Tuesday, January 14, 2014
With time to expand, Whiz starts off vague
By Paul Kuharsky
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Titans auditorium has never been as full as it was for Ken Whisenhunt's introductory press conference.
He was what a team wants on this day: Cool, comfortable, conversational.
When it was over, the building was filed with renewed hope, just as it is after every coaching hire and introduction in the NFL.
New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt said he will be evaluating his new players over the coming weeks and months.
It marks an organizational reset, and buys the Titans the same thing for someone like me that it should buy with its fan base.
A clean slate that comes with a fresh start and time to show us who he is, what he will be, how the staff he hires will convey his messages and teach, who he will choose to play and how they will perform for him.
Like a lot of people, I'm anxious to see what he brings.
But while he offered a much more presidential feel in his first press conference than Mike Munchak typically did, Whisenhunt didn't say a great deal.
Most of the questions he got, he'll get again, until he's had time to do the work to have more of an answer.
He deferred on opinions regarding quarterback Jake Locker and running back Chris Johnson and most specifics regarding what he's inheriting.
“We just got finished with our season two days ago," he said of the San Diego Chargers for whom he was offensive coordinator. "It's been a whirlwind. There is a lot of time that goes into that especially when you get into the playoffs. So I really haven't had a chance to study that.
"That's going to be a big thing over the next weeks and months, as far as evaluating out players and how they fit in. The one thing I'll say is, I liked Jake coming out. And one of the things that I think we've done a good job with in the places I've been is putting them in positions to be successful. And that's what our goal is to be here.”
I don't fault Whisenhunt for not having a more thorough answer. Ideally, a candidate has had time to study the roster and the tape and can tell a team his vision for important people and pieces.
Whisenhunt was busy with the Chargers' playoff run, though, and he was simultaneously a hot commodity in the coaching market.
The Titans didn't hire him because of his specific plan for Locker or Johnson or anyone.
They hired him because they believe he will craft a plan that maximizes those players and anyone else he inherits, as well as those he helps bring in.