Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Dear Bud Adams: Attitude Reflects Leadership

It was a miserable season in Tennessee no matter how you slice it. The Titans, coming off a 9-7 record in 2011 struggled to win 6 games and were blown out repeatedly, losing by double digits in most games and struggling to score points or stop other opponents from scoring.  Coming off the bye week, the team lost to a one win Jacksonville Jaguars team and were grossly outplayed and out-coached by the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. The Titans won one division game in 2012.

To add insult to injury, the Titans were unable to defend their home stadium, winning only 4 games at LP Field. Once a bastion of wins for Titans teams, LP Field was the site of one of the team's worst losses since moving to Nashville, a 51-20 annihilation by the Chicago Bears on November 4 where Adams noted there were more Bears fans than Titans fans in the stands. Attendance was so poor the stadium wasn't even half full on the last game of the season but Adams wouldn't know that since he didn't bother to show up himself.

So how does Adams respond to the dismal season and the waning support and interest by fans? He fires the executive VP and COO of the Titans! Why you might ask? Mike Reinfeldt didn't deliver Peyton Manning to Adams on a silver platter. Yeah that makes sense and will totally fix the situation with the Titans. Am I right?

An organization is only as good as the leadership at the top and Adams has long been viewed as a big part of the issues plaguing first the Oilers in Houston and now the Titans in Nashville. Adams has a problem taking responsibility for his actions and that has certainly been reflected by the attitude of many Titans, especially some players who were expected to provide a boost and leadership in the past.

Adams never wants to admit he is wrong and you see that in past decision-making. Exhibit A: Young, Vince. He let that situation simmer and boil over to the point it divided the team and ultimately cost him millions of dollars, a high draft pick and longtime coach Jeff Fisher. 

For the record I like head coach Mike Munchak. I think he is a standup guy and a complete departure from the lack of accountability shown by his owner. He was thrown into an unenviable situation taking over for Jeff Fisher and I think he has done his best to coach the Titans to the best of his ability. However, the coaching in 2012 was substandard and the Titans underperformed badly. Adams himself acknowledged this more than once.

Despite that, once again Adams can't or won't acknowledge that perhaps he made a mistake. He will sacrifice another year to an experiment that may or may not work without consideration of the effect. The promise of changes to staffing doesn't inspire much confidence since that means the current situation may  become even more entrenched. I realize Munchak has only had 2 years but nothing about this season inspires you to think the Titans are headed in the right direction.

Now would have been the perfect opportunity to move on and hire an experienced coaching staff but that would require accountability that is sadly lacking. Attitude reflects leadership Mr. Adams. Where is yours?

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