Tennessee Titans: Dowell Loggains

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans' secondary was good last year, so defensive backs coach Brett Maxie should have been retained.

[+] EnlargeKen Whisenhunt
Frederick Breedon/Getty ImagesLet's give Ken Whisenhunt the benefit of the doubt before judging the moves he made regarding the Titans' coaching staff.
The Titans special teams were bad last year, so special teams coach Nate Kaczor and his assistant, Steve Hoffman, should not have been retained.

That's the popular thinking for at least a portion of Titans fans who are vocal on Twitter.

It's overly simplistic and incorrect.

I thought Maxie and assistant secondary coach Steve Brown did a good job last season.

Ken Whisenhunt kept Brown but let Maxie go.

Maybe he loved Maxie's work but has someone else in mind. Maybe he didn't like Maxie's work. Maybe a coaching colleague he trusts told him something about Maxie and something different about Brown. Maybe Ruston Webster gave him different reviews of the two. Maybe he's got a list of secondary coaches he covets and thinks a new guy working with a holdover will maximize the secondary's chances to do its best.

There are a number of factors that could have come into play. Whisenhunt's not going to spell them out for us.

The same is the case with regard to keeping Kaczor and Hoffman.

It's at least a partial endorsement of their work.

Tennessee's special teams were a problem last year, though things settled down when a quality returner, Leon Washington, fell into their lap late in the season.

But while those guys were heard, they weren't ultimately responsible for Darius Reynaud starting out as returner or Devon Wylie holding the job for a bit. Look higher up the Titans organizational chart for blame there -- to Mike Munchak and Webster.

As for silly, side-spinning, tee-less onside kicks ...

Perhaps Kaczor brought the idea to the table. But the head coach is the guy responsible for the team using it. Munchak, and any head coach, holds veto power and ultimate responsibility.

Whisenhunt is a smart coach who's respected around the league and arrives with six years as a head coach on his resume.

He's taken in some info and decided to keep the special teams assistants who were in place.

Rather than immediately call it a crazy move, how about we wait and see how they do given another chance?

There are good coaches who sometimes get bad results. There are bad coaches who sometimes get good results. Players are a huge variable, obviously.

The performance of the unit or position group is a factor -- Shawn Jefferson is back because he set the receivers on a good course.

It's not the only factor.




The list of assistants and their fates, per Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean:

Retained: Steve Watterson, assistant head coach/strength and conditioning; Steve Brown, assistant secondary coach; Sylvester Croom, running backs; Steve Hoffman, assistant special teams; Shawn Jefferson, wide receivers; Nate Kaczor, special teams.

Let go: Dowell Loggains, offensive coordinator; George Henshaw, tight ends; Bruce Matthews, offensive line; Chet Parlavecchio, linebackers; Dave Ragone, quarterbacks;.

Contract not renewed: Jerry Gray, defensive coordinator; Gregg Williams, senior assistant/defense; Brett Maxie, secondary; Keith Millard, pass rush; Tracy Rocker, defensive line.

TBA*: Jonathan Gannon, defensive assistant/quality control; Arthur Smith, offensive line/tight end assistant.

* Wyatt says they are retained for now, but the new offensive coordinator will have a say in what direction the team goes.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans general manager Ruston Webster clearly doesn’t regard the team’s still-under-contract offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains as a keeper.

Loggains was a big part of Mike Munchak’s inability to agree with Webster and team president and CEO Tommy Smith on changes they said were needed in order for Munchak to remain as head coach.

Munchak wanted to stick with Loggains and maintain some offensive continuity. Munchak’s bosses wanted change.

The Titans have not fired assistants under contract and a new coach will presumably have the chance to keep a few if he so desires.

Loggains isn’t going to be one of them, and the Titans granted the New York Giants permission to interview him. The Giants had a disastrous offensive year and offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride retired.

Loggains is well connected around the league and many view him as an up-and-comer as an offensive mind.

