Tennessee Titans rebuilding again
For two teams, the first week of February brings the excitement of playing on sports’ biggest stage to determine who will be crowned as the best professional football team in the world.
For the 30 other teams, however, this is not the case.
For these teams, the month of February is a time of reevaluation, office work and personnel changes designed to point the franchise in a better direction for the next season.
This category is where the Tennessee Titans find themselves far too often, and this year is no different.
The Titans finished with a sub-five hundred record in 2013 and hold a top 15 pick going into the 2014 draft.
For a Titans fan, this sounds all too familiar; the Titans finished in a similar fashion last year, with only a one-game improvement in record to show for the last off-season’s historic front office work.
The Titans spent a record 100 million dollars in free agency last year in hopes of improving upon their 6-10 record in order to get to the post season. They added players like Delanie Walker from the San Francisco 49ers and top offensive line target Andy Levitre. However, this did not turn out as much of an improvement, as the Titans still finished a distant second to the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts.
At the end of the season, there was not a lot to be optimistic about for a fan of the Tennessee Titans.
But that was before the winds of change swept through the city of Nashville.
Shortly after the season ended, new owner Tommy Smith made the swift decision to fire long time member of the organization and Head Coach Mike Munchak. In three seasons at the helm, Munchak had only one season with a winning record and he never made the playoffs.
Enter Ken Whisenhunt.
As the offensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, Whisenhunt was a top choice for the seven teams that were in the hunt for a new head coach. The “Whis” had the resume to back it up as well; as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, he led the team to a Super Bowl and as an offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2006, the team won their fifth Super Bowl.
He has also worked with the upper echelon of quarterbacks in the NFL such as Ben Roethlisburger, Kurt Warner and Philip Rivers.
Whisenhunt was quick to shake up the coaching staff shortly after he took charge of the team.
On the offensive side of the ball, the Titans have seen a complete overhaul with Whisenhunt bringing San Diego’s tight end coach Jason Michael as the new offensive coordinator and Mike Malarkey and Jim McNulty as the tight ends and quarterbacks coaches, respectively. The Titans hope that these changes will help spark an offense that finished 20th in the league last season.
The Titans are getting a change defensively as well. The team was quick to grab Browns’ defensive coordinator Ray Horton. Horton was in charge of a defense that ranked 4th in total defense in 2013. The Titans also brought in Louie Cioffi to coach a secondary that has Pro Bowl Cornerback Alterran Verner, and they hired Lou Spanos to coach a young but athletic linebacker corps.
The Titans are also expected to switch from a 4-3 defense to 3-4 defense to complement these athletic backs on a 12th ranked passing defense.
So, once again, the Titans are in a rebuilding process. With these new additions to the coaching staff and more changes in store, there is a lot to look forward to for Titans’ fans, however The Titans are putting together a winning staff with experience and these coaches promise to breathe fresh air into an organization that has played with a perceptible level of ineptitude for the past few seasons.
With this new staff, Titans fans can be hopeful that their team will be brought back to their former winning ways, and hopefully bring a championship to the city of Nashville sooner rather than later.