The Tennessee Titans are eagerly turning the page on offense in anticipation of Dowell Loggains' first game as offensive coordinator.
Jared Cook called Dowell Loggains' offensive ideas "pretty awesome."
Loggains was named offensive coordinator for at least the remainder of the season Monday night after Chris Palmer was fired.
Immediately from reactions in the locker room, players appear to be sold on Loggains' ideas, something, as TitanInsider reported on Tuesday, that was not always the case regarding Palmer's system.
“It's pretty awesome,” tight end Jared Cook said of what Loggains has installed already.
Asked if the problem with the offense under Palmer was the execution of the system or the philosophy and play calling, Cook was diplomatic.
“I think it was a little bit of both. There were a lot of gray areas kind of sort of, so it's just been a little bit cleaned up,” Cook said.
Cook hinted that Loggains' style would include a heavy influence from one of his mentors, the late Mike Heimerdinger, who was Tennessee's offensive coordinator for two different stints. 'Dinger, as he was known to all friends and acquaintances, died of cancer in 2011.
“It's exciting just to see the kind of plays that we're bringing to the table and the things we're practicing. It's kind of like Dinger's offense. It has a lot of Dinger in it, which is pretty cool. This is going to be another different story on Sunday,” said Cook, who complained on a couple of occasions earlier this season about how he was being used.
Rookie receiver Kendall Wright spoke about the change in philosophy as it relates to the receivers and their routes.
“We'll still have our options. I don't think the option routes were a problem,” Wright said. “We all ran them and ran them decisively It could have been a problem, some way. But I like what we're doing now. We're moving forward.”
Wright added that Loggains' approach is very different than what the Titans have had.
“Dowell is very, very excited,” he said. “He brings a lot of energy out there. Between him and (receivers) coach (Dave) Ragone, they bring a lot of positive energy on the sideline and just having fun while we work hard at the same time.”
Quarterback Jake Locker touched on Palmer's system and said Loggains has a different approach.
“It's just a different style. I think as you guys know Coach Palmer was more of the run and shoot. There's a lot of different options, and that's not as much a part of what Coach Loggains does offensively,” Locker said. “So I think there's some differences there in that. Again, you can't go in and change everything with a week's time to get ready for an NFL football game.”
As for Palmer's route system, Locker said responsibility falls mainly on the players for its shortcomings.
“It was something I felt we were able to play with some confidence with,” Locker said. “There was something that wasn't working, but at the end of the day we're the ones out on the field playing, executing. It's up to us to make whatever plays called worked. We weren't able to find ways to do that this year. No matter who's calling the plays, that's got to be a focus for us.”
Still, there is a stronger relationship between Locker and Loggains because of their proximity in working together.
“Just being able to talk to him, quarterback to coach and bounce ideas off of him. Being able to have open dialog between the two of us and not feeling like we were attacking each other,” Locker said. “We were with our quarterbacks coach the majority of the time. We would bounce our ideas off of him, and he would go and talk to Coach Palmer about that.”
Linebacker Colin McCarthy was out of Wednesday's practice with a concussion that did not reveal itself until after Sunday's game in Jacksonville.
The Titans will evaluate McCarthy later in the week to see if he is available to play this Sunday against the Houston Texans.
Others who sat out Wednesday, but should practice Thursday included Derrick Morgan (knee) and Patrick Bailey (ribs). Damian Williams was limited with a hamstring injury, and Jamie Harper was limited with his ankle injury.