If they’re not going to use him, why did the Titans put a claim in on Moss?

Tennessee Titans wide receiver Randy Moss shows his frustration as he watches the game from the bench against the Houston Texans in the first half at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on November 28, 2010. The Texans defeated the Titans 20-0.  UPI/Aaron M. Sprecher Photo via Newscom

Want to know how irrelevant Randy Moss has become? It wasn’t until the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game between the Titans and Colts that I realized he wasn’t on the field. And even then, one of the horrendous NFL Network announcers had to mention something for me to notice.

For only the second time in his career, Moss wasn’t targeted in a game as Tennessee fell to Indianapolis, 30-28. In five games with the Titans, he has just five catches for 62 yards, which of course begs the question: Why did the Titans claim him if they weren’t going to use him?

According to coach Jeff Fisher, the reason Moss didn’t see much action last night was because he and Kenny Britt play the same position.

“Well, (Britt and Moss) are playing the same position and so we try our best to rotate them both, but Kenny was feeling good and he made some plays for us,” Fisher said. “… It’s just that Kenny was a starter here and he came back (from a hamstring injury). He fought back. I’m pleased with everything Randy has done. He’s been great with the guys and great in the locker room and he’ll continue to play.”

On the surface, what Fisher said makes sense. Britt had an injury, returned, and earned his starting job back from the newcomer.

But the newcomer isn’t some street free agent that the Titans signed – it’s Randy freaking Moss. And even if Moss is on the downside of his career, it’s up to Fisher and his coaching staff to figure out how to best utilize the talent on their roster.

Are you telling me that it’s not worth having Moss streak towards the end zone and Kerry Collins throwing him a jump ball when the Titans are down two scores at the end of the game? Is that what Fisher is saying? That because Kenny Britt (the same Kenny Britt that has been in and out of Fisher’s doghouse the past two years) plays the same position that Moss is rendered useless? Come on.

I wonder what Bill Belichick or Andy Reid would do if they had both Moss and Britt on the same roster. I highly doubt you would have heard either of them say, “Well, they play the same position so that’s why we left Moss on the bench for four quarters.” They would find ways to get both of them on the field at the same time because that’s what good coaches do.

It’s ridiculous the way Fisher and the Titans have handled Moss and I wonder if this isn’t Fisher’s way of sticking it to the front office. As in, “Hey, you want me to use this guy? I’ll show you…Randy, sit your ass on the bench.”

If that’s the case, then maybe it’s time for the longest-tenured head coach to move on. I’m not saying that the mess in Tennessee is all Fisher’s fault, but sometimes change is for the best.

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The Titans have to make a quarterback change

Brady

A year after starting 10-0 and earning the AFC’s top playoff seed last year, the Tennessee Titans have crumbled to a 0-5 start in 2009. And outside of keeping things close against the Steelers in Week 1, it’s been an ugly 0-5 for Jeff Fisher’s team.

In the Colts’ 31-9 win over the Titans on Sunday night, it was again evident that Kerry Collins can’t lead Tennessee’s offense. When his offensive line didn’t give him time to throw this year, he stumbled into sacks by moving backwards in the pocket. When they did give him time, he was off the mark and inaccurate.

The Titans can no longer line up with an opponent and go toe to toe with them. They simply don’t have enough offensive firepower to keep up with how many points their defense is giving up, so Fisher needs to start getting creative. If Collins can’t move the offense, then Vince Young needs to start.

Fisher and his coaching staff obviously doesn’t think Young gives the Titans the best chance to win or else he’d already be starting. But what do they have to lose at this point? If Young gets his confidence back, he might light a fire under the rest of Tennessee’s offense and inspire his team not to quit on the rest of he season. If he flubs, then he flubs and the Titans will continue to drudge through what is turning out to be a lost season.

At one point, the Titans thought Young was going to be their quarterback for a long time. His mental collapse last year was unfortunate, but at some point Tennessee needs to move past that and see if Young will ever be the quarterback they thought he would once be.

It’s good that Fisher went to Young in the fourth quarter tonight, but Vince deserves a chance to take first-team reps in practice and prepare for a defense as a starter. As Young showed by picking up a first down on a third and long, he can make things happen with his legs and at the very least keep the chains moving. He’s still going to make mistakes, but Collins has made his fair share to start the year so you might as well roll the dice with the more athletic Young.

