Thanks to Travis Seger of MVN’s Jaguars Journal for participating with us in this week’s question and answer exchange. Following are our questions for Travis with his answers. After that are his questions with our answers.
Total Titans: With the emergence of the passing game, the Jaguars’ offense is no longer so one-dimensional. What else has changed about the Jaguars since they beat the Titans in Week Four?
Jaguars Journal: The emergence of the passing game has allowed offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter to open up his playbook a little more. In the past three or four games, we have seen more creativity from a playcalling standpoint than we have seen at any point during the Jack Del Rio era. I don’t know that much has changed since Week Four. However, more players are starting to contribute, giving the Jaguars more weapons in their arsenal.
Total Titans: The Jags held the Colts to 14 in Week One but gave up 41 to the Seahags and 20 to the Lambs(!). Is there a reason for this disparity? Are the Jaguars are still having growing pains with the transition to the 3-4?
Jaguars Journal: The reason for such disparity is that this is a young team that is in the midst of rebuilding its roster. Inconsistency is one of the things you have to deal with during that process. There are definitely some growing pains associated with the transition to the 3-4. The Jaguars currently don’t have a roster built for the 3-4. The plan was never to become a 3-4 team this year, only to work it in every now and then to give teams something to think about. However, with defensive end Reggie Hayward suffering a season ending injury in Week One, and a couple of young players not panning out like they hoped, the team was really left with no option but to go to a 3-4. I think next years draft class will tell us whether or not the Jaguars are planning on making a permanent switch to the 3-4.
Total Titans: You have to like the matchup of the Jags’ passing game against a dreadful Titans’ secondary. Are there any matchups that concern you in this game?
Jaguars Journal: I do like the Jaguars’ passing game against the Titans’ secondary. However, while the Titans’ pass defense may be last in the league, the Jaguars’ pass defense is next to last – so that is always of some concern. Although not as much so now that Vince Young appears to be Sunday’s starter for the Titans. I also don’t like the Jaguars defensive line against the offensive line of the Titans. I think the Jaguars may have a hard time generating a pass rush.
Total Titans: Not that it matters a lot, considering the Titans’ poor passing game, but how much difference does Rashean Mathis make in the Jags defense? What impact, if any, will there be if he’s out?
Jaguars Journal: Rashean Mathis makes a huge difference in the Jaguars’ defense, and there will definitely be an impact if he is out. Rashean is the veteran presence in the secondary and a playmaker. He is really the only experienced cornerback the Jaguars have. Mathis has started 90 games and has 27 career interceptions. The other five cornerbacks on the roster have a combined eight starts, six of them belonging to rookie cornerback Derek Cox. All indications point to Mathis playing this week, but if he does not, it will definitely have a negative impact.
Total Titans: Is there anything you’d like for Titans fans to know that we haven’t asked you? Also, prediction time: How are the Jaguars going to win, and by how much?
Jaguars Journal: I like the Jaguars to win, but I don’t think they will win big like they did in Week Four. Giving Jeff Fisher two weeks to prepare makes me a little nervous. I say the Jaguars win 24-17, and I think they do it with Maurice Jones-Drew and the running game this time. Jones-Drew made it very clear in the week leading up to the Rams game that the Jaguars needed to find an identity and stick to it, and it was his opinion that the identity should be one of a team that runs the ball to win. I think the Jaguars tried to get back to that in the Rams game and I think they will stick to that plan against the Titans.
And now, Travis’ questions with my answers.
Jaguars Journal: What is up with the 0-6 start? I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Are the Titans really as bad as that 0-6 record indicates?
Total Titans: They might be worse. After watching the 59-0 beatdown in Beantown, I think anything’s possible. The sad thing is Belichick pulled his stars early in the third quarter. If he had left them in they might have scored a hundred. The Titans had a few bad breaks early in the season, had a few players make some really bad plays, dropped a lot of passes, haven’t gotten a pass rush, had too many turnovers and then had some injuries. They’re just not playing good football.
Jaguars Journal: Has Jeff Fisher lost this team? Have the players quit on him and the season?
Total Titans: I believe he has, at least part of it. I know he ticked off some of the players when he put on a Peyton Manning jersey, saying he wanted to “feel like a winner.” The record is 0-6, the season probably isn’t salvageable, and a lot of the guys know they won’t be back next year.
Jaguars Journal: It now appears that, thanks to the urging of Titans’ owner Bud Adams, Vince Young will start at quarterback against the Jaguars. Is Jeff Fisher still running the show in Nashville? Having football decisions like that taken out of his hands can’t sit well with him. Do you think this signifies the beginning of the end of Fisher’s tenure as head coach of the Titans?
Total Titans: It’s not often that Adams interferes, he’s not a meddler, so Fisher is still calling the shots for now. Adams did say that coaching is a problem and that he’ll evaluate it at the end of the season. A lot of fans are hoping for a change.
Jaguars Journal: Speaking of Vince Young, do the fans have any faith that he can be the answer? Have the fans been clamoring for Young to replace Kerry Collins, or is this strictly something Bud Adams wants to do?
Total Titans: It depends on whom you ask. A lot of fans think Vince is a bust and that even a bad Collins still gives the Titans the best chance to win. A similar number of fans believe Vince is the answer and have been clamoring for the change.
Jaguars Journal: Despite the 0-6 start, there has to be some positives for the Titans. What/who are the bright spots for the team in the future?
Total Titans: That’s a tough one. As far as this year is concerned, the schedule gets a little easier, on paper at least, so a few wins are possible. If we don’t get a top-five draft pick, we ought to be in the top ten. Chris Johnson will be around a few more years. The bookend All-Pro tackles, Michael Roos and David Stewart, are locked up through 2013. Maybe we’ll get a new coach next year.
Jaguars Journal: If I am a Jaguars fan traveling to Nashville for Sunday’s game, what is a good spot for me to hang out and watch college football on Saturday?
Total Titans: If you’re looking for a sports bar with lots of TVs, I believe the most popular are Sam’s Place, The Sportsman’s Grill, Bailey’s and The Crow’s Nest. You probably can’t go too wrong at any sports bar, so I’d just pick one close to the hotel/motel I’m staying at.
Thanks again to Travis for participating with us. For more of Travis’ take on the Jags, check out Jaguars Journal here on MVN.