NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- On Mondays, "The Wake Up Zone" visits with former Steelers, Jets and Titans quarterback Neil O'Donnell, with a conversation focused largely on Tennessee's quarterback play.
Here are some thoughts O'Donnell shared and what they got me thinking:
O'Donnell: Ryan Fitzpatrick is throwing the ball in a way where it comes off his palm, he's pushing it in an unnatural way.
My thought: I still don't really have a sense at this point as to how much that's how he throws or if his arm/hand mechanics are off.
O'Donnell: Rhythm comes from completions. Fitzpatrick can be Charlie Checkdown and things can become a lot smoother and build.
My thought: Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains needs to encourage it, too. His biggest mentor, Mike Heimerdinger, frequently called very basic, easy stuff early for Steve McNair to get him started.
O'Donnell: Wants to see more emotion and fight from Fitzpatrick but also says Fitzpatrick is pushing too hard.
My thought: He's a cerebral guy, and I wonder if he feels like outward emotion will look bad if it comes before he's playing more effectively.
O'Donnell: Rushers work so hard to get upfield, and screens are easy throws that show a defense the space you are willing to work. NOD would run three to five screens a game regardless if they work or not. They have to be practiced to work, and it can be hard to get offensive linemen moving in the way that's needed on a Wednesday when they are still recovering, but you have to do it anyway.
My thought: I've understood their rationale for not being "a screen team," but they have to be able to mix in more.
My thought: The offensive line is supposed to be the foundation of this team, but there is no guy with the personality to be the vocal leader beyond that position. Chris Johnson is quiet and not producing. Washington or Delanie Walker could be the right guy.
Hear the interview here.