Hoffman Added to Titans Coaching Staff

Coach Steve Hoffman, former special teams coach for the Oakland Raiders.

 

By Ashley Broockman

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have hired Steve Hoffman as an assistant special teams coach and have promoted Arthur Smith to offensive line/tight ends assistant.

Hoffman spent last season as the Oakland Raiders’ special teams coordinator. He also has worked with the Dallas Cowboys (1989-2004), Atlanta Falcons (2006), Miami Dolphins (2007-08) and Kansas City Chiefs (2009-11). The Titans announced his hiring Monday afternoon.

Smith has two years of experience on the Titans’ staff. He worked last season as an offensive assistant/quality control coach.

More about Steve Hoffman Here.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Titans claim WR Randy Moss off waivers

By Jonathan Higdon
Jonathan-Higdon@mocs.utc.edu

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UTC/AP) — The Tennessee Titans passed on wide receiver Randy Moss once before, back in the 1998 draft.

Not again.

The Titans claimed Moss off the waiver wire Wednesday, choosing not to take any risks with receiver Kenny Britt missing at least one game with an injured right hamstring.

Tennessee, then the Oilers, drafted Kevin Dyson with the 16th pick overall in 1998. They passed on Moss and said then it was because of concerns about his character. Coach Jeff Fisher, speaking three hours before Wednesday’s waiver deadline, said the personnel department decided Dyson was a better fit.

“Randy has had a terrific career. He’s a Hall of Fame receiver. You don’t always make the right decision,” Fisher said. “The draft is an imperfect science. We’ve had No. 1′s that haven’t panned out for us before.”

Now the Titans are 5-3, a half-game back in the AFC South with five divisional games remaining down the stretch. Fisher said in a statement after the Titans were awarded Moss that the receiver offered an opportunity to upgrade their offense.

“Randy has been a tremendous threat where ever he has been,” Fisher said. “We will bring him up to speed as quickly as possible.”

Moss can help a team that has not won a playoff game since January 2004, and Fisher said Britt, who hurt his right hamstring in last week’s 33-25 loss to San Diego, will miss the Titans’ game Nov. 14 at Miami.

How quickly Moss joins the Titans remains to be seen. The Titans are on their bye and hold their last practice Thursday before breaking for the weekend. Players won’t be due back until Tuesday, but agent Joel Segal said Moss will be heading to Tennessee.

“Randy’s excited to get back playing football,” Segal said. “He’s ready to go and looking forward to get there.”

The receiver going to his third team this season already is being welcomed. Safety Michael Griffin tweeted “welcome Randy Moss” and All Pro running back Chris Johnson had been lobbying for the Titans to pick up Moss as well. Johnson shares the same agent as Moss and had been telling Segal how much he wanted the receiver in Tennessee.

“Why do we need Randy Moss?” Johnson said Wednesday, before the move was announced. “You can’t put eight in a box if you got Randy Moss out there on the outside. If you’ve got Randy Moss out there, you just can’t play him one-on-one. I feel like Randy would be a great addition to this team, be a great addition to our receiving group and really help us go deep in the playoffs.”

That’s what matters most for the Titans.

Owner Bud Adams turns 88 in January, and this franchise’s lone Super Bowl berth was way back in 2000. The Titans lost a wild-card playoff game in San Diego in the 2007 season and wasted the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in 2008 with a divisional round loss.

Britt has the NFL’s best game receiving this season with his 225 yards and three touchdowns Oct. 24, and Vince Young currently is the NFL’s top rated passer at 103.1. But the Tennessee passing offense ranks 24th, averaging 187.6 yards per game.

“Randy is obviously a Hall of Fame player and has the ability to be a difference maker for our offense,” Titans general manager Mike Reinfeldt said.

Moss is a relative bargain due about $3.39 million for the final eight games this season. He easily brings the best resume of any receiver for this team since leaving Houston. He has 948 career receptions for 14,778 yards and 153 touchdowns, though his numbers have dipped drastically this season in his stints first with New England and then Minnesota.

