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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Tennessee
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    43,346

    Post Former Titans Scout and Chip Kelly revisit past draft and personel decisions

    There were recently a couple of very interesting interviews done involving former Titans Director of Scouting Blake Beddingfield (18 years with organization) and former NFL coach Chip Kelly that shed light on some crucial Tennessee Titans decisions. Here are some notable comments from those interviews.

    Chip Kelly

    Back when the Titans had the #2 pick in the draft and seemingly were intent on drafting Marcus Mariota there was talks of a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles. The offer was rumored to be for Fletcher Cox and multiple 1st/2nd round picks.

    Well in this recent interview Chip Kelly said that offer was never on the table. Not because they were unwilling to make that move. But because the Titans made it clear right away that they had no intention of trading the pick. The talks never got to the point of compensation.

    He also said that they really wanted Mariota but feel like there was nothing they could have done to get that pick. That it was like seeing your dream house and then realizing that there is no way you could afford it.

    Blake Beddingfield

    As a scout and director with the team from 1999 through 2017 he had insight on many of the past decisions.

    Marcus Mariota

    There was no split on whether to take Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston. Marcus Mariota was the clear #1 on the board. However Jameis Winston was the clear #2 and would have been the pick if Mariota had gone #1. There were a few people in the room that debated on trading the pick and going with Mettenberger.

    The things that he done in the film room and showing how he could remember and recognize plays was the difference for them in the decision to put Mariota at #1.

    Depth

    He talked about some depth positions on the roster.

    He said that Derrick Henry will be a Pro Bowl player when Demarco Murray is done.

    He said that Right Guard is the only position on the offensive line where they don't have a solid starting lineman. But that the rest of the line is so good that they mask that area of weakness.

    He said that Byard will be a Pro Bowl player.

    He is really worried about the depth and future at the linebacker position. That they have questions behind Orakpo and Morgan at OLB and that position is crucial for the defense to operate.

    Pacman Jones

    The Titans had the 6th pick in the draft and in the 2 weeks leading up to the draft the Titans were having a hard time nailing down who they wanted at that spot. The top 3 players on the board for that pick were Antrel Rolle, Derrick Johnson and Troy Williamson in that order.

    The Titans had not even had a visit or met with Pacman Jones. But come draft day when the scouts arrived to the war room Pacman Jones had appeared as the top choice for the pick. The scout for that region expressed his concerns for the pick based on what he had heard about his demeanor.

    Apparently the Tight End coach at the time had a son that played with Pacman Jones. And he gushed and gushed about how good of a player and teammate he was that it was enough to move him to the top spot overnight.

    Vince Young

    The story about that draft was that the Titans had their pick of Jay Cutler, Matt Leinart and Vince Young. That there was debate about which one to take with the pick.

    According to Beddingfield the debate leading up to the draft was between Cutler and Leinart. They had coached Cutler at the Senior Bowl and were really impressed and Norm Chow had coached Leinart at USC.

    On draft day the owner came and had some private talks with upper management and Vince Young was the pick. And most everybody was okay with the pick they felt all three were good options. The consensus was that Norm Chow was the type of OC that could make it work with Vince Young.

    With Vince Young the OC had to be willing to let him kinda do his thing and give him room to improvise. Also they had to "coddle" Vince Young from time to time and Norm Chow was good at giving him constructive criticism in doses he could handle.

    When Mike Heimerdinger came back as the OC many felt that was gonna be the end of Vince Young. Because he was a no-nonsense type of coach that wanted everybody to do their assignment in his offense. He wasn't shy about ripping into a player. Vince Young couldn't handle it.

    Lendale White and Devin Hester


    In that same draft Lendale White was kinda like Pacman Jones. There was no discussion of taking Lendale White until draft day. And the consensus in the room was that Devin Hester was a guy that if he was on the board with that pick he was gonna be the pick.

