Did Floyd Reese get a bad rap in Tennessee?

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Congrats to Floyd Reese for his new gig in New England. I’ve always liked Floyd and thought he did a pretty good job as the Titans GM. And please don’t give me any bull about Floyd screwing up the Titans’ salary cap. Floyd did exactly what he was told to do by Bud Adams – he restructured contracts, robbing Peter to pay Paul, for as much time as he could buy to keep the Titans’ window of opportunity open, in the drive for another Super Bowl opportunity. Almost like he was kiting checks. It almost worked, too.
 
And when Floyd departed, he left the Titans in good shape – back well under the cap and with a core group of players who led the Titans to the best record in the league last year.

Let’s take a look at this current group of core players who Reese was either responsible for drafting or for signing in free agency:
 
O-line: Roos, Mawae, Stewart, Amano
TE: Scaife
FB: Hall
QB: Collins, Young
D-line: Haynesworth, KVB, Brown, Kearse
LB: Bulluck, Thornton, Tulloch
DBs: Hope, Finnegan, Harper, Fuller
 
This is not a bad group of players to have. There’s a saying in the business that there is no such thing as a warm bed, but that’s what Mike Reinfeldt inherited when he took over as Tennessee’s GM. Floyd Reese left him with a lot of talented players and with a lot of salary cap room.
 
And in earlier years, Reese also did pretty well. Everybody says Bud Adams wanted to draft Steve McNair, which is true, but Floyd wanted him also. The following year, Floyd traded up and down a couple of times to maneuver into a position to draft Eddie George, gaining a couple of extra draft picks in the process. He did the same thing in 1999 to acquire a linebacker from Florida, who the Titans converted into a defensive end. All Jevon Kearse did was to completely change the defense, garnering All-Pro, Pro Bowl and defensive rookie of the year honors in the process.
 
Oh, and let’s don’t forget that Floyd was the man who targeted Big Albert and drafted him.
 
One of the best things Floyd ever did was after the 1994 season. He was the new GM in Houston and recommended to his boss, Bud Adams, that Jeff Fisher should be hired as the new head coach. 
 
Here’s an interesting thing I learned just a few days ago. When Floyd broke into coaching in the NFL, as the strength and conditioning coach with the Lions, he had a little snot-nosed kid assigned to him as his gofer. You know, go for this, go for that. Go get me another cup of coffee. Pretty much like what a graduate assistant does in college. The name of that assistant was Billy Belichick, the man he’ll be working for and with in Boston.
 
By the way, if anybody is interested in the power struggle that eventually developed between Reese and Fisher, what I’ve heard about it and my take on it, please let me know and I’ll write it soon. Otherwise, I figure that’s just one of the things I’ll just save for a rainy day. 
 
So what are your thoughts about Floyd Reese? Did he do a good job in Tennessee? Did he get a bad rap? Or was it a good thing when he left? 
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4 Responses to “Did Floyd Reese get a bad rap in Tennessee?”

  1. i.jason Says:

    Best answer: Yes.

  2. bobcomu Says:

    How can you read this article and the long list of playmakers he brought in through the draft and free agency and not think he did a good job with the organization? He made his fair share of mistakes with the salary cap, but at that time nearly all of the top teams had cap issues at some point. As big as the cap is now and as big as it will become in the future I dont imagine he will have those same types of problems again. And regardless of your personal feelings about the Pats they are a very smart organization and would never have hired Reese to work their contracts if he couldnt do a good job.

  3. Scott Says:

    My attittude toward Floyd is mixed. I disagree, though, with those who think that Floyd got a bad rap in Tennessee. I acknowledge that he did some good things for this organization and brought in some very good football players (both through the draft and free agency), but near the end of his time in Tennessee, he started to be less effective in his job. The way he handled the salary cap is the most obvious example of this (and that’s no bull!). That crippled the Titans in 2004 and 2005.
    And just look at the drafts between 2001 and 2004. With the exception of Albert, the Titans drafted no impact players in that four year span. There were 36 draft picks during those four years and Albert is the only player chosen that would be difficult to replace on the Titan’s roster. This also contributed to the team’s decline in 2004 and 2005. While the 2005 and 2006 drafts were better, I am not sure that there is anything exceptional about what the Titans did in those drafts. Sure we got Roos, Stewart, White and Finnegan during those years, but every draft is supposed to produce quality starters for your team.
    I think, by 2006, Fisher had grown so much as a head coach that he wanted more say over the direction of the team. And the reality is that authority is a zero sum game. In order for Fisher’s power to increase, Floyd’s would have to decrease. Bud Adams had to make a decision as to which guy was more valuable to the team, and he chose Fisher. The fact that Floyd has been, until recently, out of the NFL for two years and that, even now, he didn’t get the same job he had with the Titans indicates that others in the NFL are not completely sold on Floyd’s GM abilities. Also, the improvement that we have seen in the Titans since Floyd’s departure, suggests to me that Adams made the right call in 2006.
    I wish Floyd well in New England. I am sure that he will help the team in the role that they have given him. But I don’t think that he got a bad rap in Tennessee.

  4. Seth Leonard Says:

    Strickert, I think you should bang out another piece about that power struggle. I’d read it

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