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VOL. 38 | NO. 32 | Friday, August 8, 2014
Titans can feel new attitude, attention to detail
Slowly but surely, the landscape appears to be changing for the Tennessee Titans.
Sure, everyone is optimistic at this time of year, believing that the upcoming season is going to help erase the pain of past failures.
After all, the Titans are 0-0 right now, same record as the Seahawks, Patriots, Broncos and any other Super Bowl contender.
So it is too early to tell if the “culture change” being put in place by Ken Whisenhunt and his staff will really take root this year or not. But for now, all signs point to things having improved.
Whisenhunt certainly has the track record of doing such things. He got his start under Bill Cowher with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where winning is the only thing that is acceptable.
Once he became a head coach, he found a way to guide the moribund Arizona Cardinals franchise to a Super Bowl.
And, along the way, he helped develop Ben Roethlisberger and revived the sagging careers of Kurt Warner and Philip Rivers.
Early indications are that Whisenhunt has corrected some mechanical flaws in Jake Locker’s footwork, and the Titans quarterback seems to be a much more confident passer in Whisenhunt’s offensive system.
But the biggest change that appears to be permeating St. Thomas Sports Park has less to do with changing the quarterback’s delivery or the defensive scheme to a 3-4 and more to do with the overall approach.
Last week, Michael Griffin said the Titans’ locker room focus wasn’t always on football in seasons past.
At least not like it is under Whisenhunt.
“It’s a different mood when you come here. You’re just excited and ready to play football,” Griffin says. “(Before) you just had a lot of guys that had other things on their minds.
“Other things were more important. They were just happy to be here rather than more happy to win football games.
“That being said, the guys who are here (now) want to play football.”
Griffin’s comments aren’t a revelation. Newcomers Delanie Walker and Bernard Pollard pointed that out last season as the Titans limped to a 7-9 finish.
But to hear it from Griffin, who has gone through the ups and downs of seven seasons in Tennessee, might mean a little more.
Maybe it means the Titans have more guys trying to focus on football, rather than racing cheetahs or putting photos of their fines for missing rehab sessions on Instagram.
Running back Jackie Battle is one who has noticed the changes in the Titans locker room.
One he appreciates is team-provided iPads with the playbook and the practice film uploaded.
“I think one of the biggest things is just the attention to detail,” Battle said on 102.5 The Game. “One things is with these iPads is we have the playbook with us all the time, film with us all the time.
“Guys aren’t sitting around their lockers on their phones doing Instagram and Twitter now.
“Guys have their iPads now, and they’re studying the playbook anytime we have some free time. The attention to detail now is huge.”
Who knows? Maybe more time focused on football will mean more games in the win column for the Titans.
After a five-year run of no postseason, it certainly can’t hurt.
Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com and is a blogger for National Football Post.