If Tom Coughlin thinks that and Loggains interviews well, the coordinator may move from drawing up plays for Jake Locker and Ryan Fitzpatrick to doing so for Eli Manning.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Offensive continuity was a primary issue for Mike Munchak as he decided he couldn’t stay on as head coach of the Tennessee Titans given the conditions his bosses set forth for him.

Among the coaches Munchak was asked to part with was offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. Loggains seemed like a line in the sand for Munchak, who didn’t think the offense or quarterback Jake Locker would be well served by a third coordinator in four season.

He spoke on The Wake Up Zone in Nashville Tuesday morning.

“I think it’s a disruption,” Munchak said to a general question about his differences with team brass. “I think you want continuity to some degree.”

Munchak spoke of how he already reshaped his coaching staff a year ago. Loggains took over as offensive coordinator with five games remaining in 2012. Shawn Jefferson took over receivers, Sylvester Croom took over running backs and George Henshaw took over tight ends after the 2012 season while Dave Ragone moved from receivers to quarterbacks.

“Last year we put a lot of time and effort into reshaping the offensive side of the coaching staff,” Munchak said. “When you reshape something, it’s for a lot of reasons. It’s getting the right people working together. You’re taking the noise out of the building as far as the coaching noise as far as guys not agreeing. I thought we had a good group of guys that were all going the right direction. ...

“Certain things were working. When you start making changes, it affects what coaches come and go, it affects your relationships with the players, it changes the progress of what you have already going on in a lot of areas. That’s my thinking. If the change was necessary, there is no doubt I would have done it.”

Losing Locker hurt, of course. But even given some allowance for operating without their starting quarterback, the lack of overall progress on offense that translated into more wins was something for which Munchak couldn’t sufficiently answer.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Titans assistants who have contracts for 2014 who were in town met with general manager Ruston Webster on Monday morning.

None of them were fired.

That doesn’t mean the Titans intend to keep them. Webster and team president and CEO Tommy Smith wanted four to six of them fired in order for Mike Munchak to remain.

Defensive coordinator Jerry Gray (who's got an expiring contract), offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio were definitely guys the brass did not want back.

But it makes sense to hold on to guys under contract until a new coach is hired and to give that new coach a chance to see if there are any he’d like to work with.

I see four guys who were not ruled out by Smith and Webster who’ve done good work with the Titans and could deserve consideration from a new head coach.

If he arrives without a guy lined up to coach a certain position, perhaps he’d ponder an incumbent or two.

The worthy four in my eyes:

Receivers coach Shawn Jefferson: He’s got Kendall Wright on a fantastic course and has said he thinks Wright can "revolutionize” the slot position. Jefferson is a very tough coach who operates at a high-volume. He’s not for everyone, but he can certainly help tough-minded receivers excel.

Running backs coach Sylvester Croom: The Titans have had a load of turnover at this spot, and Croom is a well-traveled, mild-mannered coach with vast experience. He and Webster have ties from Tampa Bay when their work with the Buccaneers overlapped from 1987-90. Webster won’t be hiring the staff, but his endorsement could help a guy.

Secondary coach Brett Maxie: Maxie was an NFL safety for 13 seasons, and appeared a good influence on Michael Griffin, who was good in tandem with Bernard Pollard this season. There aren’t many positions where the Titans have developed young guys the last few years. But cornerback Alterraun Verner grew into a Pro Bowl player this season and nickelback Coty Sensabaugh is an improving corner as well.

Assistant secondary coach Steve Brown: While Maxie played safety, Brown played eight seasons as a Houston Oilers cornerback. See above under Maxie on the progress of Verner and Sensabaugh as a reason Brown could be worth consideration for the new coach.

A note on senior assistant/defense Gregg Williams: He also has an expiring contract. He was a good influence who did good work this season. But he's not irreplaceable. The Titans got better on defense this year, but they still weren't very good.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- So Mike Munchak’s choice boiled down to this: lose his job as head coach of the Tennessee Titans or fire a large contingent of assistant coaches in exchange for an extension and raise.

