Did building for Mike Mularkey slow Jon Robinson down?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – On our private Facebook page, Brett Gordon recently posted this:


I was initially dismissive, which is a dangerous default setting I need to do better to fight.

There are certain things a GM needs to get any coach, and so picking one of the NFL’s best safeties in Kevin Byard was the right move no matter who Jon Robinson’s coach was.

But on a lower level, Brett is onto something, at least for a few players. I don't think it was on a scale to set things back much once Mike Vrabel was hired. I think.

In his first season in Indianapolis, Chris Ballard was not drafting for Chuck Pagano at all. While in Music City, Robinson had to have Mularkey’s exotic smashmouth in mind at least a little as he was making moves in 2016 and 2017.

Yet I don’t think it was on a level that buys Robinson much forgiveness for some of the misses he’s made. For example, there was nothing about Kevin Dodd or Sylvester Williams that, as best I know, made them Mularkley guys or particular fits for Mularkey’s systems though he or his coordinators or position coaches may have loved those guys.

Jack Conklin was probably a better fit for Mularkey's offensive line system than he is for the one that was in place in 2018.WeemsJags

Blake Beddingfield points to DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry as great fits for Mularkey, but I don’t know that either back would have been objectionable for any coach. Other Mularkey guys: Anthony Fasano (good), Eric Weems (non-factor, pictured), Harry Douglas (minimal factor). I’d say Sebastian Tretola, a fit for the offensive line scheme at the time was certainly a Mularkey-system guy.

There was actually a bigger organizational reset from Mike Munchak to Ken Whisenhunt than from Mularkey to Vrabel. That’s when the Titans went from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defensive front and Whisenhunt wanted backs that fit a certain mold which resulted in Bishop Sankey, and Dexter McCluster.

Before Arthur Smith was promoted to offensive coordinator, Beddingfield believed the biggest post-Mularkey personnel “tell” heading into year two of Vrabel would be running back.

Dion Lewis was a Murray replacement to give the Titans a receiving-threat back. Now with Smith in place, Beddingfield expects them to go forward as they finished, with Henry as the lead and Lewis as the complimentary change-up and receiving back.

So Brett, there were a few Robinson guys who were Mularkey-specific. But I don't think it was on a scale that set back the team in any big way in terms of how the table was set for Vrabel.

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