Tennessee Titans: wr’s now feel Ken Whisenhunt’s pressure
By P. L. Colter
This time a year ago, head coach Ken Whisenhunt was the Tennessee Titans’ biggest offseason acquisition. Former head coach Mike Munchak won 22 games during his three year stint, but couldn’t get the team over the hump…and back into the playoffs.
Coach Whisenhunt was just the opposite. He came in with playoff experience, and a reputation of reviving the careers of various quarterbacks.
A year, and ten straight losses later, coach Whisenhunt now finds himself in the dreaded group of coaches entering the season on the hot seat. 2-14 cannot happen again. We know that…and he knows that.
And judging from his offseason comments, he’s ready to pass that pressure along to his players.
The first player put on notice was qb Zach Mettenberger. When Tennessee drafted Marcus Mariota, coach Whiz immediately named him the starting qb. No subtleties…no wiggle room…
Now that the Titans have settled their quarterback situation, coach Whisenhunt turned his focus to the wide receiver position…and you don’t have to read between the lines to get his message.
This group must step up this year.
Whisenhunt didn’t offer up a passive-aggressive blanket statement when it came to his receivers. Oh no…coach Whiz is calling players out publicly.
And no one is safe.
Justin Hunter, the usual suspect, got a loud and clear message from his coach when Whisenhunt spoke about him to the Tennessean. Whiz’s quote…
“At some point you either get it or you’re out of the league. That’s the natural order of the NFL.”
By the way, Hunter is entering the third year of his four year rookie deal.
And speaking of rookie deals, Tennessee’s second round pick Dorial Green-Beckham signed his this week. The Titans now have Hunter’s potential replacement under contract, but it didn’t stop coach Whisenhunt from welcoming him with a public request to drop some weight.
Any time a coach publicly tells a player to drop some weight, he’s telling the world that his player showed up out of shape. A direct shot at his commitment.
Welcome to the NFL…DGB.
Dec 28, 2014; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kendall Wright (13) scores a touchdown against Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) during the first half at LP Field. Mandatory Credit: Don McPeak-USA TODAY Sports
Kendall Wright, who’s widely considered the Titans best receiver, also drew some heat this week. ESPN’s Paul Kuharsky reported this that coach Whiz isn’t happy with the offensive approach of his best receiver, noting that he often freelanced when it came to running his routs last year. An excerpt from his quotes….
“If Kendall gets too far up the field and he doesn’t get to the spot where he is supposed to be over there, then you don’t have the window to throw it in when that safety cuts to the in behind it. It’s the way it’s spaced.”
“And that’s the way it is in all offenses, you’re in spots to try to affect the underneath coverage and the deep coverage. And if you don’t get into those spots, it’s not going to have that affect on them.”
Translation: “Run my plays the way I draw them up this year Kendall….you’ve been warned.”
Coach Whisenhunt is not playing around this year. He knows that if things go 2014 wrong again, then Mariota will be safe….not him.
With training camp still six weeks away, one can only wonder….who gets put on blast next?