Tuesday Mailbag: Jim Wyatt Answers Questions From Titans Fans

huddle-shot

NASHVILLE – Well, that stunk.

The Titans didn’t get it done against the Bills on Sunday, and the tone of the questions in here are about what you’d expect. I get it – it was another frustrating loss.

I’m figuring none of you want pleasantries, so we’re just going to get straight to the dirt.

Jimmy Dee from Battle Ground, Washington
Question:
My question is: "Does the team have a solution to the Rodger Saffold problem? Saffold is blaming the rest of the players, coaches, and front office for the Titans poor play but really it's actually Rodger Saffold that is one of the biggest problems. He's got the most sacks against him than any OL in the entire league. It's him and he's pointing the finger at everyone else so he can distract from the fact that the real problem is HIM.

Jim: The solution to the Rodger Saffold problem is for Rodger Saffold to play better. The Titans signed him to be the reliable pro he’s been throughout his career. The team is going to count on him to return to form rather than relying on some inexperienced guards currently behind him on the depth chart. But let’s not pin all of this on Saffold either – the entire offensive line is going to have to play better. As for his accountability, he stood in front of his locker on Monday and said he feels like he’s letting the team down while acknowledging he needs to be better. He's hardly a guy passing the buck.

Anne McCraw from Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Question:
How is Ryan Succop doing? When will he return?

Jim: Succop is making strides. Here’s the rule: He can begin practicing after Week 6 (the week after the Denver game) but he’s not eligible to return to the 53-man roster until after Week 8 (after the Tampa Bay game). It remains to be seen if that happens.

Nancy Hall from Lebanon, Tennessee
Question:
I am not a football expert but a dedicated Titans fan who attends all the home games and some of the away games. I have 2 questions/observations that I would appreciate your take on:
1. Our O-line is obviously not working well yet 3 members have just recently received big contract extensions. We have no pass rush.. Is the problem "I just got the big bucks so I can ease up", or coaching is lacking, or the talent is lacking or something else - personalities and likability aside?
2. No one is a stronger supporter of Mariota than I am. However, our 5th year QB keeps saying "I have to get better at ..." or "I have to learn to do such and such". Yet I see rookie and 2nd year QB's who seemingly have learned these things. Again, what is the problem here? I believe Marcus has the skills - he can throw and he can run - but is the game too fast for him mentally? Is he receiving adequate coaching?
Thanks for your take on these 2 subjects as they seem to be the most prominent problems with our team!

Jim: Hi Nancy. Thanks for your support.
1) I don’t think it’s a case of guys letting up after getting contracts. It’s a combination of a lot of things. I’m not going to pretend to know all the blocking techniques of the offensive linemen but they need to be more dependable as a group. Twenty-two sacks in five games is bad.
2) Marcus does keep saying that, but here’s my take: Part of his explanation of “I have to do better” is him trying to put the blame on himself instead of him deflecting to others. Does he need to do better? Yes. But a lot of guys around him need to do better, too. And I don’t think the game is too fast for him. He showed once again in Atlanta he's capable if given adequate protection.

Ernie Dunbar from Madison, Tennessee
Question:
Hello Jim. There is no way to sugar coat it. It doesn’t get much worse than this, especially when it comes to the offensive play-calling. There are teams with less at QB than we have, one decent receiver, and one RB not as good as what we have and they do a much better job than we do. It’s because they know how to use what they have. And while our O.C. (bless his heart) who is learning on the job, MM is most likely going to take the heat for this embarrassment. My question is: Do you think the Titans would consider bringing in an offensive guru who has experience at Offensive Coordinator to be a Consultant to Arthur Smith to help him out. The same way we did in bringing in Dick LeBeau as a consultant to the then current Defensive Coordinator? Thanks and take care.

