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Ask Mike: How is Titans Offense Coming Along?

Posted Sep 17, 2013

Yes, I am in violation of the “24-hour rule.”

Around NFL teams, you are only allowed to celebrate a win or stew over a loss for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you must be on to the next game.

I’ve struggled with that. When you have Houston down eight points and you have the ball with 4:08 to go, you have an incredible shot to get a huge AFC South road win. When you fail to finish the job, you know that you missed a golden opportunity.

The Titans know that.

Now, we see how the leadership of this team takes over.

Now, we see if the players can put that out of their minds and can go get San Diego.

We will likely learn more about these Titans Sunday at LP Field than we would have last week in Houston.

Here’s hoping the players are doing better with the “24-hour rule” than I am.

Lots of questions about the offense. Several read just like this one from Kyle in Sandusky, Ohio: “I know we are a running team, but where are the screen passes? I don't see any play calls where we are getting our athletes in space. Will the offense get more creative?”

Other questioners were very much like Kenny in Horse Cave, Ky.:

“Why is the Titans play-calling so predictable? If the Titans trust Locker so much why are we only passing when we HAVE to?  My 14 year old daughter called every play Sunday!”

MIKE KEITH: Offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains gave a very insightful interview Tuesday morning to our flagship station in Nashville, 104.5 the Zone. You can listen to the entire interview by clicking here. Sounds like Loggains has issues with the “24-hour rule,” too.

Dowell Loggains is a really good young coach. He also tends to be very blunt, which I really enjoy. More or less, he said that every part of the offense needed to improve. Absolutely true — the offense is not quite where the Titans defense is right now.

It is a new offense (scheme-wise) with three new offensive linemen and a fourth who has practiced very little (right tackle David Stewart).

They did have lousy field position for most of the game on Sunday in Houston, which normally limits how creative that you can be.

They did try to do some different things, like throw screen passes. For example on the last play of the third quarter, Tennessee ran a screen to Chris Johnson, which went for 13 yards. BUT, a “peel back” block was called and the play was brought back.

Execution was the issue on Sunday. If you go back and watch the game again, you will see that there were plays to be made and the Titans missed several chances. By the way, it will sting when you watch it.   

The Titans offense will take better shape when the mistakes are cleaned up. That needs to start this Sunday against the Chargers.

Garrett in Nashville: “I've been a Titans fan for most of my short life (21 years old). After the night we were one yard short, I was hooked on this team, but ever since it's been rather disappointing .Do you think we have the chops this year that would enable us to make a legit playoff (hopefully Super Bowl) run? I mean, all of the pieces seem to finally be in place. What do you think?”

MIKE KEITH: I like this team. They have a little something about them that has been missing and they also have a chance to get better — they clearly haven’t peaked. I like what they have shown the past two weeks on the road. But as I said at the start of this column, I believe that this weekend will start to answer some of the questions. How do you bounce back off of disappointment? How do you play at home? How quickly do you improve? If Tennessee is 2-1 at 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, we start to get our answer.

Andrew from Williamsport, Tenn. writes:  “I am a huge Karl Klug fan. I have his jersey and look forward every week for him to get on the field. I still remember his rookie year against the Colts where he threw the guard down and sacked Curtis Painter. What is it going take for him to get back to his rookie season form?”

MIKE KEITH: Andrew, I think that it is happening. Karl didn’t play very much last season, which is largely why his numbers fell off. I think that now that he has a set role (rusher in obvious passing situations), he is going to play more overall. Klug’s numbers will come as he gets more snaps. Most games, he will get over 20, which gives him that chance.

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