Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel |
The Tennessee Titans season ended on Sunday with a 10th straight loss, but now the work is just beginning.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Ruston Webster have a lot of work to do to make this team competitive again.
When it comes to questions, the Titans can start with a few very simple ones that seemingly have no good answers. Such as, what is the identity of this team? What does this team do well? And what players currently on the roster fit what they actually want to do as they try to establish a core group of players going forward?
Those are all questions that on the surface at least don't appear to have a good answer.
When Whisenhunt first took the job, he indicated that he wanted versatility on both sides of the football, players who had the ability to do multiple things and to adjust.
But the 2014 Titans ended up a far cry from that, as they were often too one-dimensional and predictable and unable to make the necessary adjustments not only from game to game but sometimes from series to series within the game.
"I think we've always been flexible in the systems that we've run, and we try to adapt them based off of what personnel that we have and how we're doing things," Whisenhunt said. "You have to have a core system that you believe in as far as how you're going to do things. I do believe in that. I believe in how we approach, how we work, what we're looking to get out of it."
Offensively, the Titans didn't do much of anything well - they finished 29th overall after finishing 26th in rushing and 22nd in passing.
Defensively, the Titans were also 29th overall, finishing 18th against the pass, but 31st against the run.
So in terms of what this team does well and what it can build upon, the answers right now appear to be very little on either side of the football.
Judging from Whisenhunt's past track record, he desires a quarterback who can stand tall in the face of the rush and deliver the football down the field to big receivers.
Defensively, Ray Horton's past suggests he likes to blitz and attack off the edge from the 3-4, using elements of the old Pittsburgh zone-blitz scheme as a base point of attack.
In theory - though it was rarely evident in 2014 - that is probably relatively close to where the Titans want to go. The next step, then, will be finding players who fit those types of systems on both sides of the ball, because clearly not much worked in going 2-14 with a team that for all intents and purposes peaked in Week 1 of the season with a win at Kansas City and now has a whole offseason to sort through its myriad problems to begin to fix them.