Jim: Hey Ernie. I don’t agree with you on the offensive play-calling. The Titans were in a position to score enough points to win on Sunday against a Buffalo defense that’s ranked No.2 in the NFL and had just held Tom Brady to a 45.9 rating the week before in a 16-10 game. The Titans missed four field goals, had two touchdowns called back because of penalties and had plenty of opportunities to score. Arthur Smith doesn’t need help. What he needs is for the players to execute better, and yes, that includes his starting quarterback.

Mike Smithfield from Nashville, Tennessee
Question:
Jim, I love your coverage of the Titans. I was doing some research on kickers that have gone 0-4 or worse in a game, and here are a couple of interesting facts.
1. The last time it happened to any kicker, it was Dan Carpenter of the Dolphins against the Bills on 12/19/2010.
2. The only other time it has happened in franchise history was Roy Gerela of the Oilers going 0-4 against the BIlls almost exactly 50 years earlier on 10/5/1969.
I don't know what it is about the Bills and kickers, but I thought you might like to know.

Jim: Jeez, interesting stat there, Mike. Must be the curse of Scott Norwood.

Miles Call from Hockessin, Delaware
Question:
Hey Jim, after watching the Bills game I’m really starting to lose hope in our Titans. The offensive line is just horrible, and combined with the atrocious kicking, we lost. My question is in regards to when (if ever), the Titans can address their pass rush issues. Josh Allen had forever on too many occasions, and it seems like whenever the titans don’t blitz, the opposing quarterback has way too much time. I’ve not given up hope just yet, considering we play the Broncos next week and the rest of the AFC south isn’t that much better. But we absolutely have to play better, and beat the Broncos next week.

Jim: Hey Miles. Not sure I completely agree with this either. The Titans sacked Josh Allen four times -- he’d been sacked nine times in the first four games combined. I thought DaQuan Jones was disruptive, and Harold Landry got him. Yes, some of the pressure came on blitzes. Not having Cameron Wake available hurt, and the team lost OLB Sharif Finch after two snaps. So guys had to play more snaps than usual. We do agree on this – it needs to be better. Everything needs to be better.

Joe Zimmerman from Peachtree City, Georgia
Question:
Hey Jim! Obviously a lot of people, myself included are pretty angry at Santos’ performance. Even one of those kicks may have made Josh Allen and Buffalo’s offense one dimensional, and we all know how Byard and company change the game. We also cannot ignore the lack of performance from the O-line.

My questions to you are :
1) what do you think about Mike Vrabel’s decision to go for a field goal, after 2 missed kicks from Santos?
2)what do you think about our problems with the o-line, specifically Jack Conklin
3)what do you think about the play calling from Arthur Smith? I feel after our line was dismantled the way they were, specifically second half, there would have been more action from Walker.

Jim: Let’s go rapid fire:
1) It was actually after three missed kicks from Santos. I’m not going to second-guess the head coach on the team’s official website. When I left The Tennessean to work for the team I knew there were some things I could no longer do, and one of them is to question coaching decisions. I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding others who will do that elsewhere.
2) I don’t think Jack Conklin is at the front of the line as it relates to problems on the offensive line.
3) After every game I’m sure we could point to a player and question why he wasn’t involved. I think Delanie is a heck of a player who could always help. But Arthur called a game that would have produced a win if not for penalties, missed field goals and mistakes.

Daryl Stanger from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Question:
Well, it was another Titans classic, lackluster offense and missed opportunities. The game plan was to nickel n dime them and run the ball.. it didn't work. There’s no deep passes because the o-line is struggling to the point they might as well drag some big guy out of the stands to play. the bills defense is stacking the box and Mariota gets sacked again and again standing in the pocket like a statue. He cant feel the pocket breaking down around him for such a "mobile" QB and why Mariota is so reluctant to scramble and extend the play outside of the pocket is beyond me. The coaches need to stop these egregious decisions like sending the kicker who just missed 3 to kick a 53 yarder with 6 mins left in the 4th when down 7, I could see if it was 4th and 20 but 4th and 4 they have to go for it. Last week’s decision not to kick the FG and go up 17 points with 13min left on the road was another terrible decision.
Okay rant aside im a big Mariota fan and I will always support the titans, just tired of the same old same old. Letting these close games slip by is always a punch to the gut and now its on to Denver. What is it going to take for the offense to get things going against tougher defenses because we cant play the falcons D every game? Oh yeah, who.s replacing our kicker who shall not be named? I mean those kicks weren't even within 20 yards of the uprights lol Thanks Jim

