He's a liar. He's a punk. He's a cheap-shot artist. He's an idiot. He's an overrated defensive back (3 Titans had better stats). Oh, and he has Jeff Fisher-stench all over him. He's a big reason the Titans were considered by many to be the dirtiest team in the league last year. His little apology yesterday did nothing for me. He realized he made a mistake, but he's putting on a good face for one reason: it's a contract year. His mini-holdout hurt his value with the Titans, but maybe not other teams in the league. I don't know his true intentions, but he's always had an adversarial relationship with the local media, and he knows how to play them like a piano (although they didn't take the bait this time...the lies were far too transparent). I firmly believe that move was calculated, but, as you can see with my opinions above, I'm slightly biased against him anyway. I really hope the Titans try to trade him. I know there aren't many player-for-player trades in the NFL, but Osi Umenyiora is just sitting there in New York waiting to be traded. Let's make an even swap.
Oh, and, yeah, the whole Chris Johnson thing...
Mr. Reinfeldt, that can be summed up in 3 words: PAY. THE. MAN. You are a fool. Telling Chris Johnson that he needs to come to camp to get his deal done? Dude...that's not how it works. One of the most dynamic runningbacks in the league isn't going to show up to camp and risk injury when he still has two years on his rookie deal and he's the most grossly underpaid player in the NFL in relation to his abilities. The CBA allows for holdouts (though it's quite a bit tougher on the players now). Any NFL general manager should know that. Oh, that's right, you're not an NFL general manager. Or, at least, you weren't until this year. Everybody knows that Jeff Fisher was really running the player personnel side of things while he was here, and you were just his puppet that signed the papers. Well, wake up, big boy. Because of your ties to the Oilers, you were the safe choice when Floyd Reese was forced out, but now it's your turn to run the show. And I don't believe you're up to it. Sure, you went out and grabbed a few free agents. That's easy. The hard part is taking your team's biggest superstar and making him feel like he is deserved. So far, you haven't done that. PAY. THE. MAN.
Oh, and then there are the tickets. J.R. Lind has a great report on Nashville Post.com today about the Titans (lack of) single-game ticket sales. As of right now, none of the games are sold out. Even the marquee matchup of the season (Indianapolis, October 30) has tickets remaining. As J.R. points out, the Titans have never had this much trouble selling out single-game tickets, except for the team's first season (?!) in the current stadium.
The Titans are blaming, mainly, the lockout and the bad economy for slow ticket sales. There are other factors, though...
- 6-10 record in 2010 (including losing 8 of the last 9 games)
- An offseason of bad PR, while the Predators did (almost) everything right
- Losing a head coach who was still popular (for some reason)
- Hiring an unproven head coach
- Changes at quarterback (though this is probably a good thing)
- Cortland Finnegan & Chris Johnson fiascos at full swing during ticket push
- Kenny Britt's arrest record
- Selling the tickets on a Monday instead of the usual Saturday
- Relying on local media to give you free advertisement for the on-sale date/time.
The Titans have taken advantage of their place in the market so well over the past 12 years that they haven't had to do a whole lot of marketing. While it's not dire, by any stretch, they are going to have to sell the city on reasons to come see the team. Go onto Craigslist and see all the season tickets and PSLs for sale. It's not just the economy. That's a big factor, but another reason disinterest is starting to seep in: people are getting tired of the bullcrap. The Titans have been beset by a ton of bad press over the past 10 months or so. It's time they stop stepping on their own toes, improve public perception of the organization, and win games if they want to overcome this little speedbump.