Jimmy over at Music City Miracles emailed me about doing a 5 questions due to the fact that our two teams, my beloved Redskins and his dastardly Titans, face each other in combat this Saturday. Since 5 questions is like, so cliche, I suggested 6 -- he obliged. My answers to Jimmy's questions are already up here. Find his answers to my questions below, and thanks again to my friend Jimmy for his time and the email:
The Bad Guys: 1. C. If you have seen Vince play for any length of time you know about his natural born leadership skills. If he is sneezing it is not because of allergies. He doesn't get sick or have any allergies. You know that. I cannot believe that you would even insinuate that it could be anything other than C. Frankly, I am appalled by the question.
TGG: 2. Last year the Titans-Redskins game, which the bad guys won 25-22, was my "Oh shit, we're cooked" moment last year. Perhaps that was a bit unfair, as the 0-5 team we lost turned out to be a good bit better than its record, thanks in large part to Vincent Paul Young something or other. However, I also suspect that this team won some games after that that it might not have. Question being, were the 2006 Titans better or worse than their 8-8 record?
TBG: 2. I'm going to go with push. It is true that the Titans won some games they maybe shouldn't have, like the Giants game where Mathias Kiwanuka let Vince go and the Colts game where Bironas hit the 60 yarder (Brad still won't give the Titans credit for that win), but there was also the other Colts game where Bobby Wade dropped an easy TD pass and the Jets game where Kerry Collins was the QB. Jerry Seinfeld says he always breaks even. I really think the Titans broke even last season.
TGG: 3. Playoffs: Pop a cork or moderated optimism?
TBG: 3. Moderated optimism but did you watch the Rose Bowl when Texas played USC? The guy wearing #10 for Texas that night, you know the guy who pretty much single-handedly won that game, his name is Vince Young, and he now plays for the Titans. Now before you talk about how this isn't college and all that, I do know that the NFL is completely different that college. I also know that there were a couple of games last year that he won pretty much single-handedly as a rookie. He is going to be even better this year. I am drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid. I really do think he can will this team to the playoffs. (Insert laughter here)
TGG: 4. Which one of the many Titans wide receivers that no one has really heard of will we have heard of by year's end? (Hint: the answer is Joel Filani)
TBG: 4. Sorry but Joel Filani isn't the answer. Brandon Jones is the answer. He was having a solid rookie year in 2005 until he tore his ACL. He came back in 2006 but still wasn't 100%. He stayed healthy all of last season and has had the entire offseason to get back to pre-injury form. Vince Young will make someone a star. (That's more fuel for your mockery fire) That someone will be Brandon Jones.
TGG: 5. Best player on the team not named Vince Young?
TBG: 5. The best player on the team not named Vince Young is Keith Bulluck. This guy is a star that doesn't get nearly the recognition he deserves. He has averaged 139 tackles a season in the 5 seasons he has been a starter. He is always around the ball. If he played in a bigger market he would be a perennial Pro Bowler.
TGG: 6. Looking at your running backs, I see a unit that is far more intimidating in name than can probably be utilized consistently on gameday, given that RBBC usually is a committee of two, and you've got three (LenDale White, Chris Brown, Chris Henry). Questions persist about White's committment to the game, manifested in criticisms of his weight. Chris Brown is a guy no one talks about despite the fact that he is a 1,000 yard rusher (11 games, by the way) who managed a very intimidating 4.9 yards per carry circa 2004. Obviously he's some kind of injury case. Chris Henry is an alleged workout warrior who I felt the Titans drafted too high, but what the fuck would I know? Don't look now but Tennessee had 2214 yards rushing last season (5th), 4.7 YPC (6th), and they still have this "VY" guy who is apparently a professional football player. I'm not totally convinced that the loss of Travis Henry is that consequential, as running backs are probably more fungible than conventional wisdom suggests. In fact, I'm eschewing traditional stats and riding jock on Football Outsiders who have consistently rated him as a mediocre RB. Travis Henry sucks. With all that ranting and raving concluded, QUESTION: Titans rush for OVER/UNDER 2,400 yards next season. Don't be scrrrred.
TBG: 6. I ain't never scrrrred. The Titans will rush for over 2,400 yards this year. Book it!! The Titans have the best offensive line they have had in a long time. They are returning the entire unit from last season. On top of that, LenDale White has a renewed commitment after Fisher called him out for missing a practice. He has been putting in extra conditioning work after every practice. It appears that he will get the bulk of the carries.
Chris Brown could be a star if it weren't for the injury problems. He is the most effective when put in the role he will be in this season. He will spell White and get 5-10 carries per game. That should keep him healthy and effective.
I am in agreement with you on Chris Henry. I don't know that he will be much of a factor in the running game this year. He won't be inactive on game days like Brown was last year because he will be playing special teams. He might get a few carries here and there. I think he is a project.