Jeff Fisher + VY = Titanic Failure

So when’s the 2011 NFL Draft?  Naturally, this is the first question that comes to mind when I see the Tennessee Titans on TV or in the news these days.  It seems like only yesterday that we had visions of Randy Moss TD’s and Super Bowl victories dancing around in our heads.  Now three weeks later we head into Houston riding a 3-game losing streak on the back of 3rd string QB, Rusty Smith.  What the hell happened?  Apparently Vince Young happened, or at least that’s the general consensus among Titans fans and ESPN analysts.   In my opinion, however, Jeff Fisher is getting off way too easy.  I’ll explain by giving you a scenario:

You’re head coach for the Tennessee Titans.  You have Vince Young, a young quarterback full of potential, but has a history of struggling when his confidence starts to drop.  Luckily for you, however, he’s having a career year.  He’s not making many mistakes and has the highest passer rating in the league, both overall and when throwing the ball over 20 yards.  You’ve also got Chris Johnson, the most dynamic running back in the NFL.  Defenses stack eight in the box to try and stop him, leaving big holes in their secondary that a confident Vince Young could exploit with the right weapons at wide receiver…. cue Randy Moss…. one of the greatest deep threats of all time was just picked up off waivers.

This is the exact scenario that Jeff Fisher had going into week 10 of the NFL season.  Fans knew what we had and could do the math:  CONFIDENT VY + CJ2K + Moss = Super Bowl.  But Fisher decided to change the equation.  He subtracted a CONFIDENT VY and added what seems to be his personal pride and joy:  Kerry Collins.  As Young sprinted off the field during halftime of the Miami game, and doubts about his mobility and health went out the window, I knew something wasn’t right… and they haven’t been right since.

What Jeff Fisher did that day was something he should’ve seen coming.  Fisher had coached Young for nearly five years, and knew that confidence was vital to Vince’s success, yet he continued to smother the flame.  Throughout the season he relied too heavily on the run game, and refused to let Young throw the ball against defenses determined to stop Chris Johnson.  He benched Young whenever he got the opportunity, using poor play or injuries as an excuse.  Meanwhile, Young’s confidence began to drop and his frustration began to build, leading to a total collapse after the loss against Washington.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t agree with Vince’s tantrum or his apology via text, and I don’t know what’s been going on behind closed doors.  What I do know is that Jeff Fisher never had confidence in the most important player on his team this season, which in reality, never gave the Titans a chance to meet their offensive potential.

It’s no secret that Vince Young was selected by Bud Adams in the 2005 NFL Draft despite Jeff Fisher’s desire to draft a more Kerry Collins like QB (Jay Cutler).   As this offseason approaches (not fast enough for Titans’ fans), one has to wonder… will Bud Adam’s go against his head coach and choose VY again?  With this season’s failures one thing’s for certain: the Titans will be subtracting one of them from their equation next season… I just hope that the final answer is a winning one.

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