Titans start grumbling about Chris Palmer


With the Tennessee Titans losing by 21 at home to the Patriots on Sunday and running back Chris Johnson mustering only four rushing yards on 11 carries, the finger pointing has begun.

A league source tells PFT that players are grumbling about offensive coordinator Chris Palmer, who is in his second season with the team.

Given Sunday’s struggles, the emerging question is, basically, “What has this guy ever done?”  Well, the 62-year-old coach has been coaching since the early 1970s, with more than 20 at the NFL level.  But he’s never been with any NFL team for more than four years (he was the Texans offensive coordinator from 2002 through 2005), and he flamed out in two years as the first coach of the reconstituted Browns.

Palmer’s biggest success came in New York, where he served as quarterbacks coach for the 2007 Giants.  He retired from the NFL after the 2009 season.  Given that he was back in the NFL in 2011, it’s fair to wonder whether he was nudged out of New York.

Regardless of Palmer’s past (and he likely has forgotten more about football than 99.9 percent of the population will ever know), his present includes a team that came out of the gates in sluggish fashion — and that now is searching for someone to blame.

It could get better in San Diego on Sunday, when receiver Kenny Britt returns and the Titans face a Chargers team with a head coach who has survived despite periodic player grumbling.  If it doesn’t, look for the grumbling to continue.

28 responses to “Titans start grumbling about Chris Palmer

  1. Blaming an offensive coach is a losers mentality. The Titans lost to a team that is more talented than they are. Coaching will never make up for the difference between Tom Brady and a quarterback starting his first NFL game.

  2. The problem is more the fact that Chris Johnson got his contract and runs like a guy that couldnt care less whether he gains 5 yards or loses it. RB is now their glaring offensive weakness.

  3. if any of you actually follow the titans the entire”he got his money and isnt trying anymore” is simply not true. not only is palmer’s playcalling predictable but his zone blocking scheme basically gives cj no room to run

  4. The only grumbling should be about the interior line. Harris is brutal, Velasco is a last minute injury replacement to the bum amano, and Hutch just doesn’t have it anymore. You can’t run when 5 defenders are in the backfield. Pass blocking this line is great, but run blocking forget about it.

  5. Chris Johnson got lazy overnight, he got paid now he is taking a page out of the Jamarcus Russell playbook.

  6. My problem with some of the play calling is on 3rd downs .It seems that Palmer is always calling in passing plays that are thrown short of the 1st down mark and we are comming up a yard or two short.Why not go just beyound the marker to make the 1st down.Watch the patroits game and how they made 3rd down calls.Brady seen to never throw the ball short.
    Also just take what the defense will give you again see patroits.Time for Palmer to get with itor get out.

  7. How exactly does Chris Johnson’s contract explain backup Javon Ringer’s YPC nosediving under Palmer last year, too?

    This is the worst run-blocking Titans team I’ve ever seen. Pass blocking isn’t nearly as big a problem, but their run blocking is pitiful.

    Probably unfair anddefinitely too easy to put all the blame on Palmer, but neither do I think it’s pure coincidence that their running game stats overall have dropped like a rock since he took over.

  8. You can’t have a RB with good stats with no OL. You can always turn nothing into something, just ask B Belicheat. If the OL can’t block and do their job replacement time. That is one thing I love about B Belicheat. Coach em up. That will resolve everything.

  9. Whoever is blaming CJ for the run game struggles is an idiot and doesn’t know the game. He is one of the few rbs in the lg who has DL & LBs in the backfield when he gets a handoff. His O-line graded out 31 of 32 teams last yr in run blocking so how can CJ get going in those situations. Fire Chris Palmer & his predictable offense!!!

  10. It’s the good ol’ boy network of coaches in full swing, grease palms and butter up people with power over the years and reap the rewards with constant employment. Happens everywhere.

  11. Chris Palmer has no business being in coaching, particularly in an offense with an inexperienced QB. He already destroyed the careers of Tim Couch and David Carr before they could start. Locker is a dead man walking.

  12. I thought Steve Hutchinson was supposed to be the difference? Then again AP had over 80 yards and 2 TDs for the Vikes with a new LG and a new knee.

