By: Brendan Smart (@BSmart21)
A lot of criticism heading into the 2016-2017 season for the Tennessee Titans. Why bring back head coach Mike Mularkey? Is smashmouth offense right for second year quarterback Marcus Mariota? Why is Demarco Murray starting over rookie running back Derrick Henry?
Mularkey has shut down all criticism and questions pointed in his direction. With the Titans sitting second in the AFC South, who cares how the Titans finish? The Titans, the players, and coaches do. Heading into their bye week following a big win on the road in Chicago, they've set themselves up to be tied for first with a Houston Texans loss in Green Bay Sunday.
Marcus Mariota has improved while taking snaps under center, Demarco Murray has found his game again, and the Titans offensive line has turned into one of the best in the NFL.
You ever wonder why offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie has made Mariota take snaps under center? Not only does it makes Murray’s downhill running more fluid, but Mariota can get better in an area that is going to take him further in his career. Has Robiskie’s play calling be questionable, yes, but he has made Mariota and Murray a duo that has put the league on notice.
On the defensive side of the ball, Mularkey and general manager Jon Robinson made another strong move Monday. The Titans released veteran Cornerback Perrish Cox. Cox had struggled late on games, and even took to social media to lay into a fan about his play. The thing with Cox was, he had the heart but no talent to back the words up with. Injured or not, he always seemed lost when covering in Defensive Coordinator Dick Lebeau’s 3-4 scheme. Promoting “Mr. Irrelevant” rookie Cornerback Kalen Reed from the practice squad, along with Leshaun Sims makes this secondary young and hungry.
"If you don't perform at the level that we ask, then we are going to find someone who does. " Mularkey said about the release of Cox, but Mularkey and Robinson have made that quote a culture around the Titans facilities.