Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

13 Jan 2014

Titans Hire Ken Whisenhunt as Head Coach

Judging by the last few games San Diego played, you have to say Whisenhunt perfectly fits the Tennessee delusion that they need to focus on running the ball.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 13 Jan 2014

33 comments, Last at 17 Jan 2014, 1:28pm by Noah Arkadia


by Hurt Bones :: Mon, 01/13/2014 - 8:07pm

I'm not a Titans fan so I don't have a stake. I'm just kind of wishy washy about it. I don't think Whisenhunt is a bad coach. With the right situation I think he can succeed. I'm just not sure this is the right situation.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Mon, 01/13/2014 - 8:34pm

Disappointed that the Lions didn't get him. Mostly because Jim Caldwell is reportedly the favorite. Maybe I've bought into the narrative, but I feel like a zombie from The Walking Dead would be more inspiring candidate.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:27pm

Lies; zombies from The Walking Dead are far more expressive than Jim Caldwell has ever been.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 1:36pm

True. But the one advantage Caldwell has is that he would at least try to coach up Matthew Stafford instead of trying to eat him.

by serutan :: Mon, 01/13/2014 - 8:51pm

I think this is a disaster for Tenn., as Whiz demonstrated in AZ that he has no clue about developing young QBs. That's IMO, of course - I'd like to think it means something that Barnwell agrees with me.

@JoeyHarrington'sPiano - Agreed. I feel the Detroit
QB situation is one that is well suited to Whiz (i.e.
estblished, more veteran QB that he can fix like he
did Warner and Rivers).

Was wr

by db :: Mon, 01/13/2014 - 9:30pm

You are 100% right and I agree completely. He would have been better suited to Detroit with a veteran QB. (was a db)

by Raiderjoe :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 1:07am

What does poster mean by (was a db))?

Was posert a db or do yoy mean Whisenhunt wwas a db? If latter, then want to mentionsd thatWhisenhunt was tight end in nfl playo ng cateer

by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:37am

Or poster is in fact Peter Holsapple or Chris Stamey. They were also dB's.

by young curmudgeon :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 4:50pm

Knowing nothing else about you, you've now become my favorite participant in the FO comment section. Amplifier!

by Bjorn Nittmo :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 1:38pm

Saw them open for REM at the Capitol Theater in fall 1984. Which I'm pointing out only so I can show how cool I am for getting this brilliant reference.

by Lebo :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 5:02am

Perhaps Whiz thinks that the AFC South is an easier division in which to succeed than the NFC North? And the same could probably be said about the conferences too.

(Played rugby)

by jebmak :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:38am


by Jerry :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 6:30am

How good would Roethlisberger be if Whiz did have a clue about developing young QBs? He was offensive coordinator for Ben's first three years, before becoming head coach in Arizona.

by serutan :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:32am

Remember that Whisenhunt was not allowed to bench Ben in Pittsuburg - he didn't much care for Ben, and Ben returned the feeling with interest. Also, Ben wasn't that great
his first three years - it took Arians to really get him going. The way he handled Leinart (i.e. he had him for multiple seasons, but only decided to cut him a week before the start of the season) to me can only be interpreted as idiotic.

Was wr

by drobviousso :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:03pm

Oh, I remember. If there's one coach on the market that I would not want around a young QB in need of development, it'd be Whis.

Was OG

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:29pm

Yeah, I'm currently contrasting this one with the Lovie Smith hire; Lovie walks into a situation where he seems a perfect fit for what the team needs (respected by players, calm demeanor, history of maximizing defensive talent). Whisenhunt feels like the exact opposite in every way.

The Lovie hire feels like a "veteran coach" hire, Whisenhunt feels like a "retread".

Also, never played anything other than lots of Dungeons and Dragons.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:39pm

I wanted Whisenhunt with the Lions specifically for him to work with the quarterback. Yet I'm unsure whether his reputation "coaching up" quarterbacks is from blind luck or not.

