Ken Whisenhunt Named Next Titans Coach
By Allen Kim
In a surprising move, the Tennessee Titans have hired Ken Whisenhunt as their next head coach. He’ll be replacing Mike Munchak, who was let go shortly after the season ended.
Whisenhunt was widely considered to be the favorite for the Detroit Lions’ head coaching vacancy. However, the Titans swooped in at the last minute and stole him away from under their noses.
“This is a big day for this franchise,” Titans President Tommy Smith said in a statement. “Ken is a well-respected coach in this league and I am looking forward to seeing his vision become reality for this team. He has a history of building successful offenses and took Arizona to a Super Bowl as a head coach. We all share a common goal for this team and that is to build a consistent winner. I want to thank Ruston for his hard work in the process and the quality candidates that he brought in for interviews.”
Whisenhunt was being courted by a number of teams, but the Titans managed to convince him to come aboard. They signed him just a day after the San Diego Chargers were knocked out of the playoffs. He served as the offensive coordinator for the Chargers for a year after the Arizona Cardinals let him walk, and he did a fantastic job rejuvenating the Chargers’ offense. Philip Rivers was able to turn back the clock and potentially get his career back on track, Ryan Mathews had a career year, and rookie WR Keenan Allen quickly developed into a legitimate No. 1 option.
“I have a lot of respect for Ken as a coach and as an offensive mind,” said Titans General Manager Ruston Webster. “The traits that stand out to me when identifying him as our next coach — he is intelligent, has a track record with quality offenses and head coaching success. I really enjoyed our meeting on Friday night in San Diego and we share similar philosophies about the game. Additionally, we have several mutual colleagues that have spoken highly to me about Ken both as a coach and as a person. I am excited about Ken joining us and the future of the Titans.”
Whisenhunt has his work cut out for him. Unlike Detroit, where they already have an established franchise quarterback in Matthew Stafford, the Titans have a young and largely unproven quarterback in Jake Locker. The team’s front office doesn’t appear to be all that confident in Locker, and they could opt to draft a quarterback in the first round with the 11th overall pick.