He chose Option A, and it’s understandable.

Munchak
Saturday, general manager Ruston Webster answered all the questions during a 20-minute news conference, but said he didn’t have a comment about whether an extension was discussed as things were sorted out with Munchak.

An extension would have helped Munchak hire replacements for the fired staff -- which was going to include defensive coordinator Jerry Gray (who wouldn’t have been fired, he just would not have been renewed), offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains, offensive line coach Bruce Matthews and linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio.

“I think [Munchak] is a guy that people like to work for and I’m sure we would have been able to attract some coaches,” Webster said after declining comment on extension talk.

Assistants were more likely to join Munchak’s staff given two- or three-year contracts than if he stayed on as a lame-duck signed only through 2014.

I initially presumed any extension would have amounted to an additional, papier-mache year.

Per Chris Mortensen, Munchak was offered “a multiyear extension at almost double his $3 million salary, conditional upon Munchak making more than a dozen staff firings and demotions.”

I can't imagine why the organization would wanted to have paid him that much more. He wouldn't make close to that at his alternative job elsewhere in the NFL -- offensive line coach.

While Munchak’s loyalty was admirable, coaches who joined him last year on short-term deals -- receivers coach Shawn Jefferson and running back Sylvester Croom -- may now lose their jobs as a result of their boss' commitment to other assistants.

Yes, they’ll be in line to still collect their salaries if they don’t work elsewhere next year. But it’s not only about the money.

One example: Jefferson’s son, Van, is a rising senior receiver at Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tenn. A receiver like his dad was, he’s a top college recruit. If his dad’s job is elsewhere next year, the family will face time apart or an awkward move. That's life-altering stuff.

The biggest thing is, if president and CEO Tommy Smith and Webster were telling Munchak which coaches he had to fire, they would have certainly expected to approve those he went on to hire.

That would have effectively neutered Munchak going forward no matter his salary or length of his deal.

A four-year coaching contract in the NFL is set up for a determination to be made after three years. After three years, the body of work should indicate the coach is deserving of a second contract or needs to be replaced.

Munchak did not deserve an extension based on his 22-26 record, a 6-12 AFC South record and a 3-20 record against teams that finished with a winning record.

The Titans may have dressed things up for him. I’m unimpressed that Smith and Webster saw a scenario in which a multiyear extension and a raise were good ideas.

Ultimately Munchak didn’t have much of a choice. He couldn’t have stayed and maintained the level of control an NFL coach should expect, so he told them to fire him and saved them from a bad situation.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Munchak returned Friday evening to the Music City, but the Tennessee Titans issued statements from president/CEO Tommy Smith and general manager Ruston Webster saying things are not yet resolved regarding the coach's job status.

Munchak
"I said all along that we would review every aspect of the football operations at the conclusion of the season -- in early January," Smith said. "Today I sat down with Ruston and Mike and we discussed every coach and player on the roster. We had good discussions, but no final decisions were made."

Said Webster: "The three of us met all day today in Houston. We had a good conversation in regards to the team and moving forward. Nothing final has been decided at this point, but we hope to have a decision soon."

Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean reported that Munchak will return, saying after the statements were released that Munchak has conditions but is expected to meet them.

I interpret that as meaning Munchak will sacrifice part of his staff to retain his job.

Jerry Gray has an expiring contract, but when his phone rings he's likely to be told he won't get a new deal. Munchak should be trying to promote Gregg Williams to the defensive coordinator post, but Williams is also about to become a coaching free agent.

Others who might be in trouble: offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, Munchak's best friend and fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer; linebackers coach Chet Parlavecchio; special-teams coach Nate Kaczor; defensive line coach Tracy Rocker; and pass rush coach Keith Millard.

I wrote previously about some of them being at risk.

I fully believe Dowell Loggains is safe if Munchak is back. The last thing the Titans need is a third offensive coordinator in three years for young quarterback Jake Locker.

