The market will take care of itself and you will go to whatever you will go to.

While it’s interesting to monitor tickets bought and tickets used and attendance and non-attendance at local sporting events, I’ve long maintained I don’t expect people to go to them.

It’s on the teams and events to create the excitement to prompt you to want to be there.USSoccer

So I think this is the first time in my life I’m urging anyone to buy tickets. (And he's a route to getting them cheaper that TicketMaster is selling them for: Call my sponsor, Tennessee Tickets at 931 398-4253. They'll get them from TicketMaster, sell them to you cheaper than face, you'll be happy and they'll have prompted you to come back for that tougher ticket you're looking for another time.)

But the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team plays Mexico at Nissan Stadium on Tuesday night.

And after a hearty debate about the MLS Stadium in Nashville and its passage in a recent vote, we lost sight of what is really a more important soccer story for the city.

The United States is the primary host of the 2026 World Cup, and Nashville is one of the U.S. cities under consideration to host games. I wrote in June that I think it’s got a better than 50-50 chance.

While MLS support will certainly help Music City’s case, Sept. 11 gives us a big opportunity to make a big showing that can get the attention of both FIFA and U.S. Soccer.

The parties on the streets for the Predators two recent playoff pushes were a great catalyst. The Titans’ uniform unveiling was too. Next spring, Nashville hosts the NFL Draft and, we’d expect, some more significant Stanley Cup Playoff hockey.

[Unlocked]

Write comment (2 Comments)

Pickers mailbag: The delay in Matt LaFleur-to-Marcus Mariota communication

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Kickoff is near.

So it's time for you to catch up on a week's worth of what we've had brewing here, especially Blake Beddingfield's preview of the Titans' season opener.

Firkser

On to your questions, a solid batch.

Also, you'll want to catch up on this week's public broadcast.

No onto your quality batch of questions. (No Anthony Firkser in here, just a great picture by Russell Roberts.) 

Jamie Zaleski Is the extra step of play calling from LaFleur to O’Hara to Mariota going to slow down the play clock and tempo?

PK: It’s just the way it works. Mike Heimerdinger and Dowell Loggains were on the sideline as coordinators, at least most of the time. But five others were all in the box, I believe.

It killed the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. Before a crucial completion from Steve McNair to Erron Kinney in the second half, the Titans had to burn a timeout. Les Steckel’s call to QB coach Bart Andrus got messed up by Andrus as he called it into McNair.

If the Titans had that timeout, they may have had one more crack at the end zone at the end when Kevin Dyson was short.

Others have said they are disappointed to learn that LaFleur won't be in Marcus Mariota's ear until the coach-to-quarterback device

Write comment (1 Comment)

Scout's take: The key matchups for the Titans in Miami

Blake Beddingfield was a Titans' scout for 19 years, through the 2017 draft. He was the team's director of college scouting for his final six years. He's brought to you by Party Fowl

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special contributor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Miami Dolphins were a 6-10 team in 2017, with one of those wins coming against the Tennessee Titans.

This will be a different game this year due to major personnel changes on both sides. The biggest one for both teams is each will have their starting quarterback back.MariotaBucsPractice

Recent success in the NFL has been about how teams use personnel matchups on both sides of the ball. Hours are spent each week by the coaching staffs to devise a game plan to use their personnel to exploit the weaker players on an opposing team. Coaching and player tendencies will also be focused on. The team that has more options in crucial situations (third down or red zone) are harder to figure out and have a greater chance of success.

Write comment (3 Comments)

Matt LaFleur, Titans' offense intend to 'Embrace the suck'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – It’s going to be hard. A slog.

And Matt LaFleur is going to love it.

During his time in Atlanta, a Navy Seal group talked to the Falcons. From that, he got a black rubber bracelet, with white lettering: EMBRACE THE SUCK.EmbraceTheSuck

“Not every situation is going to be great,” LaFleur told The Midday 180 a while ago, when he sat with us at camp and Jonathan Hutton noticed the bracelet. “There is going to be some adversity, some bumps in the road and you’ve got to stay the course, you’ve got to keep fighting and grinding and scratching and clawing ad try to be as positive as you can on a daily basis.

