JOE BIDDLE: Titans worst season comes to moribund ending

Matt Hasselbeck, Indianapolis Colts
(AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Titans closed out the final chapter of the worst season the team has endured since packing its saddlebags in Houston and moving to Tennessee.

It was more of the same, indicative of a 2-14 team that ended up losing the final 10 games.

It was so ugly that if former owner Bud Adams were still alive, he would have been seen in his private box pointing double barrel one-digit salutes at his own team.

If there was one thing you could hang your hat on was that Adams was involved, for better or worse. He was passionate when it came to his team and would not hesitate to make personnel moves when he deemed necessary.

In a way it’s a blessing Mr. Adams was not subjected to this comedy of errors. It was as sparse a LP Field crowd as they have had in this two-win season. They can call it a sellout, but only in terms of tickets sold. Ask anyone who watched the Colts clobber the Titans, 27-10, and they would tell you something stinks.

It calls for a major overhaul in the off-season. First-year coach Ken Whisenhunt installed his offensive system when he came on board and did not deviate from it.

Judging from the results and the team’s inability to score points, you can only surmise that the system was not conducive a fit for the personnel trying to run it.

“Obviously we have a lot of areas we have to improve in
Right not, it’s tough. It’s a long season. You know you have a lot of tough games, but you stick with what you believe in,’’ Whisenhunt said.

“That’s one of the things I learned from some of the good coaches I have been around. You got a foundation for what you believe and you stick with that.’’

“You believe in what you’re doing and why you do it. We’ve had success with it. It’s just a lot of things we have to do in the offseason to get it accomplished.’’

He said a more than a mouthful in that last sentence. I look for massive moves, from the top down.

I recommend the Titans stage a job fair in the near future for the players, assistant coaches and others that will be seeking employment.

They need to devote their attention on upgrading the roster. They will hold the No. 2 pick in the 2015 NFL draft. Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota will most likely be gone.

The best move, considering the number of holes the Titans have to fill, would be to offer that pick to a team that is in love with Florida State QB Jameis Winston or another player they covet, and in turn get multiple first round picks and beyond.

I would think Whisenhunt’s system requires a number of playmakers at key positions to be effective and the current roster is sorely devoid of those type players.

Yes, they suffered numerous injuries during the season. They finished the season with 15 players going on injured reserve and ending their seasons. All NFL teams deal with season-ending injuries and still make the playoffs. But a Titans roster thin on talent could not withstand the injuries.

Whisenhunt is a coach who has his system and must have players that can excel in his system. Other coaches believe in running a system that is conducive to what their personnel can do physically and mentally.

Much of this year the Titans offense, especially, looked like putting a square peg in a round hole. It didn’t compute.

So how long will Titans fans have to wait for the team to obtain the number of players they need to fit Whisenhunt’s system? It won’t happen overnight.

Veteran backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was with Whisenhunt when they were in San Diego. Veteran quarterback Phillip Rivers was a fit for the system, when his career was slipping.

Whitehurst says he doesn’t blame the system.

“I think it’s pretty consistent,’’ he said. “I think Whiz has proven he’s a winning football coach. When I look back on this season, first and foremost, I think of some of the things I could have done in these ball games to win the games for us.

“Just from the opposite side of the ball, I think we could have executed better, for sure. I think some plays were there to be made. I know as players, we believe in what we’re doing. It’s kind of on us to get it right and move forward.’’

I don’t believe everyone on the current roster believes in Whisenhunt as strongly as Whitehurst says. You could say that about any NFL team, especially one that ends the season with only two wins.

A lot of bad teams have managed to turn fortunes around in one season. We shall see if Ken Whisenhunt can deliver the goods.

Contact wkrn.com Sports Columnist Joe Biddle at joebiddle11@gmail.com.

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