If staff changes are the primary conditions for Munchak's return, the easy part may be firing assistants. Hiring quality replacements while heading toward a lame-duck season will be difficult. And there is no indication at all that Smith will consider an extension for Munchak.

Warmack ready for Round 2 with Watt

December, 27, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- After Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt got the better of Tennessee Titans rookie guard Chance Warmack in Week 2, Warmack talked of how hard he would work to review his mistakes and how much better he’d be the next time.

“I won’t be a rookie anymore,” he said.

Warmack
The next time is Sunday, when Houston visits Tennessee in the season finale for both teams.

Over three months later, Warmack says he’s grown a lot.

“Looking at some of the stuff I was doing back then, and what I know now, it is just amazing to see some of the differences in my game,” Warmack told Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean. “I am hoping it’s going to be a different outlook on how I perform against a player like him. But considering it was my second game of the season as a rookie, I think I did OK. I’m a totally different player now.”

He’s an effective run blocker who still needs a lot of refinement in his pass protection. This week we got another reminder about why the team likes him so much. He consistently shows coaches his drive to be great.

“He’s the hardest working offensive lineman out of the group,” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said at his weekly session with Nashville reporters. “He’s the guy you walk in at 4:30 a.m. (Thursday) and he’s sitting in the office watching tape. He has a tremendous desire to be good. It is very important to him.

"He is very prideful to the point where he probably wears the other guys out a little bit wanting to do more. That is the type of football player we want and that is the type character we want. Chance is used to winning and he has football character.”

Per Greg Cosell of NFL Films, when the Texans are in base, Warmack will only see Watt when the tight end is on the right side of the offensive formation. I hope that’s often enough that we get to see how Warmack has progressed through plays against Watt.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When Ryan Fitzpatrick got hit by a blitzer, he threw short for Michael Preston in overtime. The resulting interception by Antoine Cason set up the Arizona Cardinals' win over the Tennessee Titans.

Preston said on "The Wake Up Zone" in Nashville this week that his deep route didn’t come with an adjustment for a blitz.

Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains confirmed that Thursday.

Not only did Preston not have a sight adjustment for that situation, no receiver has one for any situation.

“We don’t sight, we don’t hot,” Loggains said.

That means Fitzpatrick or whoever is at quarterback is expected to make a protection adjustment to deal with the blitz and know who the best person in the progression is to turn to under pressure.

“That way you eliminate some of the gray area of, ‘Is that guy coming, is that guy not coming?’ Loggains said. “That way the receiver can go run his routes instead of staring at the safety and playing slow. …

“Instead of hot routes, we’ll put built-ins where Ryan has to recognize a coverage and go to Kendall [Wright] on an escape or Delanie [Walker] on a shallow cross instead of saying this receiver or tight end has to change his route after the snap and see the same thing the quarterback sees.”

Sounds smart to me.

Titans need run rhythm with hot hand

December, 13, 2013
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Running back rhythm has been an issue for the Titans all season.

Playing from behind has certainly been a factor, limiting carries at times.

Johnson
Greene
But two games ago Chris Johnson started to get going and disappeared. And last week Shonn Greene seemed to be heating up late in the second quarter, but offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains was unable to stick with him.

There is always an explanation, and lots of factors go into it.

But this is a team that talked a great deal about running it and throwing it when they wanted to, not when they needed to.

That preseason plan has not panned out. The Titans, though, have run it plenty. Philadelphia is the NFL’s top rushing team, and they run it an average of 34.8 times a game. The Titans run it 30.3 times.

But the Eagles’ running backs are getting 4.7 yards a carry and Tennessee’s backs average 3.8. Philadelphia backs have run 31 more times than Titans’ backs, for 442 more yards.

Part of the problem was the knee injury suffered in the opener that cost Greene five games. He said when he returned he was “uncertain how stable it was” for a good while after he returned. Only now is he feeling back to himself.

Early in the second quarter in Denver, Green got three straight carries for 7, 6 and 1 yard. Six snaps later he got the ball again, and went for a 28-yard touchdown with 6:56 left in the first half.

