Dec 31, 2013; El Paso, TX, USA; UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) walks off the field after winning the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
An eventful offseason awaits the 2014-15 Tennessee Titans. General manager Ruston Webster has many decisions to make as he crafts this roster into a team who can end a playoff-winless drought that dates back to Jan. 2004. The team hasn’t enjoyed a postseason appearance since they were one-and-done during the Jan. 2009 playoff picture.
Kicking things off: a brand new coaching staff. Ken Whisenhunt will get his second opportunity to lead a professional football franchise. His first gig, the Arizona Cardinals (2007-12), included two playoff appearances and one NFC Championship. The 2008 Cardinals were seconds away from a Super Bowl championship. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ended those dreams with a game-clinching touchdown drive.
Whisenhunt is putting the finishing touches on his coaching staff. In approximately six weeks, management must decide on some key free-agent and personnel decisions. Adding defensive coordinator Ray Horton means that the team must restructure their front seven so it’s better suited for a hybrid 3-4 alignment. What shall the team do with Jake Locker, Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, David Stewart, Alterraun Verner and Bernard Pollard?
As of Jan. 28, the Titans are scheduled to have six draft picks for the 2014 NFL Draft. Don’t expect them to receive any compensatory picks following their spending spree from last season’s free agency. The draft is from May 8-10.
Let’s focus on their first selection: the No. 11 pick. What will the Titans do with this pick? Titan Sized staff writer Nicholas Pitakos and contributor Matias Wodner recently composed pieces that had this team drafting a linebacker with their first selection. Do they have a point? Is there another area where the team could focus on? Maybe the team just goes with a “best player available” philosophy?