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John Gillon

 

How Do You Build a Super Bowl Champion?

Every fan wants his or her team to win a Super Bowl, but how do you build a Super Bowl champion? Step One: Get out of your own head and stop over-analyzing every single thing. We see it every year in the draft. Scouts, front office personnel, and coaches always talk themselves out of good football players – Deshaun Watson, Tre’Davious White, Russell Wilson, etc are all players who were passed on by multiple teams. (I know, I know, Watson and White were still first-round picks, but both fell far further than they should have. Next, never fall in love with “measurables.” I know you have to have the athletes, but there is more to being good at football than being able to jump further than everyone else. Most athletes in the running to make an NFL team are phenomenal athletes, so pick the ones that are going to be good professionals. Okay, now that we have established that you must simply stay out of your own way, we can get to actually building the team. First, you find aRead More



Titans Strike Gold with Home-Run Hire of Matt LaFleur

On Tuesday, Jan 30, the Tennessee Titans announced the hiring of Matt LaFleur as offensive coordinator. LaFleur, along with new defensive coordinator Dean Pees, marks the first major hiring for new head coach Mike Vrabel. Vrabel hiring LaFleur is a home run hire. Tennessee needed to diversify on offense, and they needed offensive coaching that would help get the most out of rising-stars Marcus Mariota and Derrick Henry. Vrabel echoed as much when commenting on the hire of LaFleur in the Titans Online article announcing the hire, “Matt brings an energy and an offensive diversity to our team. He is going to develop an offense that puts our players in position to have success.” LaFleur checks both boxes. In his various trips around the NFL, he has worked, successfully I might add, with a diverse stable of quarterbacks. LaFleur’s NFL Success Matt’s first NFL quarterback partner was Robert Griffin III. If you’ll recall, Griffin had unprecedented success in his rookie season, before falling victim to injuries. Next, LaFleur worked with the Atlanta Falcons. He was the Falcons quarterback coach whenRead More


Who Will Replace the Newly-Departed Mike Mularkey in Tennessee

In a move shocking to some, Tennessee agreed to part ways with fired head coach Mike Mularkey. Mularkey coached the Titans to a record of 20-21 after taking over seven games into the 2015/16 season. Of late, Mularkey had been a polarizing figure to fans of the Tennessee Titans. Emotions toward him and opinions about him varied from person to person. Some felt indebted to him and thankful for him because he stabilized the Titans with back to back winning seasons in 2016 and 2017, with a playoff appearance in 2018. On the other hand, many felt that Mularkey and offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie were hamstringing the development of rising star Marcus Mariota and the Titans offense. According to Jim Wyatt of Titans Online, controlling owner Amy Adams Strunk acknowledged recent contract extension discussions, but she claimed it was “evident that we saw different paths to achieve greater success.” You can read into that any which way you choose, I know what I think it means – fire Robiskie and stay, or don’t and you get fired too. Replacements Favorite toRead More


Upstart Titans Season Ends at the Hands of Titanic Patriots

A titan is defined as one that is gigantic in size or power, or stands out for greatness of achievement. The Titans entered Gillette Stadium knowing they needed a truly titanic performance if they were to upset the NFL’s god-like Patriot Dynasty. The Belicickian era in New England has been arguably the most dominant dynasty in professional sports since Tom Brady’s third NFL start. At risk of being extremely corny, the Titans needed a titan-like performance to beat the NFL’s true titans over the last nearly two-decades, the New England Patriots. So, how did the Titans fair? Overview Tennessee started out excellent. The Titans took an early 7-0 lead after an excellent drive. On the early scoring drive, Tennessee ran effectively enough with Derrick Henry, and Marcus Mariota was allowed to be Marcus Mariota. Corey Davis capped off the drive with his first touchdown reception of the season. But the Titans good fortune was short lived. New England rattled off twenty-one unanswered points to take a 21-7 lead into halftime behind magnificent play from running backs Deon Lewis and JamesRead More


How Can Tennessee Upset Mighty New England?

At least it won’t be freezing cold in Foxborough on Saturday is the most positive, definitive thing that can be said about Tennessee’s trip to face the gold standard that is the New England Patriots. Marcus Mariota, Derrick Henry, and the rest of the band will head to Foxborough in an attempt to shock the world. No one is giving the Titans a chance to beat the Patriots. Tennessee is a 13.5 point underdog, which is absurd for a divisional game. Maybe it’s because everyone remembers the last time a young, non-elite playoff team led by an exciting young quarterback ventured north to play New England. If you have forgotten, it was the game that inspired #deflategate, a game where New England spanked the Colts and sent Andrew Luck to bed with no dinner. But this Tennessee team is arguably better. This edition of the Titans has a good defense, but not great. Tennessee also has a good running game, but not a great one. Tennessee is a solid team, but solid doesn’t beat the New England Patriots. What then,Read More


Thanks to Derrick Henry, Titans Win First Playoff Game Since 2003

Kansas City, Mo | Well, that was something, wasn’t it? Tennessee and Kansas City squared off as both looked to break lengthy playoff droughts. Hilariously Titansy, comically Chiefsy, and humorously eerie all could describe the wild-card bout in Kansas City, especially the second half. Tennessee pulled out a one-point playoff win – their first since 2003 – over Kansas City in a wacky wild-card game because a playoff game must have a winner. They just have to have a winner, it’s in the rules, even if neither team wants to win. Tennessee trailed 21-3. Then, the Titans scored and depressing memories of playoffs past began to creep into the minds of Chiefs fans everywhere. And then, absolute insanity occurred. Tennessee ran into the kicker, which would have extended a Kansas City drive, but Kansas City committed a personal foul to offset the penalty. Just when it looked like Tennessee was going to escape, Adoree Jackson muffed the ensuing punt. But the Chiefs could not capitalize as they missed a field goal. The Titans, however, did take advantage. Mariota led aRead More


Titans Look for First Playoff Win Since 2003

Kansas City, Mo | It’s finally here. The Titans are playing in a playoff game for the first time in nearly a decade. Tennessee will play in Kansas City at 3:20 p.m. on Saturday, December 6th. Tennessee had not made the playoffs since the 2008 season. Tennessee went 13-3 in 2008, but they made an early exit out of the playoffs. Jeff Fisher was the coach then, but Jeff Fisher Syndrome had not taken effect yet. If you’re looking for the last playoff win, you will have to travel all the way back to 2003.The 12-4 AFC South runners-up defeated Baltimore before falling to New England. Marcus Mariota sealed the Titans playoff appearance and saw his star turn as he sealed the victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars with a memorable stiff arm that will live on in Titans lore for the conceivable future. Could the stiff arm go down as a play that sparks a playoff run? The Titans are desperate for a playoff victory, but attaining one will be no easy task. Tennessee must travel to Kansas City toRead More