NFL Awards Watch: Week 10
After watching the Titans roll to a surprising 8-0 start, it's impossible to ignore the tremendous coaching job being done by
In constructing this championship-caliber team, Fisher appears to have taken a page from his playing days as defensive back on the 1985 Chicago Bears. That team relied on a smothering defense, a powerful running game and a spunky quarterback on the way to an 18-1 record and Super Bowl title. Looking at the foundation of his Titans' team, the similarities are evident.
The suffocating defense ranks first in the league in scoring (12.9) and second in takeaways (18). Its attack-first philosophy keeps offenses on their heels. Led by
Not to be outdone, the Titans' secondary has developed into one of the league's best due to the emergence of
But Fisher's biggest accomplishment has been pulling together an offense that many predicted would struggle moving the ball. The Titans have the league's third ranked rushing attack thanks to the "Smash and Dash" tandem of
In addition, Fisher's decision to insert
Fisher has repeatedly been asked to identify the reason for the success of a team that now has an 11-game regular season winning streak. Although he believes the seeds of their greatness were sewn during the 2006 season (that team went 8-8 after starting 0-5), he contends that Tennessee's focus on the weekly task at hand has been more critical.
"We learned the hard way that... you just take them one week at a time, because you can't concern yourself with what you did last week or what may happen weeks down the road," Fisher said. "The only thing that you can affect is the upcoming week. That's the great approach that they're taking."
The Titans have gotten to this point by not looking too far ahead, but their surprising success this year makes it a solid bet that Fisher earns the league's coach of the year award at season's end.