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Pre-Game Recon with Music City Miracles

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With Tim still blogging by candlelight, I was given the opportunity to interview Jimmy of the Music City Miracles for this week's installment of the pre-game recon.  I tried to keep the Vince Young questions to a minimum... but who am I kidding?  The burning question is whether or not we've seen the last of Vince Young.   So with out furher ado, here's how it went: 

With the Jags and Colts both off to a slow start, and the Titans in sole control of first place, how likely is it that the Titans will finish the season as the top team in the AFC South?

It is entirely too early to declare anything, but I think the Titans have a great shot to win the division.  They have a really good defense and running game, and the gap that was between them and the Colts is pretty much gone.  I don't think there was ever much of a gap between them and the Jaguars.  This division is wide open, and the Titans have as good of a shot as anyone to win it.

***

The Titans had a top-five defense in 2007 and are looking every bit as impressive this year, but that wasn't always the case.  In 2006 they were dead last, allowing a league worst 369.7 yards a game.  Who gets the credit for this dramatic turn around?  Which defensive player could you least afford to lose?

It was a combination of things; Albert Haynesworth finally turned into the dominating player they thought he was going to be when they drafted him.  The Titans signed David Thornton and Chris Hope before the 2006 season, and they finally got acclimated to the defense.  Cortland Finnegan moved from the nickel back to corner and played really well.  Antwan Odom and Travis LaBoy stayed healthy for most of the season.  All of those things came together at the same time and made for a dominant defense.

The answer to the 2nd question is Fat Albert.  He collapses the middle of an offensive line and opens everything up for the rest of the team.

***

With a career passer rating of 68.3 (45.6 in 2008), Vince Young is clearly not the next Steve Young.  Did the Titans fail Vince Young or did Vince Young fail the Titans? Who takes the blame? 

I am not sure that anyone has failed yet, but if I had to answer your question it would be VY that failed the Titans.  He showed the playmaking ability and leadership in his rookie season that the Titans knew he had when they drafted him.  Something happened between the end of that season and the start of the next season, and he lost that competitive fire.  It is too early to close the book on VY's career.

***

Think back to the 2006 NFL Draft.  Where do you think this team would be right now if the Titans had drafted Vanderbilt's own Jay Cutler instead of Vince Young? 

Not real sure how to answer this one.  Cutler would not have led the 2006 team to an 8-8 record, but it is pretty obvious that Cutler is a better quarterback than VY right now.  Put Cutler with this defense and running game and the Titans could probably go 14-2.

***

With Jeff Fisher saying that he will stick with Kerry Collins as long as the Titans are winning, how close are we to seeing the end of the Vince Young era?  Is it possible that we would see Vince play another position?

The VY era is far from being over.  This might be Kerry's team for this season, but VY will get his shot again in training camp next season, if not earlier.  You don't take a guy #3 overall and give up on him after less than 30 starts.

I don't see VY moving to another position.

***

So far, Chris Johnson has lived up to his game breaker billing.  He's averaging nearly six yards a carry through the first two games. We know the kid is fast as lightning (a record 4.24 at the combine), but what is it about his game that makes him so effective on the field?

Well it starts up front with the offensive line.  The Titans have one of the best O lines in the NFL.  He also has really good patience and vision to go along with his speed, and he catches the ball well out of the backfield.

***

Extra Point: The final score between the Texans and Titans will be  24-10 Titans  because the Titans will play really good defense and run the ball effectively.

Our many thanks to Jimmy for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions.  You can see my answers to his questions here.