Taking the whole team into account, I'm not sure how to feel about him as a candidate. On the one hand, it was extremely impressive to take Arizona (a franchise that had accomplished almost nil in decades) to the Superbowl and two division titles. On the other hand, the next three seasons were pretty ugly. Not sure how much it was his fault that he had no viable quarterback or offensive line those years.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 1:20pm

I guess it comes down to whether you believe Kurt Warner hooked himself to the Magic Rejuvenation machine or Whisenhunt had something to do with it; Warner is clearly a potential HOF QB (not debating his candidacy, but it will certainly be strongly considered) and Larry Fitzgerald is, well, Larry Fitzgerald. The kind of things he would presumably want to clean up with Stafford (loopy release, several inexplicably crazy decisions a game, overreliance on the whole "fling it at Megatron and hope for the best") seem like the kind of things that never would have been a concern with Warner. Warner was beaten up and rattled by those sack-heavy seasons in St. Louis and NY, and, while it was really impressive how he turned around and became again the accuracy/timing machine he'd been in the glory days, he's a really, really different QB than Stafford is.

by Hurt Bones :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 1:34pm

His first three seasons in Arizona, the Cardinals were 19th, 15th and 13th in offensive DVOA. That was with Warner, Fitzgerald and Boldin. I'm not sure that qualifies as some sort of offensive guru. Arizona's special teams did make significant improvement during his tenure. Not so surprising as he coached special teams at Vandy and one year with the Jets.

by commissionerleaf :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 8:57pm

I agree Whiz is a bad hire.

I agree Whiz is not a Quarterback Whisperer.

But the Arizona offense in those years was insanely terrible outside of Warner, Fitz, and Boldin. The offensive line was every bit as bad as it was in 2012, the RB situation was such that the desiccated corpse of Edgerrin James actually livened the place up a bit, and the other receivers were Bryant Johnson and Steve Breaston, who went on to receive pink slips from multiple teams in the absence of Warner.

Now, I credit this to Kurt Warner being finally healthy and in charge of a team, more than anything about Whisenhunt. Remember, even in NY, Warner's completion percentage was 14 points higher than his replacement (Eli).

I shudder to think what would have happened to the NFL record book if Warner had been drafted #1 overall back in the 90's and played a full career for a franchise that supported him the way Manning, Brady, and Brees have been supported. I don't think Peyton Manning levels of success were out of the question.

by tuluse :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 1:41pm

That's the difference between a 46.9% and a 56.3% win percentage.

by countertorque :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:16am

So, you could say you were a DM or a PC.

by dryheat :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:58pm

Is that you, Ice-T?

by Jerry :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 9:36pm

Please refresh my memory. I'm not remembering when Whiz wanted to bench Ben, and for whom.

by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 11:46am

Kind of pissed off that all these mediocre retreads keep getting HC jobs. Maybe mainly pissed because my team (the 49ers) has some good coordinators who've never had a chance to be HC and never will as long as owners are so antsy to hire that they'll take a Whisenhunt instead of waiting a month for something good.

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:32pm

I would not mind at all if the Lions waited a little while, then hired one of the coordinators for the Seahawks or 49ers.

by LionInAZ :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 7:40pm

Yeah, but they handcuffed themselves by insisting the next HC had to have prior experience.

by BJR :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 12:39pm

After the way AZ's QB situation was hopelessly mismanaged and the offence totally fell apart after the retirement of Kurt Warner, why on Earth is Whisenhunt in line for another head-coaching role?

by bravehoptoad :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 2:05pm


by Dice :: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 7:21pm

Maybe he'll turn Fitzpatrick into, uh, little help here?

by Noah Arkadia :: Wed, 01/15/2014 - 1:55pm

An elephant?

The man with no sig

by The Ninjalectual :: Thu, 01/16/2014 - 4:05pm

Can the elephant sort of hurl the ball with its trunk?

by Noah Arkadia :: Fri, 01/17/2014 - 1:28pm

Clearly! Otherwise he would play OL.

The man with no sig