NASHVILLE, Tenn. —New Titans general manager Jon Robinson saved the best for last during his introductory press conference on Monday.
Now, his goal is to take the Titans from worst to first.
The Union City, Tennessee, native knows he's going to need some time.
But on his 40th birthday, he didn't hesitate to reach out to a fan base that's dealt with far too much heartache of late. The Titans are coming off a 3-13 season, and have won just five games over the last two seasons.
Hired last week as the team's chief decision-maker on personnel, Robinson made a final statement at the end of 51-minute press conference that left a mark.
"If you only remember one thing from this presser, please remember this, and this goes out to our fans: This is my home and you guys are my family. I've been a Titans fan ever since '97 when this football team moved here. We're going to build this team the right way. All decisions that we make will be made in the best interests of this team, your football team. Please let us earn your support,'' Robinson said.
"I grew up on a small 10-acre farm in West Tennessee. I watched my dad get up every morning and drive to a tire plant where he worked for 30-plus years. My mother packed his lunch box before he walked out. I helped work that farm as supplemental income. I know what hard work is. Coach knows what hard work is. I was part of an organization in New England for 12 years that is still the standard of excellence today. We're ready to go to work for you, because you're our family. Thank you."
The Titans announced Robinson as the team's new general manager last week after interviewing five other candidates for the position. He replaces Ruston Webster, whose contract wasn't renewed at the end of last season.
Robinson joined the Titans after spending the past two seasons as director of player personnel with the Buccaneers, during which time he oversaw all areas of the scouting department, both college and pro, in addition to free agency preparation, evaluating players in the NFL and other professional leagues.
Robinson spent 12 seasons with the Patriots (2002-13), where he worked as New England's director of college scouting (2009-13), and prior to that served as a regional scout and an area scout for the Patriots.
On Monday, Robinson thanked his parents and his family for helping mold him as a person. He thanked the Patriots and Buccaneers for helping him develop as a talent evaluator in the NFL.
Titans head coach Mike Mularkey and GM Jon Robinson introduced to reporters at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Donn Jones Photography)
Now, his job is to mold the Titans into a contender. He provided a glimpse of a vision he shares with Titans coach Mike Mularkey
"Our goal here is to win. Bottom line,'' Robinson said. "It's the measuring stick that all franchises are measured by. Mike and I have an aligned vision of what we want this team to look like. We want tough players, we want coachable players, we want smart players, and most importantly we want players with a team-first attitude. My role here is to ensure that we find those players. I will coach the personnel staff on the type of players we want and identify the guys that are true fits in what we are looking for in a Titan."
Titans President and CEO Steve Underwood said the team's ownership group, led by Amy Adams Strunk, chose Robinson because they saw something special in him.
"Jon Robison is the product of the most extensive search for a general manager in our club's history,'' Underwood said. "We are so impressed with Jon's experience, his vision, and his focus on restoring our franchise to greatness. … Amy believes his talents and attitude are just what we need for our club at this moment and time."
Robinson will have control of the team's 53-man roster.
He'll provide the players Mularkey will have to work with during the offseason, and on Sundays.
Robinson wants to upgrade the talent, through free agency, and drafts. The Titans have the No.1 overall pick in this year's draft.
Robinson also wants more wins.
"I think in the end we want to put the most competitive 90 guys on the field this spring and let them battle it out. We want a tough, physical football team. And we are going to try and get guys out there that are tough and physical and get to 53 in August,'' Robinson said.
"We want to add competitive, tough guys who are going to go out there and fight on Sundays for this football team.''