The Tennessee Titans believe they did all they could … and they did it quicker than necessary.
Coach Mike Munchak called a premature end to the offseason when he announced Wednesday that Thursday’s scheduled minicamp workout, which was to be the last in the NFL’s nine-week conditioning program, was canceled.
Players, therefore, were free to go and rest up for training camp a day earlier than expected.
“I don’t know if it couldn’t have gone a whole lot better other than some of the guys who have nicks didn’t get the work we would have liked for them to get,” Munchak said. “That’s probably the only negative to this whole nine-week program.
“The attitude and all that stuff couldn’t have been any better. The excitement these guys have for what they think they can accomplish this year is like it should be in this league. That’s why the NFL is the number one [professional sports league] because your team, if you make the right decisions and do the right things, you can turn it around. We feel we’ve turned it around.”
Some might argue that a team that has missed the playoffs each of the last four years, that finished 6-10 twice in the last three and that set a franchise record for points allowed in a season last fall ought to work as long as is allowed. Not only that but with a significant roster turnover through free agency and the draft, a relatively inexperienced starting quarterback and new position coaches at all the offensive skill spots there is no way everyone can be maxed out in terms of familiarity with one another or with the system.
Still, the sense the a sudden turnaround is possible persists.
“The big thing that I found out with [Indianapolis] and going through a transformation and a change like that was just buying into the system, buying into the philosophy that the head coaches and the leaders … are trying to instill,” linebacker Moise Fokou said. “The sooner we do that here — and I think we are doing a pretty good job — of buying into the system and believing in it, the sooner everyone is on board the faster we can move forward.”
Fokou is one of the more than a dozen free agents signed since the end of last season. He spent 2012 with the Colts, who made the playoffs after having won just two games the previous year.
No one can say for sure whether the Titans will craft a similar reversal of fortune this fall, but they certainly gave it a shot.
“I think we’ve done everything we said we would,” Munchak said. “I mean, you can’t do everything you’d like to do but I think we’ve accomplished a lot since the season ended. We said we weren’t going to stand for 6-10 and we were going to do everything within our power to fix that. I think we’ve shown — [general manager] Ruston Webster, myself, the staff — that from the moment that game ended in Jacksonville that we’ve done everything we feel we could to make this thing different next year with the players we brought in, the coaches we brought in, how we’ve worked and what we’re trying to accomplish here.
“In our mind, we’re on the right track and that’s why I hope there’s a lot of excitement.”
And one more day would not have added anything to that.
“I feel we’re in a good spot,” Munchak said. “I don’t know if one more day could have put us in any better. … I felt like we got as much accomplished as we can, coaches included. Everyone is ready to get a break and get away.”