Saturday, January 30, 2010

Give Him the Love, if Not the Contract...

Interesting piece by Jim Wyatt in the Tennessean on Saturday regarding Kyle Vanden Bosch. KVB thinks he's done in Nashville, and that may be the case. The Titans have been pretty shrewd in the past, knowing when to pull the trigger on a vet. There have been misses (Derrick Mason) and hits (Eddie George) and the 4 mil they gave Javon Kearse to model a uniform for the past 2 years. But reality is, Vanden Bosch is looking for a lot more than Freak money, and I don't see the Titans going there. The disturbing part of the story is the lack of communication, or dare I say respect, shown KVB. They're are only 53 guys on an NFL roster, and only a handful that are true vets, and maybe ex-Titans. How difficult is it for an owner, or GM, or Head Coach to drop a note to a guy thanking them for the sacrifice and service and wishing them well. Maybe a note that says, "We may or may not be involved in your playing future, but wish to let you know how much you have meant to the organization"....is that too much? KVB has heard from his position coach and the trainer since the season ended a month ago. Personally, I have been critical of Vanden Bosch's game at times in the past year, but have great respect for what he has brought to the community, on and off the field...KVB defines the term "Warrior" in a sports sense. And he deserves to hear that from the top of the Titans flow chart...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Coaches

The two biggest off-season coaching stories in the SEC involved two Forty-somethings whose paths will cross every September...And make no mistake, regardless of this self imposed "Break" that Urban Meyer is/has/might take, he will surely be in Knoxville to see what this Dooley kid is all about...In fairness, Derek Dooley is only a few years younger than Meyer, and has not had the early Head Coach success that Meyer had, but be sure about this; Derek Dooley has logged his share of SEC time, much more than Meyer had when he arrived 5 years ago, and you can argue the La Tech job was much tougher than the task Meyer had at Bowling Green or Utah. Time will only tell how Dooley will do, but rest assured, recruiting will not be an issue. When Nick Saban entrusts you with player procurement, as he did at LSU, you must have something on the Ball. And being a part of a National Championship staff doesn't hurt either. And then there's that whole "Dad won a National Title" thing. Dooley has brought class and a Southern football mentality to the Hill...I already like him more than Coach Lame...
As for Meyer, his abrupt retirement/leave of absence/day off can be tracked directly to the reason most of us end up leaving the profession. It hurts to lose more than it feels good to win. And Meyer has lost exactly 12 in the last 7 years, 18 in his entire 9 year career. His .812 winning percentage is tops in all of football...but that loss in Atlanta December 5th hurt...and hurt bad. More than just an undefeated season, an SEC Title and shot at the National Championship kind of hurt. The "Tebow factor" was in play here. The Coach loves the player like a son, and no one can stand to see your son like that...Is there a true medical issue? Maybe...probably something...but the bigger issue is emotional and mental. And when Urban Meyer gets control of those emotions, he can look forward to many seasons of matching wits, and not barbs, with Derek Dooley.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Al Davis was RIGHT!

Al Davis said Lane Kiffin was a devious little liar...and everyone said Davis was a senile old man...well, I guess the old man was right! Kiffin turns and runs back to the left coast as quick as possible, turning his back on the SEC and the Vol Nation. You should have know from the beginning that this "Johnny come never" would back up the truck at the 1st opportunity. This trumps Dennis Franchione dissing Alabama. What's Kiffin going to do next, change his son's name from Knox to Orange County? What a joke. And where does UT go now? Kippy Brown takes over in the interim as Pops Kiffin and Ed O are heading west as well. I bet Tommy Tubberville wishes he was still on the market. Jon Gruden? Jim Levitt? Rick Stockstill? Tommy Bowden? What a mess...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Offensive POY, not MVP...

Chris Johnson is once again obsessing over personal achievements...this time he is miffed by missing out to Peyton Manning on the MVP race...he recently tweeted, "Do any body got payton address I got to go get my award"...and who said East Carolina isn't the Harvard of the South! In any event, CJ finished in a tie with Brady Quinn....and Len Dale White...and me, for that matter, with ZERO MVP votes. And the fact is, that's about right. CJ is the NFL Offensive Player of the Year...but not the MVP. Most Valuable means that without you, the team can't win a game. In reality, CJ couldn't carry the Titans to a win all year that Vince Young didn't play in. And when VY played poorly on Christmas night, CJ still got his yards...and the Titans got drilled. Chris Johnson may not even be the MVP of the Titans...but he is the Player of the Year...now if your looking for an MVP argument, go see the guy in New Orleans...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Who Knew? What Next?

Almost 3 years ago to the day, Nick Saban was announced as the Head Coach at Alabama....for a ridiculous sum of 32 mil over 8 years...."My God, that's 4 mil a year!" was the shrill heard around college football. And 3 years later, he brought a National Championship to Tuscaloosa, beating a coach making 5 mil a year. 3 years ago this spring, he opened the doors to the spring game and 92,000 people showed up (left). Greg McElroy (then #17) and Roy Upchurch (5) were among those left behind by Mike Shula. The Student Assistant to the right of Upchurch is my son...now at Middle Tennessee. The brutal fact for the SEC is that Nick Saban has gone 26-2 the past two years with 2 Mike Shula QBs, and a roster dominated by Shula recruits. Guys like Javier Arenas, who no one really offered, and Rolando McClain, who was going to Alabama no matter who was the coach. Saban brought in Ingram, and Richardson and Jones and a Mountain named Cody and so many more that are waiting to step in. He has cemented himself, for now, as the best in the game, although it didn't look like it in the 1st quarter of the NC game. Taking the ball, fake punts at your own 20, no one catching a kickoff...who were those impostors? But you saw Saban football in that final drive of the 1st quarter, and with all due respect, Colt McCoy doesn't play defense. Florida St. did it, Miami did it, USC and Florida did it, and now Alabama will do it...they will hover around the top of the polls, a national Championship threat, for the next several years...unless Saban decides....well, let's no go there now!

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Be the GM" Week!

OK, you come off a 13-3 season with an 8-8 playoff miss. Now is your chance to be the GM or Owner or Coach or whoever is making decisions over at Baptist Sports Park. This week, each day, we'll present you with a new Titans personnel issue. We'll start with VY, then KVB, Keith Bullock, Kevin Mawae and finally, Jeff Fisher and staff...let's us know what you think in our poll question...and let the discussion begin...