Jim: Hey Daryl. You sound like a lot of folks I’ve heard from in the wake of Sunday’s loss. What’s it going to take? Better protection, better QB play, more consistency from the RBs, WRs and TEs, and better execution all-around. The Falcons don’t play defense like the Bills, and that partly explains why Sunday was such a struggle. But if the Titans are going to win more games, they’d better figure out a way to get some of these problems fixed.

Adam Kanode from Herndon, Virginia
Question:
Hey Jim! Looks like you’re in for another rough week. I hope people take it easy on Marcus seeing as he had a better QBR against the bills than Tom Brady did. Granted, it wasn’t a huge difference, but the Pats pulled out the win. My question is more rhetorical and I’m not sure you can answer for them. Don’t the players get angry? Shouldn’t there be a light lit beneath them? I get angry just sitting on the couch that makes me want to be better, don’t they? Doesn’t the O-line get mad and just want to pancake block someone every down? I know that’s way easier said than done and anger could lead to stupid penalties, but it doesn’t seem like the offense plays with any heart.

Jim: Hey Adam. Believe me, players are ticked off. But you have to play with controlled aggression on the field. Guys have to keep their composure. But I can tell you folks weren’t in a great mood walking around the facility on Monday. Heck, I broke a couple of pencils myself.

Dan Guyette from Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Question:
I just have to get this off my chest, that game was a win, the loss is on each and every player that did not do their job. They lost the game and clearly are playing the game to make money and not win! Is it just coaching incompetence or is there logic in tying up (2) roster spots for Pamphile and Fluellen for (5) games, probably more, when you need reinforcements? Is there logic in starting a change of pace back that doesn't add much of a change of pace? Someone "PLEASE" work one-on-one with receivers with specific emphasis on "THEIR" dropped passes? Please remind MM where the LOS is at the beginning of each play and will the OC kindly be sure to have someone ready to stay in to block or chip the edges to help against better players? I am a bit older than most who post here and I am not a longtime Oilers/Titans fan. I began rooting for and following the team when MM was drafted in 2015. I am not going to defend or denigrate any players or coaches decisions. First, it is "so nice" of individual players and coaches to accept blame and responsibility for not only their gaffes but gaffes of other players. You all can be "nicey-nicey" as well as politically correct while continuing to lose, you can spin it any way you want and at the end of the day a loss is a loss and the team that lost "IS" the loser! Virtually every player and coach on that team makes more than a middle-class family of 6 and you do not even have enough pride to give it your maximum effort and do your jobs, prima donnas!

Jim: Oh man, the frustration has reached Cambodia. Thanks for the feedback Dan.

David Tonner from Clarksville, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim. I just have to vent. I know we have a QB and O-line problem, but do we also have a head coach problem. One game we go on 4th and 9 inside the 20 passing up a chip shot field goal. Last week we go for it 4th and 6 passing on another chip shot. Now yesterday we don't go 4th and 4 and take a shot at a field goal which would have equaled the kickers longest ever. I know Coach wants to be aggressive not reckless, but that was reckless. Even if he had made it we still would have needed another touchdown. Just what is going on? I guess I do have a real question. As much as I like Marcus I think he is what he is. Do you think that Tannehill will get a shot? Thanks, keep up the good work.

Jim: Appreciate the feedback. As for the question about Mariota, I’m not endorsing a QB change right now. Marcus needs to play better, but as I keep repeating, a whole lot of guys need to play better around him, too.

