The 2015 season started with such promise for the Tennessee Titans, but it has transended into another unmitigated disaster as the team lost for the eleventh consecutive time at home on Sunday as aother fourth quarter lead was lost in a 24-21 defeat at the hands of the visiting Oakland Raiders.
When the Titans selected Marcus Mariota in the first round of the NFL Draft, expectations exploded. As Mariota went through training camp and following their season opening blowout win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the expectations went through the roof.
It came crashing back to earth quickly however and has now ran the gamut of emotions that have included the firing of their former head coach, the promotion of an interim and a win in the first game under the new coach that ignited fans imaginations and expectations yet again.
Following Sunday's latest loss and the third of the season where the Titans blew a late fourth quarter lead the mood has reached a new level of somber dispare.
Some players sat in the in the locker room in silence as the contemplated what had just transpired on the field. Others however seemed to be more ok with the latest loss.
Players like Delanie Walker, Jurrell Casey, Brian Orakpo, Wesley Woodyard and a few others showed their disappointment and even anger at the situation the find themselves and their teammates in at this point in this season.
At the same time there were other players who while not jubulant or celebratory were more talkative and seemed as if they have simply accepted that they are a bad team and are acceptant of the results.
There is certainly no right or wrong way to handle a loss, and each individual personality approaches things in their own way. That's not the point of this column.
The Titans are a team that is in desperate need of a culture change, both inside and outside the locker room.
Ownership has been questioned as to their allegiance to the team as absentee owners. Amy Adams-Strunk put some of those concerns to rest with the firing of the former head coach, but there is moer work to be done on her part.
The team is in a state of constant flux of late and it is Adams-Strunks job to quash the doubters and end the fluxuations that have lowered this team into the cellar of the NFL and left them there for an extended period of time.
The Titans need to find a permanent president, head coach and direction for the franchise.
Steve Underwood is acting as the team's current interim president and would likely take the position full time if asked. Adams-Strunk has to make that decision, or place someone else in the position and soon.
Likewise it is her call to make a decision on the next head coach as soon as possible.
She owes it to the organization, players and fans to get these issues resolved and to show a direction this team is headed as soon as circumstances allow.
The players are forced to stand in front of the media every week and following losses on Sunday's and repeat the company line that everyone is pulling in the same direction and that things are improving and that all these close losses mean that the team is making progress.
Granted the team has improved from last season, but the culture is still the same. It must change and it is going to take a player who is willing to stand up and say some things need to change.
The players listed above are the team leaders, and all came from other organizations, some winners, some not, but those players are taking the results on Sunday personally and while players are working and playing hard, there is still something missing from this team.
Improved talent at certain positions is certainly one area where the team must improve. Selection of those players in free-agency and the draft are also areas in which the organization must improve.
There have been far to many free-agent and draft busts for the Titans of late that have played a part in the talent void at certain positions. At the same time there have been some sucesses that have made the team better, but this offseason has to be a hit in both free agency and the draft this time around.
The bottom line is that this team needs a culture change and it has to come from the top down.
Amy Adams-Strunk. the ball is in your court and if you truly care about this team and want a winner then it's time you make the hardest decisions quickly and set the tone and course for this team going forward, otherwise it is doomed to roll down the same dead end road for years to come.