Recently I became engaged in a conversation with some fans concerning the Titans and what approach the team needed to take to become a contender.
While opinions run the gamut when it comes to the Titans, there is actually not one right way to go about winning the NFL’s ultimate prize. History proves this in how former championship teams have gone about winning the Super Bowl.
There were “The Triplets” in Dallas, where Aikman, Irvin and Smith formed the offensive machine that powered the Cowboys to three titles in four seasons.
The Colts did the same with their version in Manning, Harrison and James. Though there success wasn’t as great as the Cowboys, they did dominate their division during their run while claiming one title.
The Ravens and Buccaneers won titles with a “game manager” at quarterback and an all-world defense, while more recently the Patriots have done it with a future hall-of fame talent at quarterback.
Tom Brady and the Patriots have won four Super Bowl titles without having a star running back or receiver for the most part (Randy Moss not withstanding) in their title runs.
Seattle won a title two seasons ago and returned to last season with Russel Wilson, Marshawn Lynch and a brutal defense. Their receiving corps was underwhelming at best.
So just which road will it take for the Titans to reach the pinnacle of the NFL?
That remains to be seen, but in looking at the current Titans roster one could make a case that the Titans are set to try to build their own version of the triplets.
The team drafted Marcus Mariota to be their Aikman, and while no one is making the comparison between the two at this point, that is the hope of the franchise that he can lead them to a title.
They also drafted Dorial Green-Beckham who has perhaps the biggest upside of any receiver in this last season’s draft. He is an athletic freak with size, speed, power and every other adjective you can think of to describe a wide out.
Even if one of the backs fails to flourish into a premier ball carrier, the pairing could be serviceable enough between them to make the run game a true offensive weapon.
If Green-Beckham fails to fill the bill, the Titans have a multitude of other receivers currently on the roster that can provide the offense enough to win in the passing game.
However, as was the case with the Ravens and Buccaneers, this Titans team does not have a defense capable of dominating at this point. They must continue to build that phase of the team going forward.
So just where does that leave the Titans?
Without a top flight defense, Mariota has to be the real thing and his offensive teammates must reach their potential sooner rather than later if this this team is to make any major improvements in 2015.
The likely hood of Mariota being able to lead this team to even a playoff berth in his rookie campaign seems remote, though not impossible with good health and some luck along the way.
In all of that, 2015 should prove to be a window into what the future might hold for the franchise with their young offensive players, but it still could be a very long year while things sort themselves out.
Optimism is a good thing, but it is still far to soon to tell if things will work out for the Titans. It is at least a step in the right direction that there is a buzz around this team and their rookie quarterback. After all, the teams immediate future rests squarely on his shoulder.