NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Titans offensive coordinator Jason Michael plans to utilize the gap away from Saint Thomas Sports Park to spend time with family. His son, Wyatt, was born on the Friday before the 2013 NFL season opened. After helping San Diego make the playoffs as tight ends coach, Michael was offered his current role by new Tennessee coach Ken Whisenhunt. The relocation brought Michael and his wife closer to their parents, but working to install a new offense and learn the strengths of each player has kept him busy.
Michael recapped what he’s learned about Titans players during Tennessee’s offseason program for a recent interview with Titans Online as the team was holding its minicamp. Players are scheduled to report for training camp July 25. Here are excerpts from the interview with Michael:
TITANS ONLINE: What has
JASON MICHAEL: “From day one, he’s worked his butt off from rehabilitation of his foot to jumping in the playbook, to how he’s gone about his preparation on the field. It’s been a frustrating go at times with his foot, but he’s never shown it. He’s a poised man. I’m excited about working with him. He does some good things that we’ve already seen.”
TITANS ONLINE: What does the level of work ethic you described mean at that position?
JASON MICHAEL: “That is the position. Everybody knows that’s what this game revolves around, the quarterback position, and the combination of his work ethic coming in and (
TITANS ONLINE: What stands out to you from what you’ve seen from the receivers?
JASON MICHAEL: “There’s three guys that have a familiar relationship (with Locker), and that’s kind of where it starts with that group. (
“It’s fun to watch (
TITANS ONLINE: How can the tight ends help the offense run more efficiently?
JASON MICHAEL: “The more we can get out of any position, whether it be the running backs, tight ends, receivers, we’re going to do whatever we have to do to win games, and wherever we get that from and that’s going to change week to week, they’re going to play the receivers one way one week and different another to where the tight ends are opened up in a different game plan, but I think having a couple of guys that have played and proven themselves with (
TITANS ONLINE: What can you tell about the way the interior of the offensive line is coming together?
JASON MICHAEL: “It’s hard to tell at that position, more than anything, until you get the pads on. The things you do see is guys working their combination blocks or working together and communicating. Those things are coming along. It’s an evolving process. It wasn’t real good at the beginning. It got better in OTAs, it’s getting better in minicamp, and that’s going to continue to grow. We keep working with the interior line in terms of the fundamentals of all the things that (coach Bob Bostad) and (assistant Mike Sullivan) are preaching and working on, it’s a talented group. It’s a good mix of veterans, as well as a couple of younger guys in the middle.”
TITANS ONLINE: How quickly can
TITANS ONLINE: Do you re-shape anything for training camp based on learning more about individual strengths at different position groups?
JASON MICHAEL: “I think so. I think we’ve started doing that already. As you get in here, you don’t have a great feel. You watch the season from last year and get a feel for what certain guys do, but when you’re out here on the field, you get a better feel, how certain guys run certain routes, what runs do running backs like, the offensive line, are we built to run this scheme or that scheme, and that’s going to continue to evolve. It has since we’ve been here. It will continue through minicamp. We’ll look at the offseason, and everybody will get a chance to revisit that when we get back from vacation and going into training camp as we script for that, then that will reflect the direction. Going into training camp and the preseason, we’re still going to adjust things and it may be early in the season. The earlier we do it, the better chance we have to be successful, but we’re still going to be reshaping this thing and finding out what we do best to win football games, and that’s the most important thing.”
TITANS ONLINE: How is the chess match between you and defensive coordinator Ray Horton going?JASON MICHAEL: “It’s good. This staff has been fun, and that’s a reflection on Coach Whisenhunt. The guys he’s brought in here, both offensively and defensively, he’s a firm believer in working together and having a great working relationship. It’s competitive. There’s competition going on between tight ends and outside backers, and between running backs and linebackers and between the offensive staff and defensive staff. That’s what makes it so fun. The game is competitive, and that’s what gets you going, but it’s been great getting to know Ray and getting to know the defensive staff as well as the offensive staff. It’s a great staff to work with. Going forward, it will be fun.”