“I think that speaks to what the NFL is all about, because you know any given Sunday a team can show up and take it to the other team. You’ve got to be resilient, you’ve got to stay positive and just keep grinding a way.

The bracelet serves as a constant reminder And the Titans playing in LaFleur’s offense are on board.

Write comment (0 Comments)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Is Matt LaFleur excited to finally unveil was he was hired by the Titans to craft and install?

“I don’t know what you guys are talking about,” he said with a giant grin. “I thought we showed it all in the preseason.”LaFleurSmile

“Yeah, I think anytime you’ve got your full arsenal, you’ve got a legitimate game plan, you’re excited about what the product is going to be. I think our guys have been working hard and I think they’ve got a pretty good handle on it. There is some stuff we need to clean up between now and Sunday. I feel confident. I think our guys will feel confident going into the game.”

His offense is the absolute biggest question. Mike Mularkey was fired after a playoff season for his failure to sufficiently maximize Marcus Mariota’s skills set. Mike Vrabel was hired as a young, smart football mind who would tap into such things, and he hired LaFleur to head up that element of the operation.

We will see more motion for sure, and I also expect more variance of tempo from the offense. What else? We don’t know, which is why we are so anxious for the curtain to rise at Hard Rock Stadium.

In a wide-ranging media session Thursday, LaFleur hit on a variety of interesting topics and I felt like I should touch on several.

[Unlocked]

Write comment (4 Comments)

YAZOO PODCAST: Burning questions before the Titans get started

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Who's the slot receiver? Who's covering the slot receiver? Can the Titans rush the passer likely down two key guys?

BlevinsPodcast

In this week's edition of the podcast, Madison Blevins guided me through a conversation about the big questions I want the answers to in the Titans' season opener Sunday in Miami.

We also hit on my expectation for in-season injury news, the potential for roster-alteration next week, Nike's big move, offensive precision and a team theme from Matt LaFleur.

Part 1, like podcast versions of my public Periscope and Facebook Lives, will be available through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here. Feel free to hook us up with a rating and review on iTunes.

If you're a member of the site, Part 1 and Part 2 are together, and all you have to do is head below the line. 

Write comment (0 Comments)

For Titans' offense, time for better timing starts in Miami

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The scope is now narrowed.

With the Titans back to full strength at receiver and tight end and with Marcus Mariota and that group focused on specific plays in the game plan, there is less room for mistimed plays.

The Dolphins will aim to throw the quarterback and his targets off rhythm with their pass rush and coverage. But as the Titans unveil the full offense, hidden behind dark curtains for much of the preseason, the time should be passed where we hear anything about guys not being on the same page.DavisMissKC

“I think any quarterback really likes it once you get into the season because the body of the playbook gets cut down into a game plan,’ Pat O’Hara said. “As quarterbacks, we all like that because we can really study the plan and really focus in on what the situation is for each and every play and be locked in for it.”

Write comment (0 Comments)

Rashaan Evans will be listed with a hamstring injury, has a chance to work beyond position drills Wednesday

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans rookie inside linebacker Rashaan Evans will be listed Wednesday on the team’s first injury report with a hamstring issue, which is what has bothered him since the third day of camp.

The expectation at team headquarters is that the 22nd pick from the draft will go through stretch and positional work at the start of practice and could advance to some work in team periods if he responds well.

EvansIntro2

But there is no indication as Tennessee starts practices focused exclusively on the game plan for Sunday’s matchup with the Dolphins in Miami as to whether Evans can do enough to be part of the defense at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Titans are sure to start Wesley Woodyard at one inside linebacker spot.

With Evans having a week’s work, at best, the other spot seems most likely to go to a platoon of Will Compton, who’s regarded as being best against the run, and Jayon Brown, who worked as a passing-down specialist in 2017 as a rookie.

It’s also possible Brown would be looked to in the second spot, playing most of the time there.

Write comment (2 Comments)

Paul Midday logo 2b 2