Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt gets some respect on NFL.com
By Will Lomas
Eliot Harrison of NFL.com released a coaches ranking recently, and Ken Whisenhunt ended up ranking 21st among head coaches. While that might not sound like a lot of credit, that is a pretty solid stand for a coach who is easy to criticize in the media.
Ken Whisenhunt has taken his fair share of beatings over the last year. He was the head coach of a two-win team in his first year, and is criticized for not being productive over his last two years as a leader.
However, all of that criticism is really not indicative of the type of coach he is. Sure he has had a bad couple of season, but in a league that is more and more dependent on good quarterbacks, lets look at how he has fared when he has had someone worth their salt at quarterback.
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Wins aren’t a quarterbacks category, and they aren’t a coach category, but they are a team category and when you have a talented coach AND good quarterback that combination usually leads to the team doing well. If you have one but not the other, that is when you see a team draft in the top 10.
Ken Whisenhunt was 27-21 during his run with the Arizona Cardinals when they had Kurt Warner.
For those that think Kurt Warner was a sure fire Hall of Famer before Whisenhunt, don’t forget that the year before the current Tennessee Titans head took over the Arizona Cardinals Warner passed for just 1,377 yards!
It was so bad, that the Cardinals actually drafted a rookie in the top 10 (Matt Leinart) to replace him. So it isn’t like he was given the goose that laid the golden eggs when he took the head coaching job in Arizona.
His work as OC
As an offensive coordinator, he developed Ben Roethlisberger into one of the best quarterbacks in the league and set the young quarterback on a trajectory that will likely lead him to the Hall of Fame.
Then again as an offensive coordinator in 2013 Whisenhunt took Philip Rivers from a player that looked over the hill, and turned him completely around. With the Tennessee Titans head coach, Rivers had a career year, and did so without the help of elite receivers he had in the past like Vincent Jackson, Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates (in his prime).
While non of this guarantees that he will turn the Tennessee Titans around, it is better than having a coach that is just coasting on the edge of mediocrity (Jeff Fisher and Andy Reid) or a coach that has had a few good years because they coached elite talents (Bill O’Brien and Chuck Pagano).
No, Whisenhunt has shown that if he has talent at the quarterback position (and not players like Jake Locker, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, Max Hall, or Kevin Kolb) he can make a team not only good, but playoff and Super Bowl contender good. Maybe with Marcus Mariota he can turn a team with some talented young players into a playoff caliber team over the next few years.