Percentages suggest there should be a better pool of defensive candidates

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans are slated to talk to their third head coaching candidate Friday, and Matt LaFleur is the first from the offensive side of the ball.

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I’ve written about the biggest reason it’d be good for the new guy to be an offensive guy.

Still, I am fine with him coming from either side.

Albert Breer of MMQB has discussed the dwindling pipeline of quality candidates based on all the hiring done in recent years.

In 2015, six of seven hires were defensive coaches. In 2016 things went the other way and all seven hires had offensive backgrounds.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Generally, too much can be made of whether a new NFL head coach is an offensive or defensive guy.

The game dictates you are raised on one side. But if you’ve got an expertise on defense, you understand offenses because you are trying to stop them. And if you’ve got an expertise on offense, you understand defenses because you are trying to beat them.MariotaWarmRAMS 1

Two of the coaches still at work are defensive guys – Bill Belichick and Mike Zimmer. Two are offensive guys – Doug Marrone and Doug Pederson.

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Five qualities I want in the Titans' next head coach

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Everyone is asking me who I want to be the Titans next coach.

I understand the question, but it’s too early for me to give you an answer.TitansHelmetWall

So instead of who, here is what I want.

Be flexible: I’ve hit on this as a big theme. Both Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Mularkey were ultimately done in by stubbornness. The next guy has to make change part of his plan. He needs Plan B and C and D for all occasions.

Marcus Mariota is dinged up and can’t run so well? Hey, that’s not ideal, but we know what we will do in such situations.

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For Jon Robinson's biggest move, his biggest projection yet

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The process starts Thursday for the Titans, with Mike Vrabel expected to be the first candidate to interview for the open head coach job.

Matt LaFleur, Steve Wilks and others will follow.

Whoever the next guy is, the Titans obviously need him to be a home run.

They want to be an organization with stability and continuity. Yet they changed coach in 2011, 2014 and 2016.

Better to change when you know you don’t have the right guy, but it’s time for them to get the right guy.

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Would a younger Titans coach be more flexible, inventive?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Being young doesn’t by any means make a guy a good football coach.

But it does increase the odds a coach thinks differently, outside of old-school lanes and long-time practices.

Mike Mularkey was only 56, but he was not afraid of older assistants. Dick LeBeau is 80; Terry Robiskie 63.Titansmirror

Sean McVay, 31, stormed the NFL this season, leading a dramatic turnaround for the Rams and quarterback Jared Goff. In San Francisco, Kyle Shanahan, 38, has a major upward arrow connected to him as well.

Finding the next Sean McVay is a tough assignment, as his story is a unique one.

But the Titans already have some young candidates to replace Mularkey, who is definitely a coach set in his long-standing ways, not a flexible guy looking for new and innovative ways to do things.

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PODCAST: Sorting through the Titans at season's end

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- We've been podcasting the public Periscope and Facebook Live sessions for while.

PK.comLogo badge clean smallYou can find those through iTunes, here, or directly through the Vokal website, here.

My first all-out podcast is now available. Part 1 can be found in both those places.

But if you are a member of the site, all you have to do is go below to get Part 1 and Part 2 (which is member exclusive) all together.

Big thanks to Madison Blevins for hosting with me. Let us know what you think.

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Marcus Mariota needs to spill everything to Jon Robinson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The biggest moment in Marcus Mariota’s career is coming in the next few weeks.

Jon Robinson’s selection of a new coach will be a career-defining development for Mariota.MariotaCold2KC

Conversational assertiveness is not one of Mariota’s big personality traits. I’m sure he trusts Robinson as the GM seeks to find a coach who will make the most of Mariota’s skill set.

But the quarterback would be wise to take advantage of an opportunity to share what he thinks he needs.

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Jon Robinson showed the sort of anticipation the Titans want from Marcus Mariota

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In pushing for Mike Mularkey’s exit, Jon Robinson exhibited something people will want to see more of from Marcus Mariota in the future: Anticipation.

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Robinson admitted there is risk in parting with a coach who won 19 games over the last two seasons, compared to the five the Titans won over the two seasons before that.

Still, he looked forward and didn’t see a path to improvement with the Sunday leadership of Mike Mularkey, and that prompted the change.

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