NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Mike Vrabel's Monday comment about a locker room leader not needing to be a productive player surprised me.

That's the stance of one former multiple Super Bowl-winning Patriot.

I asked another with the same credentials for his thoughts on the topic.


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans made the change, so they should make the change.

Pulling Marcus Mariota from the Denver game and giving him back the job would be less than a half measure, and the Titans are desperate for full measures. He is a broken quarterback who couldn't complete a screen and other short stuff on Sunday, and with accuracy on even basic short stuff in question, the Titans are a very easy team to defend.MariotaBlackWhiteStack the box to stop Derrick Henry and dare Mariota to beat you. With the current poor state of his field vision, decision making and accuracy the Titans have scored seven points over their last eight quarters of football. In their last three losses, they've scored a grand total of 14. [Unlocked]

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Scout's Take: What the Titans should be doing, how personnel limits the offense and a bad-throw breakdown from Denver

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Titans played two QBs on Sunday, but it didn’t matter who was playing as they both took sacks and turned the ball over. Ryan Tannehill was sacked four times and threw an interception; Marcus Mariota took three sacks and threw his first two picks.

The popular opinion will be to try a new QB to see if that can jump-start this offense.DBsDEN

I don’t think moving to Tannehill will change the offensive production.

The first thing that needs to happen is changing the offensive philosophy from a run-first to set up the pass to an open offense with

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Titans need to find a way to regain confidence on offense

DENVER – The body language starts with the quarterback, and Marcus Mariota’s certainly was not very good during Sunday’s 16-0 demoralizing showing by the Titans at Empower Field at Mike High.

As his poor accuracy keyed a miserable offensive day that led to him being pulled, he slumped.MariotaDenver

And it was hard for the offense not to slump with him.

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At Mile High, Titans' struggling offense shipwrecks

DENVER – The visiting team that played Sunday in the only NFL stadium that is a mile above sea level is sinking fast and even a quarterback change didn’t alter the offense’s course to the deep dark.

This is an absolute shipwreck. A good-to-great campaign now features losses to three franchise the Titans arguably have more talent than – the Jaguars, the Bills and the Broncos. The Titans are 2-4.IMG 0845

No matter what dramatic turnaround we can dream up that may be ahead, after a 16-0 disaster at the hands of the Broncos, the Titans are 1-4 in the AFC with only seven remaining.

The change from Marcus Mariota, who was horrible, to Ryan Tannehill with 4:49 on the clock in the third period didn’t alter things too much, at least not in terms of scoring. They moved the ball better, with Tannehill winding up with more than double Mariota’s passing yardage, but the end zone remained off limited. Another winning effort from the defense was for naught.

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Scout's Take: Matchups to know for Titans-Broncos

By BLAKE BEDDINGFIELD, special correspondent

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Denver Broncos are a bottom-five team in the NFL based on personnel.

Joe Flacco was no longer needed in Baltimore because of the emergence of second-year QB Lamar Jackson. Flacco is the type of QB that will have his moments as he did with the Ravens in 2018 against the Titans. Flacco is a stationary target in the pocket and this could provide a be a big day for the Titans’ pass rush.TitansFireballBricks

The Broncos did very little to upgrade their offensive in the offseason. The biggest addition was first-round pick, TE Noah Fant. Fant has the vertical speed to stretch the seam of the defense and keep the safeties occupied. Second-round choice, OL Dalton Risner, is the starting LG.

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(Still) early signs about Marcus Mariota's durability are encouraging

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Through five games the Titans’ plan to beef up Marcus Mariota has paid serious dividends.

David Carr was sacked 76 times quarterbacking the 2002 expansion Houston Texans. Mariota has absorbed 22 through five games, which puts him on pace for 70.MariotaSnapYellColts

He’s taking plenty of hits beyond those sacks, and while the offensive line is the primary culprit, Mariota’s held the ball too long too often. Play design sometimes seems to contribute, with deep routes combining with poor protection to complicate things.

But I am here to credit Mariota. Though his play has been jagged, he’s been excellent on two fronts that were big concerns heading into a fifth-season that will determine much about his future.

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Jon Robinson's first-rounders simply not enough of a foundation for Titans

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Since 2016, 15 of the NFL’s 32 teams have at least one first-round pick who’s gotten a postseason honor -- a Pro Bowl appearance, an All-Pro selection or an NFL Offensive or Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

That was Jon Robinson’s first season as general manager of the Titans, who are on that list thanks to Jack Conklin’s All-Pro rookie season.RobinsonBills

Those honors are hardly the only measure for first-round success.

  • Carolina’s getting monstrous production from Christian McCaffery, who gained 1,965 yards from scrimmage last season,
  • The recently injured Bradley Chubb had 12 sacks as a rookie for Denver.
  • Calvin Ridley and Mike Williams each caught 10 touchdowns in 2018 for Atlanta and the Chargers, respectively.
  • Will Fuller just had a 14-catch, 217-yard, three-touchdown game for Houston.
  • Sony Michel and Derek Barnett have Super Bowl rings with New England and Philadelphia, respectively.

But since that stellar year for Conklin, the Titans’ right tackle, the production of Robinson’s five first-round picks has been mediocre.

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