Richard Gilbreath from Miami, Florida
Question:
I think it's safe to say we have problems being consistent on both sides of the ball, more so the offense. With that being said, when do we start holding players accountable for their poor play and pushing them harder to get better? For example, Belichick makes sure he gets the best out of his players. I thought with Vrabel being coached by Belichick that he would bring that "hard nosed, do your job proficiently" mentality. I'm mainly speaking about Santos for this game. Vrabel kept saying it's a team game (which he is correct), but no one else kicked those missed field goals. He just wouldn't say Santos, when he was clearly the issue. I know we are the Titans and not the Patriots, but their wins give the proof in the pudding. Also, what is wrong with Mariota not wanting to throw the ball out??? Instead I noticed a few sacks (offensive lines fault) but Mariota just looked straight in front of him and ran into the offensive line like he was magically going to bust through them.
Thanks for always keeping the fans up to date as much as possible and providing great material to read on. TITAN UP!

Jim: Hey Richard. Appreciate you following, and reading. Vrabel and GM Jon Robinson are definitely holding players accountable – Santos was cut on Monday, less than 24 hours after his forgettable performance, in case you missed it. I get the sense from listening to Vrabel the team is considering some other things as well, including lineup changes.

Asa Fitzpatrick from Lutz, Florida
Question:
Hey Jim. I’m writing this right after attending that brutal 14-7 loss to the Bills. I have a comment and a question. Santos missing four field goals was brutal. Not going to lie. Some of the play calls and decisions were brutal. Not going to lie. That play were Marcus was “over” the line was brutal. Not going to lie. (Also his foot looked back behind the line still, making it a good touchdown. Right? But what do I know?) But what would be the most brutal of all is if Marcus Mariota is benched because we lost this game. Here’s my question: Is Marcus’ job in danger? Here’s my comment: Marcus is and will forever be my guy. He’s done an incredible job, and I do not want to see him benched for games that weren’t his fault. Find another QB who hasn’t turned over the ball yet this season. It’s Marcus and MAYBE a couple others. Please let Vrabel know that Marcus is incredible and should be our QB forever. I’m sick of everybody bashing him. Yes, we’re 2-3. Yes, we could’ve/should’ve won the three games we’ve lost, but it’s early. We’ll be back. Please don’t bench my QB.
As always thank you for what you do Jim! Looking forward to the mailbag being positive again! Go Titans now and forever! No reason to throw in the towel yet!
Feel free to let Marcus know I’m his biggest fan. :)

Jim: Appreciate you taking the time Asa.

Sean K from Parrish, Florida
Question:
No questions, just a statement. Enough of this, oh we let our defense down, or we need to do better. Of course you do. It's embarrassing to let this loss happen, just like last year. It's embarrassing to lose to the Colts Game 2. Your Kicker just missed 3 kicks in a tied game, and you get to 4-4 and for from the Bills 40 or whatever,, and you send Kicker out there again? That is just bad coaching. Don't blame MM for this loss. Blame the kicker, blame the O line and blame the Coaching. Titan fans deserve better than this bs. Enough already. Nobody cares to hear this broken record over and over. Last year we lose in Buffalo, and it cost us the playoffs. Most likely this will be another nail in the non playoff coffin. You have 3 Conference losses and 2 divisional losses. Everyone wants to focus on MM and his future,, How about top to bottom GM to ball boy,, and think about how year after year you continue to put sub par performances on the field. No wonder why the PSL owners sell their tickets to opposing fans, who wants to watch this shiat.

Jim: Um, thanks Sean.

