Twerkin’ Season in Tennessee!

Photo: Sports Illustrated 

 

Going into the 2017-2018 NFL season there was a lot of hope, and speculation that the Tennessee Titans were the team to beat in the AFC South. Sadly, the team finished just 3rd in the South behind the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans with a record of 9-7-0. All season the problem was the offense, as the defense gave up only 18.9 PPG, which was 3rd best in the NFL. So, what’s the problem? Was the problem our O-line being over-rated and all talk… is it Marcus…. or is it something else? The answer is plain and simple. It all comes down to talent. The Tennessee Titans have an offense full of guys who are actually really good football players, but not one that scratches the surface of being great outside of an aging Delanie Walker. For some reason, management feels the need to sign the richest O-Line contract in history by signing Taylor Lewan to a $16 million deal, but they are reluctant to go get a proven difference maker. If the Titans want to win in a division that is only getting stronger, they are going to have to make a big-time move this off-season. What the Titans truly need is to bring the best WR/touchdown celebrator in Antonio Brown, and make it Twerkin’ Season in Tennessee!

 

 

 

With Brown and the Pittsburgh Steelers expected to part ways, this presents a prime opportunity for The Tennessee Titans to get a proven play-maker at the WR position that can tremendously help Marcus Mariota. Last season, Brown raked in 1,297 receiving yards, which is 406 more yards than the leading Titans receiver Corey Davis compiled. Brown had a total of 15 TD’s which is 1 shy of the Titans entire team combined who only had a miserable 16 receiving touchdowns all season. Davis and Brown could be a deadly duo if used correctly. Corey Davis is a 6’3″ 209 lbs. strong outside receiver, while brown can play literally every other spot on the field. Seriously, the dude is so versatile. Brown could line up outside, inside, or even in the wildcat. The Titans need to find a way to balance their offense, so they don’t have to ride the tank Derrick Henry every game, and Antonio Brown would do just that. Can you imagine the highlight reel Derrick Henry would have if defenses had to account from Antonio Brown at all times and could not just stack the box on every play?

 

 

 

 

The Titans GM Jon Robinson, from good ole’ Obion County Tennessee, has shown he can bring in big names like DeMarco Murray in 2016 to help this franchise win. With the defense developing young talent like FS Kevin Byard from MTSU, and CB Adoree’ Jackson out of USC, this team will be very one-sided if it is not careful. If Marcus Mariota had a receiver like Brown to go along with Davis, then he would not be tasked with doing so much, and would hopefully avoid the injury bug for a season or two. As of now, Marcus has to evade pass rushers on just about every play due to an under-performing offensive line. This is why the fit between the Titans and Antonio Brown is so perfect. Brown is arguably the best wide-receiver in the entire NFL at improvising which the Titans so desperately need.

 

 

Antonio Brown still has plenty left in the tank to show that “Business is STILL Booming” in Nashville which is one of the biggest booming cities in America. Upon arrival, he would not only be WR1, but he would also be one of the most beloved athletes in a city that is dying for sports success. In 2018, the Tennessee Titans experienced the 2nd lowest average attendance in the past decade, which is troubling for the franchise. Fans familiar with the city understand how the locals have taken to, and embraced the Nashville Predators due to recent success.. and the fans would do the exact same for the Titans if they were to take the next step and make some noise in the NFL Playoffs. The Tennessee Titans need Antonio Brown, and Antonio Brown needs a fresh start somewhere he would not have to take a backseat to anyone. Come on Titans, make this happen!

 

 

 

Player Spotlight: Kevin Byard

Murfreesboro, Tennessee to Nassau, Bahamas, first game to final. Kevin Byard finished his 4 year starter career at Middle Tennessee State University at the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl with 5 tackles and 1 pass defense. KB finished his time with the Blue Raiders with 318 tackles and 19 interceptions for 377 yards and 4 TDs. He currently holds MTSU’s all-time interception record and led Conference USA in INTs in his final 2 years. Despite having a great career, Byard was not invited to the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine. Although he was not invited, KB had a great Pro Day. Here’s how he compared to the other defensive backs that attended the combine:

KB was just the 29th out of Middle Tennessee State to be selected in the NFL Draft. The second highest taken Blue Raider behind Tyrone Calico, who was drafted 60th overall by, coincidentally, the Tennessee Titans in 2003. Calico’s career ended early after just 2 years with the Titans due to a knee injury that would force the Titans to cut him in 2005. Byard, on the other hand, has had an electric start to his NFL career earning numerous honors within first 3 years, including First Team All-Pro(2017), Pro Bowl Selection(2017), and 2018 NFL Top 100(80). He has also finished in the top 10 for interceptions in the league, leading the league in 2017 with 8 and 7th in 2018 with 4. Byard also received a nod for 2nd team All-Pro via Pro Football Focus. On top of this, he has also chalked up a 66-yard Passing TD to Dane Cruikshank against the Texans in 2018. 

There have been many comparisons for KB around the world of sports, but I think Byard is going to be a name all to himself. He’s got incredible football IQ, ball-hawking skills that are unmatched, and one of the speedier safeties in the league. As mentioned earlier, Byard was ranked at #80 out of the NFL’s Top 100 players, ranking 5th at Safety behind Earl Thomas, Harrison Smith, Micah Hyde, and Kam Chancellor. Here’s how KB stacks up against those in front of him the past two years.

KB Comparison Snip

In my opinion, Kevin Byard is arguably the best Safety in football, and the only thing stopping him from being the unanimous top safety around the league is KB leading his defense to a deep playoff run. Some may call it a bold prediction, but I think it’s well deserved for the young stud who enters the season at the ripe age of 26 years young. Even Byard has some things to say about others not giving him the credit he deserves including the Pro Bowl snub this past season.

Keep proving them wrong young fella. Byard looks to build on an incredible start to his career as the Titans enter their second season with Mike Vrabel at the helm. After falling from the playoff picture in the last game of the season, KB and the Black ‘n Blue Crew look to build off of their Top 10 rank last year and champion the division for the first time since 2008. 

Featured Image: Dallas Morning News