Greene didn’t touch the ball again before halftime and got it four times for 3 yards after intermission.

“The stretch where he got hot and ran it, I think the next series was the 2-minute series, and we wanted to put CJ in there because of his explosiveness out of the backfield and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield to make someone miss,” Loggains said. “Then after the half we came back in and I think CJ started the half. At that point we got down after the interception and it’s a different ball game and the running back has gone away at that point.”

It has gone away too often. And I suspect it wouldn't go away as much if they found a way to ride a hot hand better.

Smith: Titans need to use CJ better

December, 10, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We posted earlier about Tommy Smith's conversation with Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean.

Mike Munchak's future is and should be the top subject of that conversation.

Johnson
Interesting too, was what Smith had to say about Chris Johnson, the running back who’s averaging 3.8 yards a carry this season and is slated for an $8 million salary in 2014.

“I think they need to figure out how to use him and his skill set better, but he has been a good teammate and a good player,” Smith said.

They, of course, is Munchak and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains.

Munchak’s coached Johnson for 45 games. If he hasn't figured out how to use him yet, I am not sure I can find a reason to expect he will figure out a way.

More likely, Munchak will sacrifice Johnson at the meeting with Smith after the season.

"When we sit down with Mike at the end of the season I expect Mike to come in and tell me why he thinks we’re in the position we are, what he thinks needs to be done for us to improve,” Smith said.

I think Munchak will say one of the reasons things haven't worked is that Johnson isn't the right back for what they want to do and what they are trying to do.

The running back's big contract came from Mike Reinfeldt, the former general manager and then team vice president who was fired by Smith's father-in-law, the late Bud Adams, after the 2011 season.

Munchak can point to that contract as the reason he's had Johnson on the team the last two years. The coach can try to sell Smith on how things can be better with Shonn Greene and a cheap, mid-round draft pick instead of with the run game centered around a home-run hitter who no longer hits home runs.

He'll have a point. But odds are good he'll also have another losing record. He'll have achieved that with a pricey running back Smith seems to like, and that will make a bigger statement.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- With the Tennessee Titans preparing to face the Denver Broncos for the first time since then-free agent Peyton Manning chose the Broncos over Tennessee, Manning's choice has been a big storyline this week.

John Glennon of The Tennessean recounts the pursuit and shows the Titans really thought they were going to get him.

I’ve heard from two reliable sources that one thing that worked against the Titans for Manning was the team's offensive coordinator at the time.

Chris Palmer’s offensive philosophy was to react, not to dictate. (Here’s a piece from Sept. 2012 I did about his options route scheme.)

[+] EnlargePeyton Manning
Wesley Hitt/Getty ImagesPeyton Manning spent about eight hours with Titans executives on a plane and at the team's headquarters in March 2012.
I can see how that wouldn’t jibe with Manning. And Eli Manning worked with Palmer as quarterback coach with the Giants from 2007-09, so Peyton Manning had some extra insight into Mike Munchak’s chief offensive lieutenant.

When the Titans got their time with Manning, they met him in Knoxville for a workout, then he spent some time in Nashville. The Knoxville contingent was team president Mike Reinfeldt, general manager Ruston Webster, Munchak, Palmer, quarterback coach Dowell Loggains and strength coach Steve Watterson.

I don't want to over-interpret Manning's comments about that time, but he does tend to be very precise in what he says and does.

"I ended up working out for them in Knoxville," he said. "Like I said, I really enjoyed getting to know Dowell Loggains, really enjoyed spending some time with him. I played against Coach Munchak’s teams for many years when he was the offensive line coach. I enjoyed spending some time with him, really enjoyed that time. That was kind of a unique workout I guess, but like I said, I enjoyed the time with them."

His failure to mention Palmer is not super-telling. But after hearing from two places that Palmer was an issue, the fact that Manning left him out is open for at least a bit of interpretation.

