Titans have bright future

BY foxsports • December 20, 2009

This has been a very nice run by Tennessee, but I’m still not convinced they will end up being a wild-card team. I still like Baltimore and Denver, even though the Broncos were upset today by the Raiders.

But the Titans do have a bright future. As long as Vince Young can stay healthy and Chris Johnson is running, they are a good football team. The Titans have found out that Young opens up their entire offense for Chris Johnson. He spreads the defense out and that gives Johnson those creases.

With Kerry Collins at quarterback the perimeter of the defense can close and take away those back-side cuts. They can’t close for those back-side cuts if Vince Young is in there. They have to respect him running and throwing the ball.

It’s a completely different style of defense versus Young as opposed to Collins, or any other standard drop-back passer. So Johnson is getting a lot of yards because of Vince Young.

The Titans definitely have something cooking on offense.

Next move by Redskins?

There’s no doubt that Mike Shanahan is an outstanding football coach, especially an outstanding offensive coach. Plus, he’s been a head coach in this league long enough that he will give any franchise great expertise of how to run the organization.

I have tremendous respect for Shanahan. I think he would do a great job for any football team. And even though the last couple of years in Denver weren’t that great, I think the new challenge, the new football team, the new personnel — plus the time that he’s had off — will rejuvenate him to where he brings a lot to the table.

Poor Jason Campbell has had so many offensive coordinators, so many head coaches, and nobody has given him any love. They are always trying to trade for somebody to beat him out or draft somebody to beat him out. And if he’s the guy or not the guy, I think Shanahan would fix it if given that chance.

Kicking to Josh Cribbs

Anybody who does it time after time like he does, against all opponents, when everybody knows how dangerous he is, just shows you the talent that he possesses. He’s a special player. Now, he has an NFL-record eight kickoff returns for touchdowns.

Fans are asking why even kick to him?

Well, you can punt it out of bounds, but when you start trying to kick off into the corners, the ball bounces out of bounds and the opposition gets the ball on the 40-yard line. So, I think you are better off taking your chances and hoping.

All the coaches I know are either optimistic or egotistical. They say, "Well, he did it to us once, but we’ll get better the next time."

You can protect against the punt return, but you have a tough time protecting against kickoff artists like Cribbs. You just don’t want to kick out of bounds.

Moss makes a statement

The Patriots won in Buffalo today and Randy Moss made some good plays and made some outstanding catches.

Hey, last week he was in a funk. The Panthers rolled their coverages to him. They took him out of the game and he was frustrated. Tom Brady is not healthy and you can see that Brady is having a tough time getting the ball to him. When you add everything up it wasn’t a good game for Randy against Carolina.

I don’t know if he quit. I would say that he wasn’t at the top of his game. And the media jumped all over him.

It would not have been a big story last week if Bill Belichick had not sent him home when he was late for that Wednesday meeting, like he did with three other players.

Had it been just a regular game and he had only one catch, and a fumble, we would have said, he had a tough game and moved on. But since he was late for the meeting, and was being identified as being a problem, then people started saying, "Oh, here comes the same Randy Moss again."

It’s coming out that he’s having the same problems he had in Oakland. The same problems he had in Minnesota.

Everybody was looking for a problem. And I don’t think there really was one. Not within the Patriots there wasn’t.

Up-and-down Arizona

The Cardinals rely so much on Kurt Warner and it’s obvious to me that he is not healthy. And so when he’s not at the top of his game, they are going to have a tough game.

They have looked horrible when he’s turned it over a bunch and that’s going to happen because he’s getting older. But they are playing better defense, although they didn’t show that in the second half against the Lions today.

Overall, the Cardinals have played much better defense this season than they did a year ago.

Even though I put a fork in them, they are going to end up with a much better record than a year ago, too. I’m just not sure they will be consistent from here on out.

Cowboys are back?

Saturday was the best the Cowboys have looked all year long.

Not only did they beat an outstanding team in the Saints, but they beat them on the road and in a hostile, loud environment.

I think the Cowboys have finally realized that their receivers don’t have the separation speed. And so they changed their offense and became more methodical.

Tony Romo was taking what was given to him in the underneath passing game and they were pounding the ball. I really loved their offensive approach. They didn’t turn it over a single time.

I know he’s taken a lot of heat for the team’s record in December, but Romo has played very well the last three weeks. And their defense played well against New Orleans.

It looks like to me that if the Cowboys can maintain this same focus and intensity for the final two games, they will have a shot against anybody in the playoffs.

Here’s what I’m trying to say about the Dallas offense. Miles Austin doesn’t have speed.

Now, he is strong and he has a great burst, but he doesn’t have any separation speed. That is probably why he wasn’t in the lineup earlier in the season. He’s really not a fast guy, but he does break tackles and he does make big plays. His first touchdown against the Saints was a double move against a zone coverage. That score make him appear fast, but if you lock onto him man-to-man he doesn’t get away from you.

I think that Jason Garrett has finally figured out what Roy Williams can do in this offense. Even the other night, he dropped a slant route.

They didn’t know what he could do earlier in the year. It was a different style of offense earlier in the season.

They were doing a lot of stuff like flanking Felix Jones out and throwing to him. Now, they are alternating Jones and Marion Barber in the backfield and figured out that they are a running football team. Let’s pound the football and then throw the little drag routes, the little underneath stuff, that’s what they do best.

Now, that they have figured out what they are on offense, they are a much better offensive team. They don’t have as many big plays, but they also don’t have as many turnovers.

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