Carter Cheeseman from Fort Worth, Texas
Question:
Hey Jim, I’m not sure how other fans will react to this loss, but for me personally, I view it as a game we let slip away to a team that is actually very good. It’s frustrating because if we had just hit two of the 4 missed kicks, then we’re up 13 - 7 which makes it a completely different feeling game going into the end of the 4th quarter. I can rally behind Santos after missing 2 kicks but 4 is a little rough to support the guy. I hope he can get back on track on not let it phase him. Now for the question segment.... game was not on in my area so I listened to the broadcast, but it seemed like Marcus has a decent game. No glaring mistakes and at times his receivers may have dropped catchable balls. Is this accurate? Also is Ryan succop eligible to return to the team this season? Have a good one and don’t get too exhausted reading the mailbag ;)

Jim: Hey Carter. Marcus had a decent game, not great. When you only score one touchdown, how great can it be? His protection wasn’t very good, and I counted at least three drops. But he missed some throws as well, and he has to know where he is on the field before throwing the touchdown pass than was called back because it was an illegal forward pass. Succop is eligible to return after Week 8 as I mentioned previously.

Jason Knight from Cleveland, Tennessee
Question:
I know the team can do better, where are all the true Titans fans? I mean I get aggravated with them too, but if you’re not using your tickets, or if your gonna go and complain, l would gladly take them. So-called Titans fans are worse than the team. The real Titans fans need to stand up. I’m sure another city or state would love to have them. We should be ashamed to let other fans come to this state and outdo us in any stadium. Not everyone can be the Patriots but no teams fan should outdo use at home.

Jim: Hey Jason. I’ll admit it – as ugly as the game was on Sunday, just as sickening was the number of Bills fans in the stadium. The Titans have to do a better job winning to get fans to come out, but I’m betting some of the diehards aren’t too happy with the Titans fans around them that sold their tickets to Bills fans. And, look, here’s one now…

Troy Rogers from Hendersonville, Tennessee
Question:
Hi Jim, I’m a founding member of season ticket holder and haven’t missed a game in 20 years. I have been there thru thin and thinner. Everyone wants to point the finger at offensive line, kicker, QB and coaching staff. But Sunday there were more Bills fans than Titans. It was embarrassing to see our boys in blue having to go silent snap count because the opposing team took over our stadium. All those “bandwagon fans” should be ashamed for selling their tickets to Bills fans. If you can’t make the game give your ticket to a needy kid or leave an empty seat. If you are pointing out our failures. Please look in the mirror for the team’s biggest problem. TITAN UP TICKET HOLDERS and do your job. My question has a simple answer..... how do we get our fans in the stadium?

Jim: Thanks for chiming in Troy. The team appreciates your support. And the best way to keep it from happening is by winning. When the Titans first moved to town and went to the playoffs four times in five years, the place was packed with Titans fans. I get that a lot of things have changed since then -- a ton of folks (from other fan bases) have moved to Nashville from other cities, the technology has improved, making it more tempting to stay home and watch the game on TV, and Nashville has become the “it” city for fans wanting to travel to Nashville for an NFL road trip. Plus, tickets have become more expensive. But winning will attract fans, and the Titans have failed to do that on a consistent basis, so I get what’s happening. But I also get why you’re upset for the reasons you stated. And you have more company ...

Franky Markle from Tennessee
Question:
I’ve been going to Titans games since they played in Memphis as the TN Oilers. My point..... it’s worse now than ever!! Why in the heck are so many fans selling their tickets to the opposing team fans? Our fans are complacent, not as LOUD as it was in years past. We have a great Defense!!!
If our fans were......
1. At the game 2. Getting loud, our team might have a chance when it gets cold and our offense gets to running the ball. I want to go from good to GREAT. I sure everyone involved wants the same. Sorry for the rant.
What’s your thoughts on the tickets being bought by other team’s fans? How good could our defense be if they had the chance to play with the lead? C’mon Titans fans.... this next home stretch we need to loud and proud!!! TitanUp! Thanks for all you do!

