it was announced that head coach Jeff Fisher and starting quarterback Vince Young would not be back. Now all the pressure falls on longtime Fisher assistant and new head coach, Mike Munchak, and his first-round pick, quarterback Jake Locker.
These two teams seem far from even. The Texans obviously have a better team and will obviously sweep the Titans in the division this year.
Not so fast.
While the Titans have a long way to go before they can be considered a good team, they still have some talent and that talent matches up well against the Texans.
For example Cortland Finnegan is a Pro Bowl talent for the Titans and while Andre Johnson owns him in fist fights, it's a different story when it comes to football.
In two games combined last year against Finnegan, Johnson had 15 receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
The touchdown and reception numbers are good, but the fact that Johnson averaged 57 yards a game last year against the Titans isn't good. He was a non-factor and as the fight in the first game last year showed, Finnegan can get under Johnson's skin.
The Titans also did a pretty good job of shutting down Matt Schaub. Although he threw four touchdowns in the two games against the Titans last year he was very inefficient. His passer ratings were 71.4 and 64.8 in the two games respectively.
The one player that the Titans should really worry about though is Arian Foster. In the first game he rushed for 143 yards on 30 carries, but in the second game he only had 15 yards on 11 carries. I believe that Foster will be one of the most important factors in the two games next year.
Another big factor in the Titans and Texans games next year will be the secondary of the Texans. Wade Phillips believes he can improve the the unit's awful performance, but unless they get Nnamdi Asomugha in free agency I believe the improvement will be me minimal.
The Titans don't have a great deal of aerial firepower and don't know who their quarterback will be, but Kenny Britt can be a weapon no matter who is throwing to him and since these games look to be low-scoring affairs, if Kenny Britt can get one big play off it could be huge.
Another player who could turn the table for the Titans is Chris Johnson, who has a penchant for playing well against the Texans. Like Arian Foster, Johnson had one bad game and one good game in the two games last year, but unlike Foster, Johnson has an excuse. In the first game Rusty Smith was his quarterback and Smith single-handedly drove the offense into the ground.
As long as Smith isn't quarterbacking for the Titans my money is on Chris Johnson outplaying Arian Foster in this year's two games.
A lot of things can change between one year and the next in the NFL, but just from looking back at last year and looking forward to this year, I feel confident in saying that the Titans could very well sweep the Texans or at least give them a run for their money in both games.