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VOL. 37 | NO. 1 | Friday, January 04, 2013

Even at 90, Bud needs patience

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When Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams spoke about how poorly his team performed after the 55-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers, it didn’t take much to figure out he wasn’t happy with the direction the franchise.

“We can’t keep losing games like we lost today, and I mean it. We’ve played some good games and looked pretty good at times,” Adams said in an interview with TitanInsider shortly after that game. “But we just need to sit down and go over everything, which I’m not making any decision now. I have to sit down with them and get their views and their points on things and go from there. I’ll be talking with them as soon as the season is over with, so we can see what it looks like down there.”

Following Sunday’s win against Jacksonville, Adams fired COO Mike Reinfeldt Adams but retained coach Mike Munchak and general manager Ruston Webster.

Many had speculated that Munchak’s job could have been lost with a loss to Jacksonville. Even though his job is now safe, there likely will be plenty of changes both in terms of players and the coaching staff.

To be fair, Munchak wasn’t dealt a very good hand to begin with. Certainly life in the NFL is not fair, but the Titans have certainly missed on more than their share of draft picks over the past six or seven years.

Titans owner Bud Adams

Wasted picks on the likes of Pacman Jones and Vince Young in the first round certainly set the franchise back, since both were picked in the top six picks overall. Other misses in the second and third rounds, where impact players and solid starters should be added, have hurt as well. Chris Henry, Paul Williams, Rennie Curran and even some who are still on the roster haven’t contributed enough for the Titans to break out of a rut they have been in for nearly a decade.

Consider this: The NFL is set up for parity, enabling teams to have quick turnarounds like the Colts and Vikings have had this season. Indy went from a league-worst 2-14 to a playoff berth, and Minnesota has tripled its win total from a year ago.

Munchak said recently the Titans need to have patience, that he has a plan going forward to fix things. And he deserves to have the opportunity to try and pull the franchise out of the ditch, although that might mean making some hard decisions along the way.

He has hitched both his and the franchise’s fortunes to quarterback Jake Locker, who in his first season as a starter has been a disappointment.

That doesn’t yet mean Locker can’t improve enough to get the job done and become a successful NFL starter. But the early success of quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton means the clock is ticking much faster for both Locker and Munchak.

As Munchak preaches patience, Adams should listen. Adams is turning 90 this week, and while he knows he needs to win now, he must also have realized that turning over another coaching staff and perhaps another quarterback would have further set the Titans back.

Adams and the Titans have to know that even in the quick-fix world of the NFL, franchises don’t fall into the muck overnight.

It will take time and some good luck to get things back on the right path.

Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com and is the AFC blogger for National Football Post.