  13. Blame CJ more than the offensive coordinator…He was running east to west yesterday rather than finding the opening in the line and powering through it like he used to…It looked like he caught Maroney-itis and let’s face it, the Patriots were the better team and made good plays on defense but getting Britt back will help open up defenses more

  14. OC Chris Palmer = OUT

    OC Tom Moore

    When the coaching staff was being assembled, Tennessee’s first choice was actually OC Tom Moore & he was real close to coming out of retirement to be the OC for Tennessee. Maybe there’s still a chance? lol.

  15. jolink: you hit the nail squarely in the head with “Maroney-itis”l Johnson looked quite tentative. However, I think the Pats’ defense did a great job of swallowing him up too. Johnson made some lateral cuts to try to compensate and it simply didn’t work.

  16. It’s hard to run up field when 300 lb DL are in ur face at the handoff. He ran hard on his receptions and looked decisive so why wouldn’t he run hard out the backfield? Makes no sense!! If I can call run & pass plays pre-snap from my couch, surely Def coordinators & NFL defensive players can see what’s coming

  17. It’s a mixture of bad playcalling and bad interior run-blocking. Reynaud (CJ’s backup for the game) was met in the backfield just as much as Johnson was. CJ looked hesitant at times, yes, but its a shame that it boils down to him trying to lose the least amount of yards possible because of the situations he’s put in. It was also throwback to the Jeff Fisher days of playcalling, 1st and 2nd down runs and then having to convert 3rd-and-long after 3rd-and-long, which are pretty low-percentage success rates to begin with.

    However, any reactions after Week 1 are going to be very knee-jerk in nature. No need to call for the OC to lose his job quite yet.

  18. “Palmer’s biggest success came in New York, where he served as quarterbacks coach for the 2007 Giants. He retired from the NFL after the 2009 season. Given that he was back in the NFL in 2011, it’s fair to wonder whether he was nudged out of New York.”

    Criticizing his current offensive playcalling is fair game – it certainly was pretty bad yesterday – but this kind of guessing is irresponsible. Palmer retired from the NFL to become coach of the startup UFL team in Hartford, close to his family. The reports at the time were those head coaching jobs were paying close to NFL money and came with complete autonomy, a less-demanding schedule and much less media scrutiny. I believe his intent at the time was that would be his retirement job. We all know what happened to that league and he ended up back in the NFL. There were never complaints about his QB coaching ability with the Giants.

  19. They’re not utilizing CJ to his strengths. His bread-and-butter when he got 2K was sweeps, pitches, screens.. things to the outside. All this running up the middle ain’t getting it done.

    The offense wasn’t solely to blame for the loss. The Pats offense is just much too diverse, and caught them off guard all game long. They were just overmatched and out-coached in every aspect of the game.

    If there was a silver lining, they did put pressure on Brady at times. And aside from the interception, Locker looked good. That TD to Nate was amazing.

  20. Chris Johnson got hit at or near the line of scrimmage on 8 of 11 carries. it’s a combination of predictable playcalling and terrible, really the worst run blocking i’ve ever seen.

  21. It used to drive me crazy the way Dallas ran their offense. They got a new coordinator/coach, Bill Parcells, and all of the sudden they rediscover the play action pass, shotgun and generally good play calling. The offensive coordinator is a HUGE DEAL. Tennessee hired the WRONG GUY.

  22. Its not Chris Johnson’s effort. The openings are not there. When he hits da hole, it closes b4 he’s there. He’s always been a patient back, but patience is Killing him. Da blocking schemes are horrible.

  23. I posted about this yesterday. There’s a reason that OCs and DCs are tomorrow’s head coaches and are the highest paid next to the head coach, good ones are very valuable and bad ones reveal themselves quickly. Dick Lebeau? Peyton Manning? The titans have consistently kept players/coaches years longer than they should have.

  24. I think it’s possible the Pats run defense had more to do with Chris Johnson’s lack of production than any other factor.

  25. i think the talent disparity between the two teams was a far bigger problem than the play calling. if they can’t get the passing game going later in the seasono with britt, wright and hopefully washington (scary injury), then playcalling might be an issue

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