Jim: Hey Franky. Appreciate you taking the time. I can't answer for the fans who sell their tickets to fans of the opposing team. That's their decision and they're entitled to it. I can tell you I've had tickets to Vanderbilt football games since I was around 10 years old and not once have I sold my tickets to a fan of the opposing team. I'd rather throw them in the trash can. But believe me, it happens all the time from other Vanderbilt season ticket holders, including the ones who sit around me and my family. Personally, I don’t like seeing fans of the opposing team taking over Nissan Stadium either and I’m in the press box, not the stands. …

Todd Wilder from New Braunfels, Texas
Question:
Hey Jim. I have to say I'm pretty disappointed in our team. Offense and special teams (minus Kern) were awful and the defense finally broke, when they absolutely had to make a stop. The offensive line has been atrocious this year and this past Sunday was just another example of that. Mariota is on pace to get sacked 70 times this year. Giving Santos a chance from 53 yards when he already missed 3 times. That's not good to great. That's mediocre, 7-9, sitting on your couch in January football. Whatever needs to be done to get this fixed, the time is NOW. Both sides of my family have had PSL's since the team moved to Nashville and at this rate I don't know how much longer they'll be in our family's. Bad coaching, bad offensive line play, dropped balls on 3rd down and penalties negating touchdowns. That's a great way to invite the opposing team's fans into Nissan Stadium by the bus load. The people who have supported this team from the beginning are either going to less games OR not going at all because they're tired of being disappointed. People invest too much money, time, and energy to lose like that in your home stadium. And sit around what seemed like 50% Bills fans. You win as a team. You lose as a team. Whatever is not working, which is a lot. FIX IT AS A TEAM.

Jim: Good to hear from you again, Todd. Fans are taking this one tough, as you can see if you've made it this far. And believe me, I get it. Here's hoping things get better for your family's sake and everyone else who supports the team.

Alan Ray from College Grove, Tennessee
Question:
Hey Jim. Well...that was fun; watching my Ship of Hope dashed upon the rocks of reality and sinking beneath the waves of a frustrating loss. I know teams lose every week. But they don't lose games like the Titans lose games. Our losses are like the 'death of a thousand cuts.' Or an electric chair that doesn't have quite enough voltage so it's gonna hurt for awhile before it's all over. The Titans don't just lose a game, they twist you into a stressed-out pretzel first, then they lose. I was so depressed after Sunday's game they threw me out of the bar so they could start Happy Hour.
But...there's a lot of football left to play. It was only one bad game. Well...three, now. But there are still a dozen games to go. Think of it; if the Titans pull it together and win out, we'll be 14 and 3 and favored to win the Super Bowl. Not bad. Titan Up!

Jim: Cheers Alan!

Robert Kisner from St. Mary’s Georgia
Question:
I have been a Titans fan ever since they came to Tennessee but for last couple of years I would not have missed them if they were moved out. Let someone else have this terrible team. Yep the Titans are who we thought they were. Trash, incompetent, overpaid players that can’t get the job done. Its time to playing the blame game if you know you’re the blame then stop it do better. Do you think they can continue doing bad and not making plays and the fans are going to keep accepting it. I really looked up to this team and thought they were really great but after the TERRIBLE COACHING and the AWFUL mistakes by our QB I really think it’s time to straighten up and play like you know how or just got rid of everybody and start with a fresh new team and coaches. And I mean get rid of everybody.

Jim: Oh dang, Robert. Everybody means me, too. ☹

Scott Snavely from Omaha, Nebraska
Question:
Hey Jim. First time writer here. Keep up the great work. What a loss. It was definitely a frustrating game to sit through. I don’t know what upset me more, the missed kicks or the poor offensive line showing. I thought Mariota played well enough to win. He seemed to be under constant duress. He could’ve easily been sacked more than 5 times. The Oline needs to be better if the Titans want to make the playoffs this year, and Lewan and the rest of the boys seemed to acknowledged that after the game. I feel bad for Mariota this year. I think he’s been playing better than the past but the oline isn’t doing their part.
A few questions for you.
1) How is the health of Delanie? He didn’t seem to be out there as much against the Bills.
2) Do you think we make some changes with our kicker?
3) What do you think needs to happen for our oline to turn it around?

