Monday, December 28, 2009

Weekend Notes

As I continue the longest vacation in recent memory (6 straight days with only a 2 hour Titans pre-game show!) I feel the need to purge some thoughts...let's start with the death of the Titans season. Maybe the Wise-Guys had it right all along. When the over-under for wins came out at 9 for the Titans this season, we in the Dawghouse were incredulous! "Easiest money on the board! 10 wins in '07, 13 in '08! Come on, man!" Well, "Under" was the play. And maybe it was justified. What was no justified was the lack of preparedness and composure the Titans came out with against San Diego. Yes, the Chargers are he better team, but 42-17? And once again, with a big moment at hand, the Titans soil the bed. 11 years ago they rode a Music City Miracle into a Super Bowl appearance. They were flat in the 1st half of that Super Bowl, only to rally and come up short...see a pattern here? It's been this way for the Titans entire run in Nashville...and they've only won two playoff games in the 10 years since.
As for the future, the offense is in great shape, and I do believe you roll with Vince Young. The defense? KVB, Nick Harper, Keith Bulluck, David Thornton, Tony Brown could all be gone and the Freak checked out earlier this year...In any event, there will be massive turnover, but a check of the numbers will show that's not necessarily a bad thing. The real question is, how high up the ladder will the changes come?

Urban Meyer
I can tell you from experience that no coach should ever make career decisions before February. The stress of a season leaves many thinking, "I can't do this anymore". Now Urban Meyer may have a medical condition, and that can be physical or mental. Stress and anxiety go hand and hand, and anxiety often presents as heart issues. I believe he speaks from the heart when he says he needs to "Reprioritize" his life. I truly hope he gets this done. College football and the SEC are better with Urban Meyer and I honestly believe he'll be on the sideline when Florida opens it's 2010 regular season. This should be a wake up call for every coach in the land...sometimes I think we've lost some perspective.
Now a note of full disclosure. After the 1994 season, I quit my job as Special teams co-ordinator at D-III St. John Fisher College. At the team banquet they said nice things about me and presented me with a nice pen set. I was back before Spring Ball. I did not give the pen set back, but when I finally did "Retire" from coaching, at age 36, I did it in May...

Colts perfection
YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! Only exception is a final meaningless game. "Resting" players 3 weeks before your playoff game is just stupid. And if you are unbeaten, it's even dumber. Up 2 touchdowns, 10 minutes left in the game...fine, but what took place yesterday in Indy was a disgrace. Not to mention the impact on all the other potential playoff teams. Finally, the only time the Colts actually finished the deal and won a Super Bowl, they played hard through the end of the season. This "Resting" theory is right up there with the prevent defense. And they threw away a chance at NFL immortality. Just a shame!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Greatness and Class

As Alabama closed out the 2009 SEC Championship, I stood on the Floor of the Georgia Dome and looked up at the megatron to see Tim Tebow, in tears, on the sideline...as I stared at the image, it occurred to me that, in a sense, Tim Tebow was responsible for both Florida's win in 2008, and this Bama victory in 2009. Later, Nick Saban took the podium and confirmed my thoughts. Tebow taught the Tide a lesson in perseverance and showed them where they had to raise their game to if they were to wear the crown. And then the Tide did just that. Tebow had one of those Tebow moments, marching his team right down the field to cut the Alabama lead to 12-10, much to close given the level of dominance the Tide were enjoying.
But then a strange thing happened. Alabama responded. With a vengeance. Catching the Gators in their 1st blitz of the game, Greg McElroy floated a screen pass to Mark Ingram and 69 yards and one review later, Bama was 1st and goal from the 3. One play later, it was 19-10, and it was clear that this would not be 2008. Nick Saban's $32 million dollar deal 3 years ago looks like a steal right now. And Tim Tebow is still the greatest college football player of our time. Greatness and class; which is which? You decide. You're right.