Tennessee Titans’ worst decisions during 2022 offseason
The Tennessee Titans’ 2021 offseason was lackluster at best.
After coming off a season in which they were on the verge of hosting an AFC Championship Game, you would think the team would have done everything possible to try and capitalize on the championship window that was wide open.
However, former Titans general manager Jon Robinson seemingly felt this was the perfect time to take massive risks with his best talent, while also choosing to get conservative with his biggest areas of need.
All of this culminated in a disappointing 2022 season that realistically began with some truly confusing offseason decisions that didn’t make much sense at the time, and they make even less sense now.
This article is going to discuss three of the worst offseason moves from this past season and how they played a part in the disappointing end-of-year result.
With all that said, let’s dive right into it.
Trading A.J. Brown
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This one is a no-brainer.
A.J. Brown went on to have arguably the greatest season ever by an Eagles wide receiver, while the Titans struggled to get any sort of consistency from their passing game. Robert Woods was the only pass-catcher on the team to eclipse at least 500 receiving yards.
Truthfully, the biggest crime in all of this — outside of the fact that Tennessee no longer has Brown on its roster — is the reality that the Titans didn’t even get a future premium pick out of it.
You would think trading a 24-year-old superstar whose best football was undoubtedly still ahead of him would at least yield a future first-round pick on top of the one they received in the trade that was used on Treylon Burks.
At minimum, they should have been in a prime position to fill the team’s two biggest holes with two top talents. Instead, the Eagles are the ones that still have two first-round picks, while also being on the verge of heading back to the Super Bowl.
That trade definitely set one franchise up for long-term success going forward, but unfortunately, it was not the Titans.
Going cheap on the offensive line
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After having a relatively underwhelming year in 2021, the Titans knew they needed to re-vamp their offensive line. The solution was cutting their Pro Bowl guard and starting right tackle, and replacing them with cheaper assets.
This decision proved to be disastrous. Rodger Saffold was replaced with an undersized guard that struggles in pass protection in Aaron Brewer and David Quessenberry was replaced with a third-round rookie, Nicholas Petit-Frere.
Naturally, this pair was going to go through growing pains while they settled into their new spots.
Sadly, the struggles were only amplified after Taylor Lewan tore his ACL in Week 2, which forced Dennis Daley into the starting lineup. Bear in mind, Robinson gave up a fifth-round pick in the trade for Daley in August.
The harsh reality is the team maybe could have found a way to survive the Lewan injury similarly to previous years had they at least made an adequate effort to find competent replacements for the guys they let go of.
Instead, the group was a shell of what it once was by year’s end. But, hey, at least we got Jamarco Jones.
Not firing Todd Downing
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Anyone who watched the Titans’ transition from the Arthur Smith-led offense to the Todd Downing-led offense immediately recognized a significant regression in practically every possible way.
An offense that was once potent, creative and exciting had become lifeless, dull, and painfully stale.
By the end of 2021, it was obvious to everyone that he was not the right guy to move forward with at the helm of the offense when the team was in the midst of a Super Bowl window.
Yet, the Titans chose to move forward with him, claiming that continuity would be the best thing for everyone involved.
The most frustrating thing of the entire experiment is how his scheme hardly ever put guys in positions to succeed. Downing’s offense didn’t make opposing defenses think on their heels whatsoever.
Tennessee’s offense hardly ever used creative eye manipulation to force defenders to think on their feet. Far too often, what you saw is what you got, and that allowed opposing defenses to play fast, freely, and instinctively.
No one was ever expecting this group of wide receiver to be an elite group or anything, but there’s no reason why the play-caller couldn’t help them out by constantly moving guys around to gain leverage, get free releases, and/or create mismatches.
The good news is the Titans finally did the right thing and cut ties with the lackluster coach, so there’s at least a chance of an offensive turnaround in 2023.