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The Titans Success Explained: They Got Help from Gen. Mattis

Source - One night earlier this year, as Arthur [Smith] was managing his first season as the Titans’ offensive coordinator, he asked his dad if he knew General Jim Mattis, the former U.S. secretary of defense. Of course he did, his father replied. Fred Smith was a decorated Marine before he became a business tycoon and one of the richest men in the world — he’s also a shareholder of the Washington Redskins — so he put Arthur in touch. 

“He asked him how he assessed opponents, about how he adjusted to different situations,” Fred Smith said of his son’s conversation with Mattis. “He’s just a sponge for people who are good at their jobs, and who have to both manage and lead people. I tried to steer Arthur to the study of the great captains, to understand what leadership is all about.”

Fred Smith said that his son has kept in touch with Mattis throughout the Titans’ playoff run — which began with an upset win over the New England Patriots in the first round last week and will continue with Saturday’s divisional-round road game against the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens — and that unlikely relationship helps illustrate the reputation that Arthur Smith has developed in his first season calling plays.

Losing to the Tennessee Titans blew. Watching Arthur Smith's offense outscore Josh McDaniels' offense at home in a playoff game sucked metric boatloads of ass. There's no mitigating that. This is New England, where success is binary. You win everything or you failed. Winning is measured in banners only. The Bruins went to Game 7 of the Final last year, but we don't give credit for that. You're either pouring sweet booze down your throat on a Duckboat or you've accomplished nothing. If you ain't first you're last, and all that. 

But this news makes that loss to the Titans go down a little smoother. Failure is still not an option, but it's a more acceptable when you realize you were going up against Mad Dog Mattis. No matter how big or small his role was, he was contributing to the Titans' braintrust. And I don't know how you can expect any mortal man to overcome that. 

I mean, the Patriots slogans like "Do Your Job" and "No Days Off" and "We're All Patriots" and "Let's Fucking Go" are amazing. They've been the philosophical underpinnings of a Dynasty. But how do you put them up against these?

And that, more than any other factor, explains Tennessee's victory. That Wild Card game was over the second Fred Smith got Arthur Smith on the phone with Gen. Mattis. I'm not predisposed to criticizing Bill Belichick, but he should've thought of this. The most badass being of our lifetime is between jobs and was available and as far as we know, the Patriots let this human superweapon fall into the hands of the enemy. And it was game over.

We should know by Saturday if McDaniels gets the Browns job. If he does, I've found our next offensive coordinator.