Jeff Fisher has earned the right to be considered as one of the league’s best head coaches. He usually gets the most out of his teams, regardless of their talent level.
Unfortunately, Fisher hasn’t been able to get anything from the ’09 Titans, besides losses.
Much of the blame for the Titans’ struggles this year has been aimed in multiple directions. Some attribute the root of the team’s problems with the decision to allow Albert Haynesworth to venture elsewhere. Kerry Collins and Chuck Cecil have also emerged as scapegoats for the Titans’ woes.
In my opinion, the blame for the Titans’ 0-5 start should fall at the feet of one man: Jeff Fisher.
Why should the blame be pointed in Jeff Fisher’s direction, you ask? Let me count the ways…
Failing to replace Chris Carr
Carr was an unsung hero for the 2008 Tennessee Titans. He was anything but spectacular, but he was a steady veteran who usually set the team up with solid field position while also consistently holding onto the football.
The decision to allow Carr to leave was one that I questioned at the time it occurred. How could the Titans afford to let a guy like Carr depart when they had more than enough cap space to re-sign him?
Mark Jones was signed to replace Carr but hamstring injuries led to him being released prior to the season. His departure meant that the fate of the Titans’ return game would be in the hands of rookies Javon Ringer and Ryan Mouton.
Of course, Ringer is no longer returning kicks due to his lack of production. Mouton fumbled away his opportunity in his disastrous performance against the Jets. Ironically, Fisher finally acknowledged his mistake of not going with a veteran to handle punts/kicks by re-signing a guy he never should have released in the first place: Mark Jones.
Unfortunately, bringing back Jones should be filed in the too little, too late category. Not having a veteran back there returning punts/kicks has already led to at least one of the Titans’ five losses.
A light training camp
Entering training camp with the sour taste of the bitter playoff loss to the Ravens in their collective mouths, one would think that Jeff Fisher was going to crack the whip while preparing his troops for the 2009 season.
Unfortunately, the opposite occurred:
“Fisher scheduled only two two-a-day sessions, preferring to push his
players through more meetings while stressing the need to do everything
correctly. He lets veterans sleep at home as long as they aren’t late
for work each day.”
As the season has unfolded, I’ve noticed an undisciplined Titan bunch constantly missing assignments and making untimely mistakes far too many times.
Perhaps some of that should be blamed on Fisher’s “light” approach to training camp this year.
Are the inmates running the asylum?
Despite Fisher’s words suggesting otherwise, I get the impression that he’s lost this football team.
From Nick Harper’s statement regarding the team’s lack of defensive adjustments against the Texans to Jevon Kearse’s recent “Houdini Act” upon learning that he was being deactivated, I’m sensing that Fisher’s ’09 Titan bunch isn’t on the same page.
Kearse should have been punished for his actions but according to Jeff Fisher, no fines will be levied in the Freak’s direction. I agree with The Tennessean’s Jim Wyatt that Kearse’s actions deserve some type of consequence and by not cracking the whip, Fisher is setting a bad example for the rest of the team.
Of course, Fisher will face even greater scrutiny if he continues to stick with Kerry Collins at QB despite the team continuing down the path of the ’08 Detroit Lions.
With his game-managing skills rendered obsolete due to the team’s inability to win, keeping KC in the lineup instead of giving Vince Young his shot isn’t going to do anything to help Fisher’s plight in 2009.
Jeff Fisher is one of the game’s best head coaches, but some of his decisions have played key roles in the Titans’ 0-5 start. Despite his past success, it’s pretty clear, at least in my opinion, that Fisher’s to blame for the team’s Titan-ic struggles in 2009.
What do you think, guys? Is Jeff Fisher the primary reason behind the Titans’ 0-5 mark?