Today is Thursday, November 27, 2014

Decision, decisions for the Titans

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The Titans front office has been hosting some meetings with current PSL and season ticket holders.
    
They are throwing out the red carpet, or is it two-tone blue? It’s designed to create more pizzazz among the fan base that has grown lethargic and tired of .500 football.
    
It’s also important that they emphasize they are making a break from the only past Titans fans have known.
    
That’s a Houston-based owner who in his advanced years, wasn’t as on top of things as he had been after owning the franchise more than 50 years.
    
Bud Adams’ son-in-law, Tommy Smith, admits he is not the Steelers Dan Rooney or Denver’s Pat Bowlen.
    
Smith’s philosophy is to hire the best possible in their fields, tell them what his expectations are and get out of their way and let them do their job.
    
Smith went away from the Jeff Fisher coaching tree when he hired former Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who has been highly visible during these fan gatherings.
    
Everyone I talked to or hear in the media has been impressed with what Whisenhunt brings to the table. He is smart (engineering degree from Georgia Tech). He is a former NFL player, who understands all that entails.
    
Whisenhunt is a former NFL assistant coach, who has worked with a variety of head coaches and observed general managers and how they handle salary cap, free agency, the annual draft.
    
Whisenhunt knows a coach is only as good as his roster. He and Titans general manager Ruston Webster appear to be a solid fit. They respect each other and both want to end up at the same place – in the playoffs and beyond.
    
There will be some movement during free agency. Smith promised they would once again be active, although he doesn’t believe it will be like last season when they added $100 million worth of free agents.
    
The three most important moves they have to face with current players involve quarterback Jake Locker, running back Chris Johnson and wide receiver Nate Washington.
    
The difficulty with evaluating Locker is that his foot injury is still mending and it is doubtful he will return to full speed until training camp at the earliest. They are hampered when it comes to determining whether Locker is injury prone, or just had a series of injuries that has kept him out of the lineup far too often.
    
Locker helped the Titans get off to a 3-1 start last season before his first injury.
    
That Jake Locker is the one Whisenhunt can count on to lead the team. The injured Jake Locker is a quarterback that cannot be counted on.
    
A telltale sign may appear in the May draft. If they take a quarterback in the first three rounds then they are sending Locker a message.
    
As for Johnson, he has held his ground during negotiations making it known he is not giving any hometown discounts.
    
On paper, Johnson’s stats don’t measure up to Johnson’s financial demands. I don’t see Whisenhunt building his offense around Johnson. They can find a cheaper back that can put up similar or better numbers. I believe we have seen the last of Chris Johnson.
    
Nate Washington is worth keeping. He is a veteran and locker room leader. Whisenhunt coached him in Pittsburgh. He has too much productivity to let him get away.
    
They have a keeper in Washington, a goner in Johnson and a huge question mark in Locker.
    
Decisions, decisions.
    
Contact Wilson Post Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at joebiddle11@gmail.com.

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"My Bid" by Joe Biddle
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