Report: Tennessee Titans Hire Ken Whisenhunt as Head Coach


Aug. 24, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA: San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt against the Arizona Cardinals during a preseason game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It appears as though the Tennessee Titans will hire Ken Whisenhunt as their new head coach. A few things about him:

  • Developed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers won a Super Bowl in Roethlisberger’s second season.
  • Helped resurrect Kurt Warner‘s post-St. Louis Rams career. Warner led the 2008 Arizona Cardinals to a Super Bowl appearance. He led the 2009 Cardinals to a divisional playoff appearance.
  • Whisenhunt’s best regular-season Cardinals team finished with a 10-6 record (2009). The 2008 team finished with a 9-7 record.
  • Whisenhunt was never able to win with Derek Anderson, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.
  • In Whisenhunt’s only year as Chargers offensive coordinator, the offense made huge strides, as evidenced in the above tweet from John Glennon of The Tennessean.

Whisenhunt’s last three seasons with Arizona included teams that finished with records of 5-11 (2010), 8-8 (2011) and 5-11 (2012). Although the Cardinals always had great skill-position talent, those last few teams never established anything near respectablity on the offensive line. Whisenhunt was fired after his 2012 team lost 11 of its last 12 games. Yet again, injured quarterbacks and atrocious offensive line play accounted for that downfall.

One of the big questions for Whisenhunt: who will operate his defense? Will he stick with Jerry Gray or Gregg Williams? Maybe he can bring over Ray Horton, the Cardinals defensive coordinator from 2011-12? Wade Phillips is available…

This hire should make Titans fans feel optimistic. General manager Ruston Webster has shown that he can draft quality talent. Whisenhunt has shown that he can coach quality talent. He’s not a miracle worker who’s going to coach playoff teams with Matt Cassel (e.g. Bill Belichick).

His 45-51 record will sour some folks. Below-average quarterback plus worst offensive line equals…5-11 sounds right. The Titans must build a quality offensive line (Titans offensive line in its current state is much better than 2012 Arizona’s), let him get his quarterback, and then find someone who can run the defense. There’s no reason this team can’t win 9-10 games as soon as next season.

With Whisenhunt, one of his problems seemed like he couldn’t put everything together at once. Whether it was offensive line, ground game, or defense, there was always a glaring omission that killed his team’s chances at regular-season or postseason success. The 2009 postseason was the perfect storm but his team just couldn’t get the job done against the Steelers.

Not my first choice (Greg Roman, Mike Zimmer, Darrell Bevell). But this is a retread who’s capable of fine success in his second go-around.

What do our readers think? Was this a good hire? Are you down on Whisenhunt after his last few seasons with Arizona? Do you think he was a victim to ‘questionable’ ownership from the Bidwills? Let us know in the comments, Twitter or Facebook.