Change is the theme in Nashville these days with rookie head coach Mike Munchak bringing more accountability to the club, veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck taking over for now-Eagles backup Vince Young and the offense experiencing its success through the air — not with RB Chris Johnson on the ground — early in the 2011 campaign.
Hasselbeck has been outstanding, working diligently with offensive coordinator Chris Palmer and the Titans' receiving corps to get everyone on the same page. WR Kenny Britt appears poised for a Pro Bowl season if he can keep his nose clean and overcome the hamstring issues that have plagued him during his first two years in the league. And No. 2 WR Nate Washington, off to the best start of his seven-year career, is buying in. Team sources rave about Washington's improved attitude and commitment this season after his first two years with the club were too inconsistent.
PFW recently caught up with Washington for a phone interview to discuss his transformation.
"Totally different focus this year," he said. "With the new coaching staff coming in and the new organizational look that we have, I think a lot of things have changed. And with that being said, I had a lot of different things about my game that I wanted to change."
Washington's renewed focus has included spending more time in both the weight room and the film room. He also has concentrated more on "finishing every single route in practice" while embracing Palmer's plan to put him and the other wideouts in different positions and formations to make plays.
When asked what may have held him back in the past, Washington said: "I think in previous years, I sometimes got caught up, honestly, in just being out there. But this year, I'm not just looking to be out there; I'm looking to make an impact. Whether it's catching short passes or long passes, making a block for the running back or running the route that is going to open up a different receiver — I'm trying to make sure I'm paying attention to details and being accountable for what is going on.
"We all have the team goal in mind. Whatever we can do to make the wheels on the team move, that is what we're going to do."
Follow Arthur Arkush on Twitter