First and foremost, I think former Tennessee Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt had to go, but I’m not sure he was the only problem with this team. He wasn’t doing enough to protect his young franchise quarterback, or any quarterback for that matter.
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I thought Around the NFL writer Marc Sessler said it best in his Tuesday post:
"The Titans must unearth a quarterback-friendly coach, something Whisenhunt failed to be. After all the bluster about his past success with Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger, Whiz left far too many young passers by the side of the road."
Although coach Whiz didn’t do a stellar job in his less than two-year tenure in Music City, he was not supported by an ownership group that still doesn’t live in Nashville.
In fact, Amy Adams Strunk, who watched from her owners box at NRG Stadium on Sunday and still lives in the Houston area with the rest of the Adams Family, was more worried about the bottom line than she was with with why the team was losing.
In their unwillingness to spend money that would bring some talent to Nashville and provide Marcus Mariota with pieces that could help win some games, the team is second in the NFL with Cap Space.
According to the folks Sportrac.com, the Titans have $25,478,253 in unused cap room as we speak.
That points to an ownership group that is more interested in the bottom line than they are in winning football games.
In other words, they won’t get off of their wallets and spend money!
Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Ruston Webster did a great job in stocking the Dick LeBeau defense in free agency, but they didn’t do a lot of spending on offensive stars.
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Interim president and CEO, Steve Underwood said in the post Whisenhunt firing, that they would be casting a wide net while looking for a new head coach, but they would be giving tight-ends coach Mike Mularkey an audition that would last until the end of the season.
The question comes down to what proven head coach or inspiring offensive coordinator around the league wants to cast their lot, and future with this rudderless ship?
Sessler said in his article that there was a list of possibilities:
"Hiring an offensive-minded teacher who can build the attack around Mariota’s gifts is priority No. 1 in Tennessee. Plenty of names come to mind: Frank Reich in San Diego, Hue Jackson in Cincinnati, Adam Gase in Chicago, Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta and Josh McDaniels in New England. Each of them stand out as proven quarterback tutors with creative approaches to running an offense."
Cris Mortensen from ESPN said is best today, “The Tennessee Titans need to be sold to local ownership before they will ever have a chance at success”.
An NFL franchise needs ownership working on a day-to-day basis with the general manager, head coach and quarterbacks where they can all be involved in the success of a franchise.
Colin Cowherd preaches daily on his talk show that successful sports teams have a number of things in common. They have super-stars, they have good ownership and management, and they have an identity.
This team had no identity under Ken Whisenhunt, and I will be surprised if Mike Mularkey can establish one in the nine remaining games left in the 2015 season.
So the firing of Ken Whisenhunt was justified, but I’m not sure there will be much success for this franchise until the Adams family sells this team to someone who cares more about winning football games than the bottom line.
Even I know that if they could put an exciting product on the field with a chance to win, the bottom line would take care of itself.