    It was even such so that the Titans called Devin Hester to inform him that he was the pick. Devin Hester was on the phone with the Titans while they turned in the card with Lendale White on it because Jeff Fisher and Norm Chow were insistent on that pick at the last moment. The belief was that it was kinda a give take with them taking Vince Young in the 1st round so they got their pick in the 2nd round.

    2017 NFL Draft

    He implied that they went away from their board to take Corey Davis. That they had elite grades on Myles Garrett, Leonard Fournette and Jamal Adams. And they passed on Jamal Adams to take Corey Davis. That they had a solid 1st round grade on the top 3 wide receivers.

    When they took Adoree Jackson they had a 1st round grade on several of the remaining cornerbacks. But the decision to take Adoree Jackson was swayed because of his return ability.

    Working with General Managers and Coaches


    It was clear that he had the most respect for Floyd Reese. He said that Floyd Reese was a former football coach and carried that with him into the office. He loved football and would spend hours talking about football that was even unrelated to the Titans.

    He loved to watch film and go out and scout players. He loved going to practice and watching the games to evaluate players.

    That he weighed his decisions heavily on the football aspect after talking with the scouts and coaches. But ultimately he made the decisions.

    In the contrast he said that Mike Reinfeldt was a cap guy who had a good working relationship with Jeff Fisher. That he was more in-line with the business aspect that the football operations. He didn't like to watch film.

    He felt that Ruston Webster was a good GM that got a bad rap because he was forced into some bad decisions. That he made some of the moves that currently have the Titans in a good position for the future. That Webster was adamant about bringing in Mariota, Lewan, Casey, Orakpo and Walker etc.

    Both Jon Robinson and Mike Mularkey state repeatedly that they are looking for tough, consistent and dependable players. That is what they look for in the draft. That if everybody on the team checks those boxes then everything will work out. Its kind of along the lines of the "Do your job" philosophy from New England.

    He said that Mike Munchak was more involved in scouting and player evaluations than any other coach. That he was good at spotting talent and loved the scouting aspect of the job.

    Misc

    He confirmed that the Titans currently subscribe and use Pro Football Focus to help evaluate players. I knew they did because the Patriots do as well. Also if you look at some of the picks they made in the draft they were players that were highly touted by Pro Football Focus and not many other places. Players like Byard, Sharpe, Henry, Sims, Corey Davis etc. were all graded very highly by PFF.

    When asked about missed players in the draft he mentioned LeCharles Bentley. They were torn between Bentley and Haynesworth in the 1st round. They went with Haynesworth and then seen Bentley fall and fall until it looked like they were gonna get him in the 2nd round. They were hyped thinking they were gonna end up with both players. The Saints took him the pick before theirs in the 2nd round. But they didn't panic and said that they will likely be able to get a good center like Melvin Fowler in the 3rd round. The Browns took Melvin Fowler the pick before them in the 3rd....

    The Titans had Jevon Kearse as the 2nd best player in the draft and were picking at 16. They tried to trade up for him at 4 and then spots after that and couldn't get a deal. They then watched him fall. When he was on the board at 15 they felt the Bucs were gonna take him so they called and tried to trade up one spot to get Kearse. The Bucs refused to trade because they said that they felt the Titans were gonna get their guy Anthony McFarland. So the Titans got Kearse at 16 anyways.

    He felt like the Chris Henry pick was one of the worst that he witnessed with the organization. That he didn't see what anybody saw in that player to justify that pick. He came off as an athlete with no football skills or love of the game. A bust waiting to happen.

    They felt that Jake Locker was gonna be a great pick. That they felt like he had everything you wanted in a franchise quarterback.


    Marcus Mariota

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    4,448
    Been away for a while and I almost missed this, but definitely an interesting listen. Been a little strange to me that he praised Webster so highly. But then again, he was there to watch him work and also made some interesting points to back that up so maybe he does know best. He sounded very optimistic about the state of this team though, always reassuring to hear, especially coming from a guy who has just left.

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