On the idea of a frontrunner for Titans' job

January, 10, 2014
Jan 10
1:38
PM ET
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Plenty of readers are asking those of us close to the Tennessee Titans questions like, “Who’s on the top of the list” and “Who’s the front runner?”

As Ruston Webster completes the first round of interviews for Tennessee’s next head coach in San Diego with Ken Whisenhunt Friday, there are not known answers to either of those questions.

From what I know of the measured, low-key Webster, I doubt he’s got a solid front-runner in his head before completing interviews.

If he’s thinking “Mike Zimmer is my front runner,” how does that help him as he interviews Whisenhunt?

It doesn’t.

Perhaps as Webster returns from San Diego he’ll stack Zimmer, Whisenhunt and Jim Caldwell in his head. (Jay Gruden became Washington's head coach since he interviewed with the Titans.)

Perhaps he’ll be more focused on setting up a second round of interviews. He will have interviewed four guys. I expect he will want to look at more than that.

Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is a name that surfaced quickly after Mike Munchak was fired. Dallas special teams coach Rich Bisaccia has a tie to Webster, as well. Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is another potential candidate.

Webster could also be looking at a college coach, and the Titans would likely work to keep such a meeting quiet. College coaches can hurt themselves in recruiting by interviewing for an NFL job and not getting it.

Who’s at the top of the list? Who’s the frontrunner?

If someone’s atop the list, if someone qualifies as the frontrunner, it’s highly unlikely an outsider will know. The front office group that knows how interviews went may be only Webster and his boss, president and CEO Tommy Smith, who's reportedly participated some by phone.

Be skeptical if you hear a pronouncement. The odds will be that it comes from the agent of the candidate being touted as the frontrunner.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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