Bear with me and trace this circular path that led to the Titans missing out on Manning, who I believe felt a pull from Munchak but a bigger pull from Broncos executive John Elway because of the obvious connection with a quarterback who won big late in a Hall of Fame career.

  1. Late Titans owner Bud Adams was late in sorting out his head-coaching search in 2011. When he parted ways with Jeff Fisher and hired Munchak after the Super Bowl, a lot of hiring had already happened around the league.
  2. As a new head coach without a large network of connections and a narrowed pool of candidates, Munchak had to turn to Palmer, an old friend, as his first coordinator.
  3. A year later, Adams told Titans brass he wanted Manning on the team.
  4. And one of the reasons Manning went elsewhere was because he didn’t feel like working with Palmer would have been the best scenario for him.

Palmer’s an innocent victim here. He’s a good man, though his philosophy is ineffective in the NFL circa 2013. Munchak fired him with five games left in 2012.

If Adams had moved more quickly in sorting things out with Fisher and getting Munchak in place, perhaps Munchak would have hired a different offensive coordinator.

If Manning was more comfortable with that coordinator, perhaps he'd be a Titan instead of a Bronco.

On Kendall Wright's unique route freedom

November, 29, 2013
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Anytime I’ve heard about how a receiver doesn’t run the same route the same way all the time, it’s been a knock on that receiver.

Until now.

When Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick said that about second-year receiver Kendall Wright, he meant it as a compliment.

[+] EnlargeKendall Wright
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports"Kendall [Wright] is the type of receiver, you need to give him some freedom, that's when he's at his best this year," QB Ryan Fitzpatrick said.
“Kendall is kind of 'streetballerish,'” Fitzpatrick said. “When I was in Buffalo I always got questions about Stevie Johnson, who was the same way. They both have basketball player backgrounds. Just very quick. It’s been nice to get on the same page with him a little bit. He’s never going to run the same route twice the same way, and so sometimes he can be a difficult guy to throw to. But I’ve got a good chemistry with him right now. He’s a fun guy because he’s always going to be open…”

“He’s hard to cover. He kind of is freewheeling out there a little bit. That can screw you up a little bit as a quarterback. But the feel that I have for him, some of it is my background with Steve Johnson. Kendall is the type of receiver, you need to give him some freedom; that’s when he’s at his best this year.”

Intense wide receivers coach Shawn Jefferson rarely talks to the media, so there wasn’t an opportunity this week to ask him about Wright’s freedom to freelance.

But Wright said he’s heard no criticism about it, and offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains says it’s a rare freedom that Wright has been granted.

“I think it’s a little bit of the Wes Welker,” Loggains said. “Kendall, he needs to know where he needs to be and how deep it needs to be, and he knows at what point Ryan is expecting him to be there. How he gets there? You can’t put the kid in a box because you’d take away some of his creativity. I think as the season has gone on, he’s started to understand more the distribution and timing of it. It’s given us the opportunity to give him a little bit of leeway in how he gets there.”

Awarding a receiver that sort of latitude is a very rare thing.

“He’d be the only guy on this team that has that option,” Loggains said. “He’s the only guy I’ve ever been a part of on a football team, any coaching staff I’ve ever been on, that has had that freedom to get where he needs to get.”
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Since the Indianapolis Colts' 2012 revamp, the Tennessee Titans have figured out Indianapolis. For a half.

The Titans have led the Colts at the half three times. And three times they have blown the lead and lost.

Pollard
Eleven, 13 and seven point leads at intermission have proven insufficient for the Titans against the Colts.

“We played really well in the first half of that game (two weeks ago),” offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains said. “We need to find a way to finish. That’s two times in a row, two games I’ve called, where we need to find a way to put them away.

“I thought we moved the ball well in this last one, played pretty decent as an offense. We just need to find a way to score one more time in the third or fourth quarter.”

When the Colts came to Nashville on Nov. 14, they were coming off a 38-8 loss to St. Louis.

As the Titans head to Indianapolis, the Colts are coming off a 40-11 loss at Arizona.

