In Part I of this week's question and answer exchange, I'll answer five questions sent to me from Al Beaton of MVN's The Wayne Fontes Experience.
My answers to Al's great questions are after the jump.
The Wayne Fontes Experience
1. I think most fans and experts thought that the Titans were definitely a playoff contender before the start of 2008. But to go 10-1, be tied for the best overall record in the NFL and lead your division by a wide margin? I doubt anyone saw that coming.
Are the Titans as good as their record, or have they gotten an inordinate amount of good luck? Is there some weakness the opposition can exploit? (Not that it will be the Lions, who couldn't exploit a middle school team)
The Titans have definitely been a surprise in 2008. On paper, there are probably a few teams that are more talented. This team's ability to overachieve is a testament to the coaching ability of Jeff Fisher, who seems to always get the most out of his teams.
As for an exploitable weakness, look no further than last week's loss to the Jets. Teams such as the Jets (and the Packers before them) that are able to spread the Titans' defense out have had their share of success throwing the football. An injury-depleted secondary certainly didn't help, either.
2. The Titans have become Kerry Collins team, and he's having a great year. However, Kerry will be 36 at the end of the year. What happens to the out-of-favor Vince Young? Is he still in the Titans' long-term plans?
What will the Titans eventually do with their freakishly athletic, yet immature, QB?
Ah, the obligatory Vince Young question.
Recent reports indicate that the chances of Vince getting his job back will hinge upon Kerry Collins' ability or inability to continue to hold down the fort for the remainder of 2008.
Interestingly, the Titans have also demonstrated an interest in re-signing their other free agent QB, Chris Simms.
As for Vince, he certainly has the talent but he was struggling before suffering the knee injury that knocked him out of the starting lineup. Hopefully, spending the last several games on the pine has allowed VY to recharge his batteries while also serving as an instruction manual on how to be a solid NFL QB for a winning team.
There are going to be a lot of gut-wrenching decisions to make at QB during the offseason. I guess we'll have to cross that bridge when we encounter it.
3. The Titans are winning with excellent defense and a solid running game. Is Collins just along for the ride, or are there certain intangibles that he brings to the team?
At first, Collins was merely a game manager. However, as of late, he has stepped up with some solid passing performances as opposing defenses have utilized the 8-men in the box strategy to stop the Titans' signature rushing attack.
Collins has brung a veteran presence to the huddle He's a resilient guy who has had his share of ups and downs in the league, and he's a testament that a QB can turnaround a career that appeared to be headed down the street to nowhere.
Hopefully, Vince is paying attention.
4. Common wisdom suggests that there is a "10-year rule" when it comes to NFL coaches. After 10 years, players stop listening, fans tire of the same old rhetoric and coaches just plain wear out their welcome (i.e. Andy Reid).
What makes Jeff Fisher the exception to the rule?
Jeff Fisher gets the most out of his teams. Even during the cap-hell years when he had 1-15 talent, he was able to squeeze a few extra wins out of his ballclubs.
In light of Andy Reid's recent struggles, Fisher is obviously the exception to the 10-year rule.
5. Would you be willing to trade Jeff Fisher to the Lions? Name your price!
Seriously, name it...
Ok, forget Fisher. As he's already campaigning for Detroit job through the media, would former Titan GM Floyd Reese be someone the Lions should look at to raise their organization up from the historic depths of the Matt Millen era? Is Reese as good as he makes himself out to be on ESPN?
Floyd Reese had his share of ups and downs in Tennessee. He's unfairly labeled as the guy who drafted Pacman, a million dollar talent with a five cent cranium.
Reese is also the guy who found bookend tackles David Stewart and Michael Roos outside of the first round.
Considering Millen was your last GM, the Lions could do a whole lot worse than Floyd Reese.
A big thank you goes out to Al for participating. In part II of our Q&A exchange, Al will give his take on five questions I sent to him regarding the Lions.