The Titans are generating plenty of buzz this offseason, but it won't mean a thing until Tennessee actually piles up autumn wins.
With general manager Jon Robinson working behind the scenes to revamp the culture inside the building, players claim this year feels different than all the rest.
"Everybody is buying into the philosophy of what (coach) Mike Mularkey is selling. That's good," said tight end Delanie Walker, per TitansInsider.com. "We all in this locker room are tired of losing. So I think guys are really buying into this system, trying to figure out what we can do to change that mind-set, being able to finish. It's early now, but I can see it evolving to where guys are really going to start to understand the offense and making right decisions to put us in great situations."
So what's different? It all starts with second-year quarterback Marcus Mariota, a mobile and accurate passer who showed flashes of exciting playmaking ability as a rookie. With a young receiving corps and deep cast of running backs to anchor Mularkey's I-formation, "exotic smashmouth" attack, Tennessee is aiming to build a roster that plows through opponents with a clock-chewing ground game.
On defense, the presence of ageless coordinator Dick LeBeau brings hope to a unit that's been pushed around for years in the AFC South.
Wideout Dorial Green-Beckham sees a noticeable change from last season, saying: "It's been a positive vibe. These coaches see a lot of talent on this team, if we can put it all together. We've got both sides of the ball just going at it every day and competing in practice."
And this from running back Dexter McCluster: "We're definitely sick of the losing around here. I know the city is as well. Right now, you get a sense that we're gonna be a great team. We're moving in the right direction."
The Titans have reason to feel excited about the talent on this roster. Still, the NFL in June is a wonderland of optimism. For a Tennessee team that hasn't made the postseason since 2008, fans need to see feel-good statements translate into hammer-dropping performances on Sunday.