Fisher needs to realize that his 2008 team isn’t coming back. The wily veteran quarterback that led his team to a 13-3 record has aged about 10 years and is playing with a lack of confidence. It’s time to go back to Vince Young.

2009 NFL Picks & Predictions: Week 5

Here are my top four plays against the spread for Week 5 in the NFL. (Fade at will.)

Steelers (2-2) at Lions (1-3), 1:00PM ET
The Lions are in trouble for a couple reasons, although none bigger than not having rookie quarterback Matthew Stafford (knee injury) run their offense. Stafford is expected to be sidelined for Detroit’s game against the defending champs this weekend, which means Daunte Culpepper will get the start. Even without Troy Polamalu, the Steelers defense should handle everything Culpepper throws their way and generate a turnover or two. This is another big test for Rashard Mendenhall. If he follows up his 165-yard effort against the Chargers last week with a dud against the lowly Lions, then the Steelers’ ground game is right back where it started at the beginning of the season (i.e. in trouble). That said, Ben Roethlisberger should have no issues moving the ball through the air against Detroit’s 25th ranked pass defense. Will this be the game Pittsburgh finally plays all four quarters and step on an opponent’s throat?
Odds: Steelers –10.5.
Prediction: Steelers 34, Lions 14.

Patriots (3-1) at Broncos (4-0), 4:15PM ET
The Broncos aren’t going to move the ball against the Patriots as well as the Ravens did last week, but they should have more than enough weapons in Brandon Marshall and Knowshon Moreno to keep the chains moving and give their defense time to rest. Speaking of Denver’s defense, as long as Elvis Dummervil and company continue to generate pressure, the Broncos should pull off the upset as home dogs this Sunday. The Patriots’ issues are far from solved and Bill Belichick knows his team has to go week-to-week and game-by-game. New England has struggled in Denver over the years, covering the spread just five times in its last 20 visits to the Mile-High City. This will be a great test for the Broncos defense to see where they’re at, and I think they harass Tom Brady just enough to earn a victory.
Odds: Patriots –3.5.
Prediction: Broncos 20, Patriots 17.

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2009 NFL Week 5 Odds & Point Spreads

Here are odds and quick-hit previews of all the action in Week 5 in the NFL.

Vikings -10 over 41
Rams +10 under 41

Fresh off their impressive Monday night win over divisional rival Green Bay, Minnesota travels to St. Louis to take on the worst team in football. The Rams’ woes are primarily in the passing game, where they’re averaging a measly 139.5 yards per game. Steven Jackson won’t find much running room in this one, so look for Jared Allen to have another monster performance against St. Louis’ collection of weak offensive tackles. Brett Favre probably won’t need to display the magic he did Monday night against the Packers because Adrian Peterson should have plenty of running room.

Cowboys –9 Over 42.5
Chiefs +9 Under 42.5

Dallas has had issues the past two weeks moving the ball offensively, but they have played better on defense. Tony Romo continues to regress in his decision-making and he hasn’t had much help from his two star backs Marion Barber and Felix Jones, who have each battled injuries. The ‘Boys shouldn’t get much of a challenge against a Chiefs team that is still struggling in their transition to the 3-4 defensive scheme, although you never know with the way Romo and company have looked the past two weeks. (Even in their win over the Panthers, Dallas struggled offensively.)

Redskins +3.5 Over 37.5
Panthers –3.5 Under 37.5

Carolina had a much-needed bye last week and John Fox hopes the team ironed out some of its issues. The Panthers are averaging less than a touchdown per game and quarterback Jake Delhomme has often killed scoring drives with turnovers and poor decision-making. Carolina will face a Washington team this weekend that needed two third quarter touchdowns to squeak by Tampa Bay last Sunday. The Redskins have racked up plenty of yards offensively, but usually come away with nothing to show for it, as Jim Zorn’s playcalling has gotten ultra-conservative.

Bucs +15 over 43
Eagles –15 under 43

Donovan McNabb should be back under center this weekend for the Eagles after suffering a rib injury in the opening week of the season. With McNabb, Philly looked potent offensively against the Panthers and the Eagles could destroy a Tampa team that is allowing 393.5 yards per game. The Bucs will start Josh Johnson under center again, although he could have issues moving the offense against a tough Philly defense.

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