Jim: Hey Scott. Man, did I enjoy my trip to Omaha in June. Let’s get to these questions:
1) Delanie is close to 100 percent healthy after being slowed with the knee. You’re right on his snaps being more limited – he played just 27 of 62 snaps vs. Buffalo compared to 38 for Jonnu Smith. This is what Mike Vrabel said on Monday when asked about Delanie's role: "I think that’s just where we’re at right now with Delanie and his role being in third down, 11 personnel, two-minute, sprinkle him in there on 12 and try to get going on 13. Each week we’re going to try to probably have a role for each and every guy."
2) Santos is out, and a roster move is coming.
3) An attitude adjustment, and better technique. Vrabel mentioned on Monday the possibility of getting Dennis Kelly involved. For the most part, everyone just need to perform better than they have been so far.

Reinhard Schiendorfer from Pfäffikon, Switzerland
Question:
Hey Titans, do not let your head hang. The defense only allowed two scores, which is good enough for a win. The offensive has worked out six chances for a score. That may even be enough for two wins. But the universe was not ready for a win yet, but in turn it will have two wins in store for us. soon! Just keep going (with fewer sacks if possible) I wonder if the release of Cairo was really necessary? No one will go against the universe if it is not ready ... and he played really well before the disaster.
go Titans go Reinhard

Jim: Hey Reinhard. My take: It would be hard to trot Cairo out there again coming off an 0-for-4. I feel bad for Cairo and his family, but it’s a business and I get it.

Andriy Lakusta from Edmonton, AB, Canada
Question:
Hi Jim. Hope all is well, other than the game’s outcome that is. So a quick diatribe, and then 1 question, as I’m sure the flood gates of criticism are going to open wide yet again after this one, but at least they found a new way to lose to keep it interesting. 0/4 on field goals, that’s 12 points they could have had, and considering we lost by 7…..
Yes we played a tough D, yes we moved the ball fairly well, Marcus still hasn’t thrown an interception (although I’d give them a pick or 2, if it would mean we got a touchdown pass or 2), but we needed to finish some of those drives, and not just settle for field goal attempts. Did I bring up the 0/4 on field goals yet?
To be considered a contender, or even a good team, you need to find a way to win some of these close character games, like the Bills game, the loss to Indy falls into this category as well. That’s the difference between being 2-3 rather than possibly 4-1. The offense needs to finish with TDs and not stall and settle for field goal attempts, because you can always go 0/4 on those.
I look at the line up, and we may not be loaded with All-stars, but we are pretty solid up and down the roster. It comes down to execution at this point, and who wants it more. Whether it be holding that block an extra ½ second, taking on a tackler and pushing for an extra yard or 2, not taking bad penalties, making a field goal (did I mention 0/4 yet?), etc., and that has to come from the players, coaches can’t teach desire.
So finally my question: Who are the go to “fire the team up” guys, and do we have enough on both sides of the ball? All of our captains seem to be good character guys, but they seem to be quiet leaders. I ask because there are times that it seems they lack that emotion and the ability to impose their will on the opposition, especially when they need that stop, or that time consuming drive that ends in a score (a 7 not a 3).
Thanks for listening, and here’s hoping the bounce back with a win vs Denver next week.

Jim: Hey Audriy. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I think the leadership in the locker room is good. I don’t necessarily believe someone needs to be giving pep talks every week to fire guys up. I get where you’re coming from, but as well-paid professionals, the players should be ready to play. And I think they get their energy from making plays and seeing good things around them. It was lively bunch in Cleveland, and the same can be said in Atlanta. In losses to Indy, Jacksonville and Buffalo, the enthusiasm didn’t seem as great. Hopefully there will be more emotion in the coming weeks, because that would mean good things are happening.

Have a great week everyone!

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