Since Chuck Pagano became coach and Andrew Luck became quarterback, Indianapolis has not lost back-to-back games.

“Right now we’re at a point where we’ve got to go,” Titans safety Bernard Pollard said. “We can’t wait, we can’t compromise anything. We’ve got to play good football week-in and week-out. We don’t have time to let down. We’ve got to go.”

.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- While offensive line protection was the biggest factor, the need for Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to scramble so much on Sunday in Oakland was partly his own fault.

That was the thinking of Frank Wycheck, the analyst for Titans Radio and a sports-talk colleague of mine in Nashville. He said during the broadcast that Fitzpatrick’s depth on shotgun snaps was part of the problem, as Fitzpatrick wasn’t dropping much after receiving the ball.

Fitzpatrick
Tuesday morning Wycheck had a chance to ask offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains about it.

“One of the things we fight with all you stubborn vets is you think you’ve been doing something for nine years like that and you’ve had success like that,” Loggains said. “And Fitz knows. If he was listening right now, he’d be laughing because that’s something I’m always on him about.

“I’m like, ‘Hey, your drop. You’re just catching it and sitting there.’ That’s great when you’re throwing three-step. That’s what he did in Buffalo. I’m like, ‘Hey, take a drop. Get back, create a little space so you can push up in the pocket and step up.' It’s something he’s really comfortable with. In Buffalo they were catching the ball and throwing it, it was all three-step and getting the ball out. But for him, every drop looks the same. We’re going to continue to work with him on it. He feels a lot more comfortable in shotgun than under center. He’s working on it, and he knows and we’re definitely working on it with him as well.”

(Here is the whole Loggains interview.)

The offensive line isn’t good enough at this stage, even with some injury issues. It was supposed to be the backbone of this team and it hasn't been. In Oakland, while the group played better late than it did early, the Raiders had far too easy of a time getting Fitzpatrick off his spot.

Fitzpatrick needs to work to minimize his own role in the problem.

Upon Further Review: Titans Week 12

November, 25, 2013
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- A review of four hot issues from the Tennessee Titans' 23-19 win over the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum:

Third down: Third down was key on both sides of the ball. The offense and defense were productive when it came time to stay on, or get off, the field. The offense converted 10 of 18 chances (7 of 9 in the second half). The conversions included two third-and-11s, two third-and-10s, three third-and-7s and a third-and-6. Defensively, the Titans allowed just three conversions by Oakland in 10 chances.

[+] EnlargeRyan Fitzpatrick
AP Photo/Beck DiefenbachRyan Fitzpatrick completed 30 passes for 320 yards against Oakland.
Perfect execution: Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick deserve credit for the way they engineered the final drive. They had 6:10 to use and they used 6:00 of it as the Titans moved 80 yards in 14 plays. If they didn’t score a touchdown to win it, leaving Oakland virtually no time, they were going to be in close field goal range to at least force overtime. They converted three third downs along the way. They didn’t even need to use their third timeout.

Clean up: Ten penalties for 100 yards were just killer, and I’ve noted in the past the Titans’ inability to account for the way a game is being officiated. Once you’re called for a couple of holds, shouldn’t coaches be telling guys how it’s being called and making them more conscious of it? Six holding penalties, four against the offensive line, demand better explanation than the Titans offered. First-and-20 is no way to live. One nice thing here: They committed just one defensive penalty. I know safety Michael Griffin was going low and tight end Mychal Rivera was going down at the same time. There was an element of bad luck, but it was still a hit against a defenseless receiver that isn’t allowed.

Contributing nothing: Kenny Britt had two balls thrown his way, and dropped both. He had to dive for the second, but it went right though his hands. I figured the Titans would eventually need Britt again and get something from him. But it’s probably past time to give up and start deactivating him. Michael Preston is on the practice squad and if Damian Williams needs another week to get healthy, the Titans probably should find a way to get Preston on the roster to be the fourth receiver. They can’t have a receiver on the field who offers little to no chance of making a catch when the ball comes in his direction.

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