"Owner Inspired" & Titans Advanced Stats
Combing through Charles Robinson's latest clip about the Titans drafting of Will Levis and talking some advanced stats that explain the Titans vs Falcons.
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Screw it. Let’s jump right in.
Look, I share clips or rumors on X without my own input, because I enjoy a good experiment. I like to see who on the timeline does their research on a certain social account and who actually listens to clips with an open mind. It' is very much fun for me to either annoy people or cause chaos. Yes, I am that guy that enjoys causing innocent, and minor, social media chaos.
This morning I did it again, but this time to have a much larger discussion about the topic of nuance and media reports…and to cause a little chaos. I shared this 9-minute clip of Charles Robinson from Yahoo Sports on the “My Main Man Michael Smith” podcast.
You can start at the 2:20 mark for the stuff we will be talking about, but oh boy, did people let this clip get the best of their objectiveness. When you interpret one phrase or word in black and white at the beginning of the clip it skews how you view the rest of the information. This is why I watch and listen to clips like this multiple times before forming an opinion or interpretation. So, what I wanna do is break down the clip into sections and tell you what he said, what I think is the most likely interpretation, and what wasn’t said.
"Yeah, it's interesting too, the way he ended up with the Titans. I mean I don't know if this story will ever get fully told. I think it was very much this was an ownership inspired draft pick. I do believe that."
He left himself a lot of gray area with the words in bold. If you jumped into the immediate and only thought of “Amy Adams-Strunk forced Mike Vrabel and Ran Carthon to draft Will Levis”, then not only are you wrong to think that, but it also skews the rest of the video. Now, this isn’t saying that your theory is wrong. I am saying that if it’s the first and only thing you’re going to interpret that as, then you’re doing yourself, and anyone you spread that message to, a disservice.
In the context of what was said later in the clip, the likely interpretation is that at some point during the off-season, AAS gave a mandate that she wanted a QB in this draft. So, the draft pick of a quarterback was inspired by the Owner. We know the Titans tried trading up for C.J. Stroud, right? So, that makes the most sense, that Amy said, find us a quarterback. We also know that if Skoronski hadn’t been there that Levis would’ve been the pick. So, it’s not like they were forced to like or draft the prospect, and/or truly forced to draft a quarterback. They were just giving a nudge at some point during the off-season to find the next QB in this draft.
Looking back, obviously, there can be some alteration of memory looking back, but I think at the time Mike Vrabel would have loved to have two other you know, those two picks that turn into Will Levis.
Boy, did people get this wrong. Nowhere in the context of what is said that Robinson’s memory may be “altered” or “cloudy. So, if you think that, you got that wrong. It clearly means that on the parts of those involved in the decision that they may look back with some sort of “revisionist history.” Pretty clear.
He would love to have been able to invest those two picks into, you know, other parts of the depth chart. They had just taken Malik Willis in the third round in the year before.
Nowhere does Robinson say in this that they like or wanted Malik Willis. This is a team, as we know by their words and actions, that thought that with Ryan Tannehill and other veterans, they could win the division. They had just drafted a quarterback in the third round. So, why trade up, and “waste” draft picks (specifically 2024 and better valued picks in 2023, remember they lost the trade in terms of value.) for a quarterback, when the roster has holes and could be filled with quality players. The Titans felt they had a quarterback in Tannehill, not necessarily in Willis.
It is about the strategy of the draft, and the state of the roster in their eyes, not the love or want of Willis.
I do think it was an ownership inspired selection. I think the coaching staff at the time, maybe not everybody, but I know there were certain individuals on the coaching staff who were like: “Okay, so, we’re going to do this.”
Doesn’t say Vrabel, but I am going to drop a massive bombshell: Not every coach on the staff, not every scout on the staff, is going to like the draft picks you make. Especially one as polarizing throughout the draft process as Levis. So, many reports that he rubbed people the wrong way. There were reports about Stroud as well. It’s very common.
Robinson goes on in this segment to talk about why Levis was polarizing. This was a major talking about throughout the draft process. Remarkable level of confidence (read: cocky). The social media stuff. A lot of things that can rub teams, staff members, coaches, scouts, etc…the wrong way.
So, I am not surprised that this decision was met with some skepticism inside the building from all sorts of people on every level in every department. Most of the fans were skeptical as well, yours truly included.
That is the important stuff. Everything else in the clip is breaking down the debut and what happened over the summer that we have heard all before. Hopefully, that has helped you understand the nuance of what is said in the clip.
Joe Rexrode even came on the air this morning and said it wasn’t a secret that AAS had some hand in the drafting of a QB. Not the drafting of Will Levis particularly, but just of a QB. Not that she forced it, but just made her desires known. Owners do that all the time in professional sports.
No one hates Will Levis out of Vrabel or Carthon, and no one respectable has said/reported that. That’s a bad narrative being painted by quick-trigger emotions.
Titans vs Falcons: Advanced Stats
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