Why are the Tennessee Titans 0-5? It’s Jeff Fisher’s fault, folks

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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?

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10 Responses to “Why are the Tennessee Titans 0-5? It’s Jeff Fisher’s fault, folks”

  1. David Says:

    yes, Fisher’s reign is over. I agree that his decisions and lack thereof, have contributed significantly to the terrible season.
    It’s (past) time for a new coach, and the market is rich with talented people that have actually won the big game.

  2. Caleb Says:

    I heard that he has had some issues in his personal life as in a devorse. Could this be taking up most of his time and causing him to be “not on his game”. I’m a big Titans fan and a Fisher fan as well. But something is not right and it appears to be at the leadership level. I was at the game Sunday night and still can’t believe we had White run the ball on 3rd and 21????

  3. Will Says:

    I really feel for the players. Fisher and co. are not putting them in a position to be successful. We Titans fans are disappointed after last year… imagine how the players feel.

  4. Scott Says:

    No doubt Fisher deserves a large share of the blame this year. He is the head coach and has made bone-headed decisions dating back to the off-season. And I don’t want to sound like some sort of apologist for Fisher, but a certain degree of blame also has to be placed at the feet of the offensive and defensive coordinators. The play calling this year has been atrocious – on both sides of the ball.
    I voiced my concerns before about Chuck Cecil. He just doesn’t seem to put players in a position to succeed – particularly on passing downs. I think there is something to what Harper said after the Texan game. He’s not making in-game adjustments that are effective. I don’t think a veteran like Harper, who has been around for some time, is going to say something like that unless it is true. The failure to adjust to Garrard’s three step drop in the Jaguars game appeared to confirm Harper’s comments. And Relying on Bulluck, rather than Mouton, to defend a speedster like Austin Collie for much of the Sunday night game was ludicrous.
    The offensive play-calling hasn’t been much better. How many times when we have a 3rd or 4th and short does Heimerdinger come up with some small percentage play (such as th deep ball to Gage in the Indy game or the deep ball to J-Mac in last year’s Texan game) to try to catch the defence off-guard, rather than just going with the team’s short yardage bread-and-butter play – a hand-off to Lendale. I wouldn’t even mind if he called a higher percentage pass play, if he was concerned that the defence was stacking the line. And the absence of any type of regular screen-pass play to CJ (an issue which was examined by Paul Kuharsky a few weeks ago) seems mind-boggling for a team that is offensively challenged and that relies so much on the hit-and-miss ability of one player to produce its offence.

  5. Markus Says:

    spot on everyone…read my comment under “Titans Fan Not Impressed”…reiterates exactly what is stated here by Drexel and everyone. My concern at this point is why run the wheels off CJ since the playoffs are not in the cards? Use Lendale and Ringer, with CJ in on 3rd down. Let the rook warm up and see if he can replace White next season. Play VY and see if he can do something. Nobody else is going to pay him next year, so see if he’s worth picking back up after a renegotiation on the cheap…
    Practice a wildcat variation w/ CJ taking the snap, Lendale lined up next to him and VY split wide. Let Nate or Britt run a reverse/fake reverse out of the formation…DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

  6. Shawn Smith Says:

    Yeah, I read Kuharsky’s article on why we haven’t seen more screen passes for CJ…it amounted to Dinger saying that they just don’t practice it. We have the fastest, shiftiest RB in the league, big WRs that can block on the outside (Britt and Gage), two athletic OTs, two good blocking TEs, and a statue of a QB in Collins who invites teams to blitz. And, we don’t practice screens?!?!??!?
    And, on defense, we don’t have big Al clogging up the middle so you would think we would blitz more or change up the coverage a little. Instead, it’s nearly the same defense as last year, except the safeties are playing even further back. Heck, the Titans play “prevent” defense nearly 50% of the time…an average Joe off the street could call that defense.
    That is a lack of creativity and coaching…coaches should adjust to their players, not the other way around. The play calling is definitely on Dinger and Cecil, but the overall strategy and lack of leadership falls squarely on Fisher.

  7. Alvin Says:

    Wow I guess Jeff Fisher just forgot how to coach or run a team. This year is a disaster but to call for Fisher (should have already been replaced?) who out there is better? Tony Dungee? Bill Cowher?
    First neither of them would coach the Titans but even if they would, only Cowher took a team with our the top QB ever to the SB. Neither worked with a team that was as untalented as the Titans.
    My view is the Titans sat on their heels believing their own press clippings and that don’t fly in the NFL. This could be a blessing in disguise as we might actually get a good shot of drafting a real NFL QB which we don’t have.

  8. Drexel Perry Says:

    While I’m a firm believer of the notion that Fisher should shoulder the majority of the blame for the team’s struggles in 2009, I’ll stop short of calling for his head.
    He’s still one of the game’s best coaches and despite the poor results of ’09, I’m still optimistic that he can turn things around moving forward.
    As always, thanks for contributing your thoughts guys.

  9. RT Says:

    Anybody like Brady Quinn to lead the titans in the future? apparently his value isn’t that high (3-5 round pick) and despite what wins and losses say this team is far better the the browns in talent so he should preform better he than he did with the browns, just a thought.

  10. Bob Loblaw Says:

    I have always been a supporter of Fisher, but this year has been atrocious.
    It appears though that he lost the locker room several weeks ago, and I can’t see him turning things around like in ’06. There’s no Pacman on defense and special teams, and even if Vince plays, he won’t have the same success this time around.
    The biggest problem seems though to be Cecil, and Fisher will go down with the ship before he throws him under the bus.
    Alvin – there are a number of decent coaches out there: Cowher, Shanahan, Holmgren & Gruden. There are also guys thet we’ve never heard of that might be a good fit. Hell, they have the personnel on offense (OL, Johnson, Ringer, Britt, Cook, Washington) that once they select a QB with their top-5 pick, they could go crazy and hire Mike Martz. (not that I’m a Martz fan)
    With the talent on offense (other than at QB) I’d love to see Shanahan, but NOT if he has final say on personnel too. Cowher might be a possibility – TN is close to NC.
    I think that Reinfeldt shares as much of the blame for the slow start as does Fisher.
    Letting Haynesworth play his way out of the tag was a boneheaded move. He might well have been the difference in each of the first three games in spite of all the other issues. If they didn’t want him past last year, they should have tagged & traded him. He would easily have commanded a 1st rounder. Now they can wait for a 3rd round compensatory next year instead – plain stupid.
    Eric King would be nice to have now.
    It’s early, but Marks doesn’t appear to be worthy of a 2nd round pick. They said they had a 2nd round grade on Cook – they should have taken him. He’s no better than anyone on the line now, and not having a high 2 this year is going to hurt.
    Letting Carr go (or cutting Mark Jones, or not signing Bobby Wade when he was cut) might have been the difference in the Steelers & Jets games.
    Things might be a little better if they could have shelled out the money to keep Chris Simms around for another year.
    Signing Faggins cost them a (late) compensatory pick next year. They should have seen enough of him already to stay away. He certainly wasn’t any better than resigning Rey Hill.
    Even if there is no cap next year, the TItans have a large number of key players that need to be replaced next year – that’s a poor job by the front office in that they didn’t stagger when players hit free agency well. KVB, Tony Brown, Kearse, Bulluck, Harper, Mawae, Amano, Crumpler all become FAs.
    The list grows if there’s a cap: White, Hall, Tulloch, Scaife. Not that all these guys are having fantastic seasons, but they still need to be replaced.

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