The big news from the NFL yesterday was the firing of Titans head coach Jeff Fisher by owner Bud Adams. I know it was termed "a parting of ways" but a spade is a spade, and he was fired. Throughout this offseason, I have included quite a bit of Titans news in the form of coaching changes in these daily links posts, which I justified by the rationale that whatever happens in the division affects the Houston Texans. While I stand by that assertion, I have to admit there is another reason I include so much about the Titans losing the best defensive line coach in football, an inept defensive coordinator and now the formerly longest tenured head coach in football: I hate the Titans more than any other team in the NFL.
A Tennessee fan would have justification to attack my writing as pettiness or even jealousy. I don't consider myself jealous because I in no way would want to switch any aspect of the Titans with the Texans, but I have to admit that if I switched roles with a Titans fan I would consider these blatherings towards my team the work of an internet tough guy or a jaded fan of an insignificant franchise. That kind of defense is how sports fans react to outright negativity towards "your" team because trashing the team you love so much feels like a personal attack, and I wouldn't hold it against any Titans fan who chose to discount my ramblings accordingly. There are certain fan bases that I find annoying or downright loathsome, but despite the jokes that get thrown around here often, I personally have nothing against Titans fans from Tennessee or the surrounding area.
Why I enjoy watching the implosion so much is because of Bud Adams. Adams has shown regularly that he still has an axe to grind with Houston over a decade after he took the team and left. He was thrilled to take a native Houstonian who was a collegiate hero to the area. He relished wearing the old Oilers uniforms last year during the AFL anniversary season. I hate that. I hate that there are so many Titans fans in Houston. I hate that the loss of the Oilers hurt a generation of football fans in Houston so much that they can't really get into the Texans. I hate that players like Elvin Bethea, Warren Moon and Earl Campbell have no official affiliation with the Texans because their records don't belong to the city anymore.
I'm sure this is no consolation to a Titans fan who will read this and become incensed at my bitterness. I just felt it was necessary to describe exactly where the anti-Titans feelings come from and where they do not, at least from a personal standpoint. Now, for links regarding to the team that actually still plays in Houston, follow the jump.
The Texans weren't able to win the division or even make it to the playoffs, but apparently Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal thinks they were the most exciting team in the NFL in 2010.
Wade Phillips has used Bruce Smith as an example of what Mario Williams can do as a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. Paul Kuharsky asked the all-time NFL sack leader what he thought of the comparison, as well as his opinion of Wade all these years after playing for him. Great interview overall, although there is one paragraph that makes it obvious exactly how Bruce feels about himself I found pretty funny.
One player who might not have to worry about adapting to Phillips' defense is Bernard Pollard. Pollard is a free agent, and as Alan Burge points out, it looks unlikely that Pollard will be re-signed by the Texans.
Most scouts and analysts discount the last day of open practice at the Senior Bowl, but Doug Farrar believes there is still a lot of valuable scouting and he broke down both the North and the South.
Lance Zierlein left Mobile following the last day of full contact drills, and he broke down five players from this week that may be on the Texans radar.
Wes Bunting also summarized his feelings about this week's action at the Senior Bowl.
One player who quietly did very well this week was UNC cornerback Kendrick Burney. Dan at MTD details his stellar play and discusses where Burney should rank among CBs.
Scott Barzilla discusses what should be used to evaluate potential draftees, and contends that you should trust production and the eye test about workouts like the Combine.
John McClain thinks that the best two prospects for the Texans are A&M LB Von Miller and Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara, and wonders which one the Texans should take if they are both available.
Lastly, Diehard Chris takes an honest look at past draft wishes for the Texans and asks you to do the same.