Criticism of Titans coaches warranted

Sep 12, 2010; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger during the game against the Oakland Raiders at LP Field. Photo via Newscom the past week, I’ve had a little time to read other reactions to Young’s performance and Fisher’s decision to bench him.

My favorite article of the week was written by Mike Tanier of the excellent Football Outsiders. Tanier notes, as I did, that Mike Heimerdinger could have served VY, and Kerry Collins, well by calling more short passes against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Tanier also gives us this great quote:

Heimerdinger is a good coordinator, and Jeff Fisher certainly deserves the benefit of the doubt, but coaches have bad games, just like quarterbacks. Except they don’t have America questioning their character and maturity when they are benched. (emphasis mine)

Keith Bulluck, the New York Giants linebacker who gave great interviews while with the Titans, spoke out boldly about the lack of interest shown by the Titans in signing him to a new contract after suffering a knee injury late in 2009. Bulluck seems to have more issues with Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt than coach Fisher. Bulluck also wasn’t surprised that Titans coaches pulled the plug on VY during the Steelers game.

So we were 0-6 last year and we were getting our ass kicked in New England and the quarterback (Kerry Collins) didn’t get benched. No, I wouldn’t say I am surprised.

August West of Music City Miracles noted that several quarterbacks performed as poorly or worse than VY but weren’t benched in week 2. The list includes:

  • Derek Anderson
  • Tom Brady
  • Matt Cassel
  • Trent Edwards
  • Brett Favre
  • Matt Hasselbeck

The list of quarterbacks benched during week 2 include:

  • Jason Campbell
  • David Garrard
  • Vince Young

Zennie Abraham points out that Campbell and Young are black (as is Garrard), and suggests that head coaches are more apt to give up on a black quarterback who’s having a bad game.

Is the race of a team’s quarterback a factor in the amount of chances he gets to prove himself to his coaches? Or is the fact that the 6 poorly performing quarterbacks listed above who played the entire game are white, and the 3 benched quarterbacks are black, pure coincidence?

You decide, but I’ll close with this as food for thought:

Playing the race card can be foolish. Pretending that racism doesn’t exist can be dangerous.


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