Why I expect Jon Robinson coach choice will be straightforward and smart

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Inconsistency was the biggest issue with the Titans in 2017.

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As Jon Robinson talked to the media for roughly 22 minutes Monday afternoon, he circled back to the desire for consistent play and for maximizing players’ chances to be successful based on their skill sets.

Failures in those departments were the major things that led to Mike Mularkey’s demise, and Robinson admitted the coach’s comments at his Sunday press conference were a factor too. Mularkey was unwavering in his commitment to his scheme and beliefs, and to his staff.

 

Now Robinson will bring Amy Adams Strunk a man he wants to work with. She’s likely to bless it and will then pay three head coaches for the 2018 season The new guy, Ken Whisenhunt on the final year of his contract and Mike Mularkey on the final year of his.

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This was was going to be my Monday morning Mike Mularkey piece

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - What Mike Mularkey needs more than anything is a flexibility program.

While he talks as if he was an adaptable guy during the Titans 2017 season, which ended Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in a blowout divisional round loss to the Patriots, that’s hardly the case.MariotaFallJags 1

The Titans were stubbornly reluctant to go to more no-huddle until late in the season, despite the fact the offense often found the rhythm it’s always searching for in the set. Mularkey cited that late change as evidence of the team’s willingness to change and adapt.

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The Titans are totally Jon Robinson's team now

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans are Jon Robinson's team now, make no mistake.

Mike Mularkey was probably in the midst of extension talks when he held his season-wrap press conference. His defiant tone and insistence that Terry Robiskie had done gone work and Marcus Mariota was making progress were odd. If Amy Adams Strunk and Robinson were asking him to make changes, he stepped in front of cameras and tape recorders to make the case for not doing so.RobinsonZoneb

It might have finished him. Maybe he ended it there, maybe it was already over and the Titans let him go out and finish it knowing what was about to come.

At any rate, Robinson gets to hire the next coach. The easy presumption is Josh McDaniels.

I wonder if Mike Vrabel wouldn't be the alternative if McDaniels isn't locked up and lands in Indianapolis.

If it's McDaniels, the Titans will be waiting until the Patriots are finished. Which puts Titans fans in the odd position of rooting for the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Amy Adams Strunk issues this statement Monday:

"I want to thank Mike Mularkey for his contributions to our franchise over his tenure with our organization. He took over our team during a low moment and together with Jon built a solid foundation for our franchise. I appreciated that Mike devoted himself to this team and the community.

"In fact, we did discuss extending his future with our team over the past week, but in those discussions about the direction of the team, it became evident that we saw different paths to achieve greater success.

"It is certainly unfortunate that we couldn’t find enough common ground. I generally believe that continuity is the best path for success, but I also view this as an important moment for our football team as we try to make that next step to sustained success on the field. Jon will begin the search immediately to identify that person.”

Immediate reaction: Robinson won in a head-to-head with Mularkey, and that's the right result.

More to come all day here and on The Midday 180, 10-3 on 104.5 The Zone.

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If Mike Mularkey is getting an extension without altering his staff, the fan disconnect returns in full force

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans franchise endured an odd disconnect with much of its fan base in 2017.

Even when they were 8-4 and looked to be in great shape through three-quarters of the season, plenty of followers were discouraged by an offensive system they heartily believed was limiting rather than enhancing Marcus Mariota.MularkeyJags 1

The team’s decision to stay in the locker room for the national anthem in Week 3 after President Trump's derogatory comments about NFL players was a factor too, along with Rishard Matthews skipping the anthem from that point forward as a protest of the president's comments and Delanie Walker’s decree that if fans didn’t want to come they could stay away.

But the Titans rallied to make the playoffs with a Week 17 win, then pulled off an upset in Kansas City.

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With chance to talk change, Mike Mularkey bombs in season wrap-up

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Mularkey spent his season wrap-up press conference doubling down on everything.

At a perfect time to say everyone on his staff will be evaluated, he said offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie “did a very good job.” After yet another season of issues with wide receivers and a major drop-off for Marcus Mariota, Mularkey said he anticipates no staff changes.

And on the heels of a regular season during which Mariota threw more interceptions than touchdowns, Mularkey said he is happy with the quarterback's development.MularkeyGrimmIND

As Titans Radio’s Dave McGinnis likes to say “What the what?”

If I scripted the exact wrong things to say following a successful season that included a lot of serious issues that he couldn’t resolve along the way, I would have struggled to do better than Mularkey did Sunday afternoon.

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Incomplete: Titans will be haunted by failure to play full games

mdi construction barFOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Over and over we heard the Titans talk about their failure to put it all together.

Even in the games we will recall as their best of the year -- Week 2 at Jacksonville, Week 3 against Seattle, the wild-card win in Kansas City -- we didn't see a start-to-finish effort with a lot clicking simultaneously.

The offense, in particular, was a real rollercoaster.

“As an offense, I’ll be the first one to say that we underachieved,” Taylor Lewan said. “To make it this far, that’s extremely promising. But we can’t do that again in the 2018 season. We’ve got to come out guns blazing. We have the firepower to do it. It’s just a matter of getting it done.”

My video report with Marcus Mariota and Delanie Walker:

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