Subject: Report: Titans talked to the Patriots about a Rob
Content: Last week a report surfaced that the Patriots were shopping the all-pro tight end. The Titans were one of the teams named as a potential suitor , which wasn’t all that surprising considering the connection. That report was largely dismissed, but Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated confirmed that report this week. In an appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Breer had this to say on the situation. Gronkowski is signed through the 2019 season, but his desire for a new deal seems to be the driving force behind the trade rumors. So according to Breer, Jon Robinson at least had a conversation with the Patriots about a potential deal for Gronkowski. We don’t know how far those talks got, but it’s interesting to think about what could have been. When healthy, there’s no denying that Gronkowski is one of the best players in the league. His addition would be fascinating, considering the fact that the Titans already have Delanie Walker on the roster. Walker does only have one year remaining on his deal. Gronkowski is still just 29 years old and clearly has plenty left in the tank , coming off of another 1,000 yard season. But the obvious question here is what the Titans would have had to give up to acquire him. What would you have given up to get Gronk to Nashville? After igniting training camp and being a hot name during the offseason, Malcolm Butler’s play has been a disappointment to himself and to fans of the team.High expectations were set early on as Butler seemed to generate a pick or big play every other practice - or sometimes would go on a streak of flashing his potential play-making abilities.Now, Butler - who was brought in to solidify the corner spot - has become a liability in pass coverage. A lot is due to his over-aggressive style. HC Mike Vrabel pointed to technique as being a contributing factor to Butler’s season struggles.Truthfully, It’s a combination of both.But there is one additional factor that is glossed over - Butler’s inability to overcome early big plays where the fault is his.Confidence Dissected Teams who study tape on Butler realize that in order to get the corner off his game, he must be targeted frequently and early on. If a receiver can get a big play or move the chains against Butler one-on-one, his confidence teeters.Moreover, Butler will attempt to make up for giving up a play by looking to make a bigger play defensively. He becomes reactive rather than proactive. Instead of sticking to his technique - which coaches gushed over during the offseason - he tries to rely on physical talents and gut-instinct to put him in position to make a play. This has backfired several times and the result is points on the scoreboard for the other team.In a recent story by Titans Senior Editor Jim Wyatt Navy Dion Lewis Jersey , Butler expressed his frustrations with his play thus far and is at least holding himself accountable. This is a good sign.Exposing the WoundButler will continue to be targeted by opposing quarterbacks until he proves he can become a feared force in the secondary. Until he corrects it, he can expect teams to throw the ball in his direction.For Butler, this could be a good thing. If he uses a team/quarterback not respecting his abilities as fuel to correct his technique, he could steer his season back in the right direction one play at a time. The Titans need Butler to provide coverage consistency. If the issue truly is his technique needing to be refined, then DB Coach Kerry Coombs needs to get to work in figuring out what needs to be changed, tweaked and adjusted. If Butler improves his technique but still struggles in coverage, the decision to prioritize the former Patriot in free agency instead of addressing other roster holes will continue to build steam.