No one has ever accused Mike Mularkey of being an offensive mastermind. He has had some success as an offensive coordinator but only when his team was stacked with All Pros. As a head coach, his efforts have been middling at best and downright awful at worst. For some reason which I cannot comprehend, the Tennessee Titans made the decision to retain him as head coach following his stint as interim coach. He got that gig after the team relieved Ken Whisenhunt of his duties in November, 2015 and he’s one of the few interim head coaches that is getting the chance to continue on the job. But maybe the Titans would be better off letting the fans call the plays?
You may have heard about the Tennessee Titans first preseason game and how the team raised $20k for charity by auctioning off the right to call the first two offensive plays. It’s a pretty great idea and the fact that they were able to get $10k per play is great for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, the recipient of that charitable endeavor. While it may be a gimmick, I think the team may be on to something here. We’ve all been guilty of yelling at the television hoping the coach would hear you and realize that he doesn’t know shit and you should be running the team (I’m look at you, Jim Caldwell). Well, for the first time in history, this may have been true.
The first play called by one generous fan, was a pitch to the left in which DeMarco Murray went for 15 yards. A pretty solid first play of the game indeed. The second was a play-action pass that saw Marcus Mariota send the ball 31 yards for a completion to rookie Tajae Sharpe. That’s a combined 46 yards to open the game. To put that into perspective, the next three plays called by the coaching staff went for a combined 4 yards. And the next eight plays called by the staff combined for only 21 yards. Sure, they scored a touchdown on their third drive off of a 71 yard run (also to the left side) by DeMarco Murray, but that was a combination of the Chargers defense looking like shit on that play and DeMarco’s skills in the open field.
If the team wants to succeed, it’s pretty clear what they have to do. They need to crowdsource their entire offensive playbook. The team could set up an online poll for their fans to use during games and they can vote on what will be the next play call. The internet makes all of this possible. If American Idol can do it then the NFL sure can. It would be like if the Borg were playing Madden, but real life!
It’s pretty genius if you think about it. If it works out then the team succeeds and will endear themselves to the fans in a way like never before. It will give Titans fans a chance to be fully emersed in their team’s season in a way no other fans can. Also, Mularkey gets to piggyback on the success of the new hive mind offensive coordinator and almost certainly gets to keep the job that he doesn’t really deserve in the first place. This is a win-win for the players, coaches, fans and organization as a whole.
If it doesn’t work out then no big deal. Mike Mularkey can blame the failed experiment and probably gets another chance to make things right. I don’t really see why he wouldn’t do this. The fans as offensive coordinator can’t make the team any worse than it’s been for the last few seasons. The Titans went 3-13 and 2-14 over the last two years. Come on Tennessee, make the right coaching choice and promote your fans to be the new hive mind offensive coordinator. What you’re currently working with isn’t very good. Build off of those first two plays of the 2016 preseason and for the love of Christ, win some damn football games!