He has 22 catches for 313 yards and five TDs in eight games. In his four games with Minnesota, he had 13 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns with the Vikings losing three of those four games to drop to 2-5.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

Doors Closed During Bye Week, Titans Seek Answers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/The Loop) — Whatever Jeff Fisher plans to do to fix Tennessee’s losing ways will be done behind closed doors.

At 0-6, the reeling Titans, coming off a 59-0 rout at New England that is the NFL’s most lopsided loss since 1976, are as far away from their 10-0 start a season ago as possible.

Fans want Fisher fired, though owner Bud Adams isn’t ready yet for a midseason change.

So Fisher is closing practices this week as the Titans try repairing all that’s gone wrong. It’s a flexible bye week schedule that could feature two sessions a day or walk-throughs before and after practice. The coach is looking at everything, will split work between veteran Kerry Collins and backup quarterback Vince Young, and some roster changes may result.

And the future for the NFL’s longest-tenured coach with his current team? Fisher insisted Monday he isn’t worried, not with everything he has to fix.

Fisher also heard criticism from Titans fans after his attempt at humor at a Nashville charity event on Tuesday; “Jerseygate”

“I’m not in any kind of survival mode or worried about my job or worried about job security. I have a good coaching staff. I’ve got tremendous confidence in my coaching staff and tremendous confidence in my players we’re going to get this turned around,” Fisher said.

Adams’ last head coaching change came in 1994 after a 1-9 start when he promoted Fisher from defensive coordinator. Fisher has lasted longer and won more games for this franchise than any other coach. Adams told The Tennessean newspaper he is worried, but will make his decision on the future after this season.

The 0-for start is stunning because this is the franchise that returned 20 starters from the team that went an NFL-best 13-3 last season. Two local TV stations streamed Fisher’s news conference on their Web sites Monday, and one radio station aired it live as well.

The schedule hasn’t helped with four of the first six on the road against teams now a combined 22-13 and none with a losing record. The next four offer little hope either, with only Buffalo (2-4) on Nov. 15 currently below .500.

Titans turnaround ahead?

This week’s focus will be on the basics of throwing, catching, blocking and tackling. The only thing they’re doing OK? Chris Johnson is second in the NFL with 596 yards rushing.

Fisher said he isn’t making any coaching changes or taking over the defensive play calling, even though these Titans now have given up nearly as many points through six games (198) as they did in all of 2008 (234). They rank last in the NFL in that category in the first season under new coordinator Chuck Cecil.

“He’s not the one missing the tackles. He’s not the one getting to the quarterback. He’s not the one giving up the plays down the field or making the mental mistakes,” Fisher said of Cecil.

The offense shares as much blame.

The Titans dropped six passes in the first half alone Sunday against New England and turned over the ball a season-high five times. Collins botched a couple snaps and a would-be reverse to Nate Washington wound up as a 22-yard loss on a pass. The only other completed pass was a screen to fullback Ahmard Hall for 15 yards.

Collins now has eight interceptions, one more than all of 2008. Adams wants to see more of Young, the No. 3 pick overall in 2006, but such decisions are up to Fisher. Young hasn’t been any better in two relief appearances, going 0 for 5 with one interception.

Who starts Nov. 1 against Jacksonville (3-3)? Fisher isn’t saying.

The bye will heal up defensive backs Cortland Finnegan (right hamstring) and Vincent Fuller (broken right arm). But running back LenDale White hurt his left knee in the second quarter Sunday. He walked to the sideline, then rode a cart to the locker room and was seen walking gingerly after the game. He led the AFC with 15 touchdowns rushing last season, but has just one in 2009.

Finnegan ready for return

Fisher is trying to sell this bye week, with Monday a day off for players, as a fresh start.

“This is the coaches’ and players’ week to get things fixed, and there will be things that we won’t be privy to discuss for competitive reasons,” Fisher said. “There may be changes in the lineups. Hopefully, we can get some people healed up and ready to play for us. I’m expecting to put a different team on the field next week as we practice for Jacksonville.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.